Monday, November 27, 2017

Life After the Gap Year

OMG it’s been a year since my last blog!  What have I been doing whilst I’ve not been blogging?

Answer:  Not travelling nearly as much as I wish I were.  But that’s usually always the case.

After my gap year finished with a little jaunt around the USA, I semi-covertly headed to London to see if I could get a job.  I didn’t really tell too many people I was there so that I could focus on securing employment (because at that point the money was starting to dwindle).  After a few weeks and what seemed like countless coffee meetings with lots of insurance-y people, it became apparent that the whole Brexit business meant that the UK was closed to outsiders until further notice.  And I was like “But I’m totally white and educated and English-speaking – even the Brexiters would probably love me!”  No dice.  The UK wasn’t issuing visas no matter how pale and pasty my skin, and I didn’t have strong enough connections in other parts of Europe to feel confident that I’d find something somewhere else if I stuck around a little longer.  So, I booked a flight out and then entered extreme tourist mode:  I tried to do EVERYTHING in London in a few short weeks.  It was very hectic.  I made exceptional progress, but I still have plenty left to do because London just has so much stuff.  So much.  London is like the world’s largest cornucopia of attractions.

And then it was back to Australia for me.  I was banished to the other end of the Earth like so many people in England before me.  Luckily, I didn’t have to sit on a four-month boat ride like those peasants, though the flights did seem to go on FOREVER.  At least economy on Etihad was mildly better than a long boat voyage with scurvy.

And now I’m back in Australia dealing with all of the terrible things that plague Australia, like free healthcare and beautiful scenery and the world’s best coffee and no guns.  It’s such a nightmare living here!  Ahhh!

But in all seriousness, I came back at the beginning of last summer (already a year ago!) and I was melting.  Severely melting.  And I was cranky about it.  But I had friends put me up for free – thank you Jess and Guy and Barry!  And it all flowed pretty quickly from there:  I found a really good job super quickly, and then a rockin’ apartment super quickly, and then I filled that apartment with all sorts of furniture and goodies which I didn’t have the money for at that point because of all the travel I spent money on.  But credit cards.  Yay for credit cards!  And then I started working and slowly paying off those credit cards and adjusting to life back in the real world.  And then once I was mostly adjusted and had paid off my credit cards, I thought to myself:  “It’s time for a trip!”  Because that’s what I’m usually thinking (except when I’m thinking “Tacos!” or “It’s time for some ice cream!”)

So I started looking at options.

And planning.

And making spreadsheets full of ideas.

Because I love spreadsheets!

And then I went to Canberra because that’s obviously the top of the list, right?

Ok, maybe not, but it’s nearby and I wanted to have some nerdy museum time.  I took a few more domestic trips after that – retracing a few past adventures and exploring some parts of the country that were new to me.  And then I – being all inspired after my trip to Easter Island – decided to start conquering the Pacific islands one archipelago at a time.  Unlike pretty much every other part of the world, the Pacific islands are… nearby!  And affordable, for the most part, and the flights are relatively short compared to traveling to other places (other places = anywhere else in the world except New Zealand).  So my plan is to do at least one archipelago per year from now on.

I also crossed off another of my 103 Things this year (yay!) so the travelling is still coming along, albeit at a much slower pace.

There are a few more trips on the horizon and a lot more ideas in my head.  I’m just waiting for the bank account balance to build back up a bit before I can go completely nuts, but it will eventually, and I will eventually.  In the meantime, I’ll start blogging about a few of this year’s trips soon-ish.  And I’ll keep daydreaming about more trips (and about winning the lottery so I can pay for the trips).

p.s. Colleen, does this blog make you happy?