I’m actually not sure if it’s long awaited or not, but I do know it’s been a long time coming. I write to you in september, almost 4 months post trip. What kind of person gives that long of an anticipation. I know, folks, it’s been hard. You’ve been on the edge of your seat. You have been itching to find out, what. is. going. on??? Well, I’m here to tell you. Recap? Go.
Part 1: OMG HOW AM I STILL TRAVELING
I think the last time we truly talked, I was in Istanbul, in like January. I was planning on flying home pretty soon after that. You know, get back to the school semester, make money again, stop sleeping in airports, etc. The good stuff…..but…
and that’s a big but.
that big but resulted in me deciding that the experiences I’d had were worth having more of. Which is why, instead of traveling back stateside, I went to Thailand. That’s right. Thailand.
I spent time in Bangkok, had the best pad thai of my life for every meal, went to a cooking hostel that ended up having the best beds ever, got on a ferry to an island famous for raves, stayed in a hostel with a pool and drank for the first time in over a month, (Didn’t even make it out, I was so tired), attended a half moon festival – complete with neon paint, scootered around the island, scootered around Krabi, climbed the steps at the tiger cave (1237 STEPS. LIKE STAIRCASE STEPS. I was dying.), spent time watching the sunset in phuket, and eventually hopped a plane to Cambodia. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know why I decided on Cambodia.
Cambodia consisted of more pool based hostels, crazy tuk tuk drivers, massive temples that literally blew my mind, visiting and crying harder than I ever have before at the killing fields, visiting the genocide museum, and drowning my sorrows in really really cheap whiskey. (Which I eventually drained down the sink out of sheer disgust. Jameson will always have a place in my heart and nothing compares really). The sheer magnitude of the genocide in cambodia was unlike anything I’d ever heard of/been to/been told about. Seriously. Look it up. It’s so much more heartbreaking than Auschwitz, and that was horrific.
After cambodia, I made the decision to go home to Ireland and see my family again. I missed them. I like to think they missed me too. I flew to singapore, spent much too much time in their incredible airport (umm butterfly garden? hell yes.), flew to malaysia, spent much too much time scoping out sleeping areas, and finally got on a long haul flight to london. From london, I caught the train to the coast, hopped the ferry, and made it to Clondalkin the same morning my mom did. That’s right. I made her cry. She was so shocked, she didn’t know what to do with herself… I love that memory.
But alas, I must trudge on. Too much to cover. After Ireland, I spent more time in Portugal (still my favorite country) and Barcelona before I flew home.
Part 2: What it’s Like Coming Home After so Long
Short answer? Shitty. Long Answer? Getting better everyday.
You hear about the post-travel blues and it makes sense, right? Everyone would rather drink mai-tais on the beach than face their life. But the problem falls into when your entire life for the recent past has been traveling. What do you do then?
I mean, it was nice to sleep in a bed again, have a home cooked meal, have access to a proper kitchen again, not live out of a backpack, have reliable showers, have the ability to work again, be somewhere where people speak the same language as you, have people who care about and check up on you, etc. Those things are nice. I love those things.
What I don’t like is the nostalgia that hits me every damn day. Every thought is of a happier joy in some other part of the world. And maybe I’m just remembering the good times, but truly. Traveling was and is such a huge part of who I am. And who I’ve grown to be. Regardless, onwards we go!
Part 3: ‘Injury Makes You Stronger!’ and Other Crap They Keep Telling Me
When I came home, I was so lost on what to do, that I went hiking. Pretty average activity for me. I am often compared to a mountain goat and often disappointed when I don’t get into the mountains. However, this mountain goat snapped her ACL on the top of a mountain. The 9 months of limited physical exercise left me weaker and less able when I started rallying down mountain sides and all of a sudden.. POP! I collapsed to the ground. Tearing a ligament hurts like a mf. Would not recommend.
I decided to get stem cell therapy, out of the pure fear that I might get arthritis if I did the replacement and also would have too long of a recovery time. Which means I was paying half of my savings for the not-at-all covered procedure. That’s right folks. I am cold stone broke.
And maybe I need to see the opportunity in it. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe this is what was meant to happen.
But maybe I just want to climb the mountain I can see from my window and the recovery is just taking too damn long…Probably a bad idea though.
Part 4: Deciding to Go to Uni Online! and How I Stay Organized
With no money, no prospects, and no hope of getting out of this post-travel blues/post-injury blues, I decided to go back to school. I had scholarship money available to me, and if I’m not doing much else, I might as well.
Doesn’t stop me from regretting it every time I have a 7 page paper due last minute though.
I told you I’d have a plan of how I stay organized, and I was hoping that by this point, I would. But in actuality, I am slowly drowning in due dates and the whole balance thing is not there. Oh well. Any tips?
Part 5: Travel Flings.. Worth It?
I have a friend currently traveling that updates me almost daily about the girl he is currently in love with. An american, a irish one, an aussie, a replacement here, a hookup there, a whole slew of people. And good for him. The travel experience, and specifically the hostel experience, would not be what it is without those times too. Meeting new people is kind of the whole point.
I lasted until December before I started developing feelings. David was traveling with me at the time and I really wanted it to continue. Having someone to share such incredibly influential worldly encounters is a gift, and wanting to have someone along for the ride is absolutely and totally natural.
And it worked for a time. Sure we argued and had disagreements and did things we didn’t want to do in order to satisfy the other, but that’s part of all of it too. When you spend every day and night with someone for almost 6 months, no breaks, no days off, no independent travel plans, everything together for so long.. you’re bound to have disagreements. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. For me, it was worth it.
When I came home, he visited me. We expected things to be the same, but my home priorities are different from my travel priorities. And the pressure of being in a long-term committed relationship right out of the gate grew too big for us to withstand. So he flew home, and I have become a hermit behind the walls I erected when he left.
I follow a pretty standard routine these days. I swim laps at the pool every morning, and walk to the library. I spend at least 8 hours doing homework there before I walk home. I call people who care about me and I try to treat my body well with enough sleep and nourishment to keep it going. I’m unsure what I’m supposed to do at this point, but that’s okay too. I’ll get there.
Thanks for sticking around guys. I’ll talk to you again soon xx