It only feels like yesterday that I picked up the Jucy and headed to Byron Bay for the first part of my trip. Now, 28 days later I will be back on the Gold Coast for one final night before I head back to my Aussie home.
My Dad messaged me yesterday, concerned that I sounded a little travel weary. The curse of all writers is that our emotions come across in our words whether we intend them to or not. There is no writer living or dead who has been the exception of this rule. Writing is expression and in the right hands, one page of someone’s prose can tell you more about them than an entire biography.
Lucky for me, I’m not nearly famous enough to come under such rigorous scrutiny. But Dad was right, I was feeling a little weary, and maybe I’m missing the comforts of my own bed and the routine of regular life just a tad.
It is normal and it is okay to miss these things when you travel, because it makes you realise just how worth it it was. I have been lucky enough to meet so many new friends from all over the world, see and do things I could only dream about before and challenge myself in a thousand different ways. I’ve had the time of my life and have fallen in love with every single moment.
I’m not going to bang on about the whole “finding yourself” thing, because I know a ton of people who have found their happiness without travelling, so it’s not a universal “must-do” like many other travellers like to think, but for me it was something I have been drawn to for a long time, and I believe it would have been difficult for me to find that happiness without experiencing this for myself.
A month doesn’t seem like a long time, but for me it was perfect. From a practical point of view it saves money, and forces you to live as much as you can in the short time you’re there. From a social point of view, it can be sad because the trip is fleeting, but you also don’t give people enough time to see that you’re actually a bit of a dick so they still like you when you leave. And from a physical point of view, it gives you momentum and an adrenaline to keep going and keep doing what you want to do, because you haven’t got enough time to fart around and say “I’ll do that tomorrow” because of tiredness.
In hindsight, I could have easily done two months, but for a first solo trip, I didn’t want to push myself too far. Next time will be different, as I’ve gathered the confidence to convince myself that I can do this, I can do it by myself and at no point will I feel overwhelmed. I’m confident in my ability to enjoy myself.
That’s what it comes down to for most people deciding whether or not they should travel (especially alone). You have to be able to ask yourself that question…”Will I enjoy myself?” There was never any doubt in my mind.
Yesterday was a chill day, walking through the botanical gardens and drinking ice cold tea from a market stall in 30 degree heat, swimming in the lagoon and finally paying a visit to Kangaroo Point cliffs, where you can find the best views of Brisbane.
Brisbane was much more than I expected. These views made me feel like I was in America rather than Australia, the mass of congregated skyscrapers lit up like corporate christmas trees and I was in awe of it all. Melbourne and Sydney were stunning too and each had their own characters which I loved, but controversially, I think Brisbane has them both beaten for views.
So on my way back down to the Gold Coast, I will be rereading all of my blogs, trying to recapture my mindset in those moments and remembering just how much fun I’ve had this November.
2016 has been a crap year for pretty much everything else in the world, so I’m glad that at least on a personal level, mine has become pretty damn perfect.
Thank you for reading!
Goodbye, and enjoy it.
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