Nov 08

It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning!

We’ve been home now for 8 weeks and it’s crazy how quickly that time has gone. Travelling seems a lifetime ago! To be able to look back at this blog has been our lifeline when we are missing places, our experiences and each other. As normal, life came quickly back in to play, so it’s taken us a little while to write up our last post. This was the perfect amount of time to reflect.

I wanted to write down what travelling really meant to me. But before I do, we did have a few days in Hong Kong which I will tell you about first. I had been to HK before with work. With our debt increasing, we were in a mixed mindset of “It’s our last destination so we have to make the most of it”, but we asked ourselves when doing something, “Is this worth getting into debt for?” Therefore, we just made sure we did the essentials and wandered the city. We took the star ferry, went tea tasting, browsed the Ladies Market, rode a lift to the top of the tallest building in HK, and had Dim Sum with my old office colleagues, which was awesome! We watched the light show and after waiting 3 hours to watch it and having given it a massive build up, Tom thought it was a little naff! We went to the top of the longest escalator in the world and tried to find the cheapest food everyday! We found an amazing chain that served rice, BBQ duck and Bok Choy with a drink for £2, It was pretty hard to find cheap food in HK. I could eat that right now!

So, back to the here and now. We both moved back in with our parents while we got ourselves back on track. Getting our cars back on the road, finding somewhere new to live, and job hunting. Once again, we see each other on the weekends – after seeing each other 24/7 – It was novel for a little bit. Not having the independence of roaming the world is hard but it also makes me realise how fortunate we are, the fact we could move back with our parents when we have no money (how good they have been to us!) and that we were even able to travel the world, again not without the help of moving back in with the parents – none of this would of been possible.

The break from the monotony of life has been eye opening! Seeing the world for its diamonds and scratches has been a life changing experience. I’ve learnt that everything and every place is what you can make of it. Living out of a bag and the things you can achieve on a very tight budget is also amazing. There were so many places we could’ve stayed forever all for different reasons, this planet is pretty spectacular. But it’s the change I liked, the variety of all the different cultures, climates, terrains and foods we experienced. We tried to cover as much as we could in 6 months and I think we did pretty well. We have places that we want to go back to and tons more new places we want to go to in the future

The world is well trodden, there is nothing left untouched – even if it’s not travelled, people know where and what is there. So I suppose, this hasn’t been about seeing all these places, but it’s been more about the journey and the people who we’ve met. To you guys – you have been kind, insightful, passionate, funny and inspiring. I remember how I felt at the top of Halekala, the volcano in Maui above the clouds. It was one the best views I’ve ever seen and I knew it was impossible that I would ever be standing on top of the world’s vastest dormant volcano with the largest moon in 80 years, in my lifetime again. The views were stunning but more importantly, it was about how we got there. Our epic day of trekking to the top, chatting with everyone while we walked, the scary, dark lava tube we explored arm in arm, the mountain bridges, crazy space plants and the 80 year old volcano cleaner lady we met on her horse. Then there was the 3 hour trek up endless switch backs with terrifying drop offs, rewarded by doing some celebratory shots of whisky! Finishing up by watching the sun go down one side and the moon rise the other was breathtaking. I suppose that’s how I feel about the whole of travelling. It was about the journey, the once in a lifetime experiences and the fun times getting there.

What I will miss about other countries and their cultures is the feeling of being able to be yourself. Everyone just spoke to us, welcomed us. I realised, I like to chat to randoms. In the USA you can be a 50 year rollerblader dancing on Venice Beach, off your face and no one will say a thing. In Hawaii, you can be a middle aged man with long surfer hair and board shorts and no one thinks, loser. You can run around Australia and no one beeps at you or shouts ‘get your tits out love’. In Asia, no one batted an eyelid even though we were the complete minority and often looked like a sweaty mess. When I get old, I want to be able to ride my longboard, with my kids on theirs and run without some chav beeping me! Screw it, I’m going to do it anyway.

The reason why it’s only the beginning is because we already have new travel adventures planned (the holiday sort), we have amazing and exciting new jobs and we are moving to a place neither of us have ever lived before. We applied for jobs everywhere and anywhere when we got back, but our hearts were by the coast. With seeing something new every day, we knew we couldn’t go back to same old same old.

But for now, our aim is to save so we can move in together, it does feel like we’ve been forever saving. Hopefully once we clear some of the travel debt, we can start enjoying life again and visit all the people we met during our travels and the ones we already knew! We are going to travel the UK on a Lonely Planet Guide as we have seen more of New Zealand than we have of the UK (hangs head in shame). Our new jobs makes Chichester the most central location for us both. It’s been a place we’ve thought about for a while – it has a lush Wakeboard lake, some surf (sometimes!) and a good creative scene. It’s a cute city not too far from Surrey or Southampton and it’s still close to our friends in Southsea. We needed a change, a move abroad was well on the cards at one point, but for now fate has us contently in the UK. When looking at houses in Chichester, it felt like traveling again, as we had no clue where we were going, where you shop, where you park, where you pub. That’s what excites us.

This is the final blog post, not forever but for now. We may well use it to write our future travel adventures and you might be seeing more from the name gonetravel.in.

I want to say how thankful I am to everyone who helped us take this trip of a lifetime and also to Tom, who basically was the easiest, funnest and kindest person to travel with. Spending every waking moment, sometimes in a caravan or sometimes in a room with no door on the toilet (nice!), weirdly wasn’t ever hard. Also, he is to thank for our many blog posts, being a bit of a homework dodger myself, he made sure we blogged and took pictures at every stage. What seemed like a chore, now means we have memories, forever. A pretty cool guy.

This is the last time you will have to do this for a really long time, please click the heart if you liked the adventure.

Over and Out x