And it took me bloody ages to write that last post, which is absolute crap and basically a list of everything I did. It’s harder to write back home. Maybe it’s actually sitting in front of a laptop in my little room rather than in an inner-city park/cross-country train/mountain top viewpoint on my iPhone.
When people ask ‘how were your travels?’ it’s so hard to reply – summing up a month in a sentence ain’t easy! Coming back home sure was an anti-climax, a bit rubbish really, but I couldn’t have continued on the road for much longer. A month seems to be my limit. The amount of people I met doing a good few months in Europe, or a year or so around the world, I wasn’t really jealous. It’s so tiring, exhausting living out of a bag, mentally draining not ever being able to settle anyway. I’m half a stone heavier and clean out of cash. Mind, body, bank account – yes, one month is enough.
Life on the road is a crazy rollercoaster, one which, through Europe, sees you exploring new cultures, languages, climates, currencies and people with every train ride. To think I could have covered the same miles in America or Australia and still been within the same country… That’s the real appeal of Europe I guess, that’s what those Aussies find so magical about our varied continent. Endless adventure.
In terms of solo travel, it has made me feel incredibly more confident and independent. I’d carpool back in England now and my friends may think that’s crazy; maybe I’ll offer my own lifts up to carpoolers. I’d far more happily make conversation with a complete stranger than before, I’d go more out of my way to meet new people too. And I will never ever take my cosy bed, bathtub, and the safety of my belongings for granted again. Or I’ll try not to.
It’s travelling alone, but if you put yourself out there, and really throw yourself into it, you’ll never feel lonely. It took me a while to learn this, and to learn to appreciate my own company also; and although I’m essentially fatter and poorer than I was before I left, I hope that the sense of independence and spontaneity and the ability to just laugh at all the shit situations you get into because you don’t know what else to do, I hope that won’t leave me!
That’s what I hope to take away from this month-long experience, even after I’ve lost that weight and earned the money back, that’s what I’ve gained long-term.