Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Real travel: it's not always all great

Everyone thinks travelling is great, even when it’s not always that great. It must come from the majority of people working all year just to escape the daily grind. So when they do, a day or two battling with other tourists, sweating from every pore, getting ripped off or any other not so positive experience will soon be shadowed by the 'escape' factor.

When travelling for an extended time, there will be the inevitable low periods which result from the above and immersing yourself in other lives and cultures. Of course there are plenty of highs that only travel can offer, but there is no gain without some element of pain.

I've been travelling now for the longest time of all of my travels, 129 days and counting.

When I left the UK, my best friend had just got married, for the second time; another friend was 4 months into her second pregnancy. I could list numerous other milestones in the lives of those around me at the time of my departure and yet I was embarking on my 6th big trip to escape the daily grind and avoid accepting my life staying how it was for the foreseeable future.

Since then I have travelled through 4 countries, two of which I've visited a number of times before, but which I never took the time to experience and/or accept more extensively.

My initial plan was to be home by now. But the lack of home, and the reality that life goes on without me, doesn't really give me an incentive to return any time soon. Of course, I miss my friends and family, and I miss the creature comforts of sleeping in a familiar bed and having a extensive choice of clean (!) clothing to select from, and that which I don't feel permanently grubby wearing. I miss the ability to sit and rummage through my craft stash when I want [grin :)!], as well as the option to take a class at the gym or just call up a mate and stop by for a coffee.

I struggle most of all with the limited communication that I now have with people that I would normally see, or speak to, regularly. Despite my ongoing efforts to keep people updated via my blog, and the odd email to let them know they are not forgotten, life goes on without me. I appreciate that fact, and that I am not currently a part of their lives.

So, for now it seems, I should make the most of the opportunity that I have created, by giving up my home and my job, and just take in as much as I can, while I can. This travel malarky is, after all, what people think: great..... most of the time. It's just not as easy as perhaps those who haven't done it, or those who forget what it was like, imagine.

I'm in month 5, and have extended my travel insurance until November, so I have options. I have some very loose plans currently.

If you're still following along, thank you. If you happened to delve into this post to catch up on what I'm up to, or just by chance, great. And apologies for the slightly melancholy theme today.

I'm currently taking a break... All suggestions for improvements and/or special requests for future content will be appreciated and considered.

In the meantime, I've updated posts for my recent destinations; mainly volunteering on Tioman island off the East coast of Malaysia, as well as my conclusions on Taman Negara (national park), but also the places along the way.

- Taman Negara, the friendly jungle
- Volunteer life at JTP, Tioman island
- Tioman info
A long hike down, Salang, Tioman Island
- Kuala Lipis, Kuantan, Mersing,

Next stop is Singapore and then possibly, or hopefully, Borneo - there's a collection of 3 countries to choose from there, so plenty to come.

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