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Those who travelled when they were a bit unsure of what’s next in life - did it help?

23 replies

Wanderlusting89 · 15/04/2022 16:07

Feeling a bit nothingy after covid. Don’t love my job. Considering a big trip - in that “find yourself” sort of way.

Did anyone do it? Did you find yourself? Or, at least, work out what you wanted from life?

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Curlewcall · 15/04/2022 16:47

Absolutely.

I spent months traveling through Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Canada.

Came back with a different perspective on life, changed the focus of my career (moved into a different sector) and moved.

The best thing I ever did and there are very few days when I don’t think about the trip, or several more that followed !!

Now 20 years later I am so glad I just jumped and followed my heart. I may have less materially now than I would have done without my travel, but my life has been immeasurably more fulfilling.

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Wanderlusting89 · 15/04/2022 17:12

Oh wow that’s so good to hear!!

I can’t help but wonder what I’ll “do” all day though. Maybe that’s because I’ve spent aimless days in Norfolk on holiday this last few years Grin

Did your days feel full and adventurous?

And where would you go if you were to go now from May!?!

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Theyweretheworstoftimes · 15/04/2022 17:22

This book is my travel inspo Lonely Planet's Where To Go When: The Ultimate Trip Planner for Every Month of the Year

It gives you recommendations for every month.

Travel is the greatest gift you can give yourself

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Theyweretheworstoftimes · 15/04/2022 17:23

Been all over the world with and without kids and the memories and adventures are untouchable

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Curlewcall · 15/04/2022 17:47

@Wanderlusting89

Oh wow that’s so good to hear!!

I can’t help but wonder what I’ll “do” all day though. Maybe that’s because I’ve spent aimless days in Norfolk on holiday this last few years Grin

Did your days feel full and adventurous?

And where would you go if you were to go now from May!?!

I never had one aimless day. Partially because I was most definitely travelling rather than on holiday.

On my first trip I bought a ‘Round the World’ ticket and used that to travel from one country to another. So Heathrow to Singapore, stop over, Singapore to Brisbane, hire a car and drive, up the East Coast taking in the Barrier Reef, then down to Sydney. An internal flight took me to Uluru, another further South. I flew Sydney to Wellington, another hire car and travelled the whole South and North Island NZ, before flying out of Aukland to Raratonga (hired motorbike rather than car) Internal flight to Atutaki. Then Tahiti, Bora Bora. In to Vancouver, up through Vancouver Island and a passenger ferry to Alaska. Down through the Rockies and California, over to Death Valley and then a flight home from Vegas.

On other occasions, much more time in Canada and the US. Months one summer travelling in a little convertible through Europe etc.

Never once did I book accommodation more than a day ahead, apart from the first and last nights in Aus and NZ.

Only once did I feel really at risk in terms of where I stayed, although there were times when I questioned my choices.

If leaving in May I would be furiously researching now, planning a rough route (try not to tie yourself down as there will be places you will want to linger) and identifying accommodation resources. My initial trip was before the days of real connectivity, so guide books and accommodation guides were essential. Also understand where you will be safe and where you are more at risk.

Follow the sun where possible (within your own temperature tolerances), take 1/4 of the clothes you think you will need and make sure you have a good medical kit. I never once failed to purchase new clothes, but medication was another matter.
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Wanderlusting89 · 15/04/2022 21:27

This has got me excited!

A possibly stupid question… how do you make travelling feel very different from holidaying? Obviously the places you stay (not hotels), but anything else? Hopelessly naive of me to ask, I’m sure!

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lightisnotwhite · 15/04/2022 22:59

I think the intent is different? Holidays are for relaxing, recuperation , having a good time etc.
Travelling maybe is setting out with an objective in mind; seeing something, achieving something even escaping.
I’ve enjoyed travelling more than holidays because it always exceeds expectations. Holidays can fall short.

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Curlewcall · 16/04/2022 08:48

I think it is about focus.

I wanted more from my life than I had, had up until that point and wanted to see how the rest of the world lived. How I could do it differently!!

While travelling and ever since, I was watching, looking, listening. Gleaning the values of the people I interacted with and questioning and learning what my values really were.

I spoke to everyone I could, asked questions, accepted invitations. You will be stunned at how friendly people are and how much they want to share their lives.

On my first trip I hired cars where I could afford it, because I wanted to cover a lot (I had a deadline to be back in the UK) but retrospectively I wish I had dumped the deadline and tarried more. Later trips I used local transport. Accommodation was very mixed. For example while up on the Barrier Reef, hotels and even hostels were ferociously expensive. I managed to secure a three day homestay, with food and their own private beach, for next to nothing.

Again on my first trip, retrospectively too rushed, I didn’t work. But, the opportunity is always there and it allows you to immerse yourself even more culturally.

I can honestly say that the more you immerse yourself the more your eyes are opened to a different way of living. You will never be the same again. My biggest lesson was around the futility of materialism. I had spent years burning my life in a Career sector I hated, to buy a bigger house, better car, more clothes etc. etc. None of that matters now. I live very minimally, with my focus on people and experience.

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YetiTeri · 16/04/2022 08:57

Definitely agree above. Wouldn't change those experiences for anything.

I suppose the way in which it feels different to a holiday is to enjoy the travel itself, not just as a means to an end. Talk to people and people watch. Get buses and look out the window (don't scroll aimlessly). Use tech for keep in touch messaging and destination researching but allow yourself to get swept along. Take the odd insta pic but then stay and enjoy with your eyes and not a camera. Don't rush though places.

And don't over pack.

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FrancescaContini · 16/04/2022 09:00

Well, none of us can ever know “what’s next” in life so I would say definitely go. Travelling is so enriching.

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lightand · 16/04/2022 09:30

Going against the grain, but my DH has tried a bit, and he seems as stuck as ever really.

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Tess3 · 17/04/2022 22:46

Im planning a solo trip to california for this autumn for this reason.. hitting 40 this year separated no children and absolutely shitting myself lol but want to do it to prove to myself I can and to see what else goes on in the world 🌎

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BitOutOfPractice · 17/04/2022 22:52

I had a terribly painful breakup 10 years ago. Went off and had a long haul travel adventure, alone. Only 3 weeks but I loved it. Would do it again in a heartbeat. It proved to me a could be resilient and independent and intrepid and gave me back faith in myself and my abilities. I still think of it often.

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Notdoingthis · 17/04/2022 23:15

Always

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zafferana · 18/04/2022 09:27

If you're feeling really stuck I think a bit of physical distance and removing yourself from the daily grind, which takes up so much of your energy and headspace, can really help to reframe what you want from life, what's important, what you miss and don't miss while you're away. I've never done a big solo trip (wish I had!), but I've travelled a lot and lived OS and my best memories come from those times. If you have the time, the money and the opportunity and you feel like you need it - go! Obviously don't throw caution to the wind, plan carefully and listen to local advice about safety and security, but otherwise do it!

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Itwasgoodwhileitlasted · 18/04/2022 09:45

I've moved countries twice and lived in two very different and large cities. I've done a fair bit of travelling too.

I preferred the former because I could temp and fund my lifestyle and really get to know the glamorous cities I lived in. I made some solid friendships from people doing the same thing, met my husband and kickstarted my dream career (this was surprising because it wasn't my aim at the time, but I just went for a job opening as a way into the industry and moved jobs a few times on promotion).

Happiest years of my life pre-kids.

Do it op. At worst, you'll have some brilliant memories and some great stories!

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Itwasgoodwhileitlasted · 18/04/2022 09:49

Op, I've just re-read your post and I think moving abroad to one place may work better for you. You can anchor with work and live a totally different lifestyle.

Can I ask your age? If you are under 35 years old Bunac may have a scheme for you

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123sunshine · 18/04/2022 11:08

I took voluntary redundancy in my mid 20s following the sudden loss of a parent, I was struggling emotionally. I travelled with my husband for 9 months, the best thing I ever did and the experience helped me with the grieving process. Travelling is so different to holidays. I hope to have the opportunity to travel for extended periods again at some point in my life.

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lightand · 18/04/2022 11:15

@lightand

Going against the grain, but my DH has tried a bit, and he seems as stuck as ever really.

Now see that everyone but me is prob talking about people in their 30s or 40s. I wasnt.
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Padderbadger · 18/04/2022 11:20

I travelled around the USA, central and south America in the 2000s and then lived in Europe more recently. I have amazing memories and experienced so much. I would say living abroad really changed my outlook on life. Travelling was great but I was only away for 6 months and when I came back my issues and complaints were still there to deal with. Living abroad was a totally different experience which changed my outlook in life.

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Padderbadger · 18/04/2022 11:22

Oops! Double ' changed my outlook' ! I mean, it really did! 😂

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kimfox · 18/04/2022 11:35

Yes - I took 6 months out in my late 20s, so no kids at that stage, and it was one of the best things I ever did. I had had a shitty time in my personal life, my mum died suddenly and I was disillusioned with my career. I just couldn't see why I was doing any of the things I was doing, it all seemed extremely meaningless. I actually resigned but was offered a no strings sabbatical - so of course took that. The perspective gained from literally going away was immense!

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Arucanafeather · 18/04/2022 11:50

I think travelling can help you reconnect with the “real you” under the layers of the “ideal you” (all the should, could thoughts and actions that have come to feel like you from other people expectations and unconsciously taking on others values).

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