I have big news: it’s booked! That’s right, I’m very excited (and terrified) to tell you that on 12th February 2017 I’m heading to Bangkok, and I won’t be back until 12th August. It’s obviously unspeakably amazing, and I have so much to do: vaccines, shopping, planning…
At the moment, however, I’m kind of obsessed with how different everything is going to be. It’s like I’ve been planning this trip for so long, I can barely believe that it’s going to happen. It seems like a dream, and I almost can’t commit to actually going because it’s such a huge thing to do. I’ve never been away for long so before, so how can I know what to expect?
Nonetheless, I have been away before, so I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to miss and what I’m going to love leaving behind.
I don’t want to leave…
… my comfy bed
This is a huge one for me. I never sleep as well somewhere new, so the prospect of 6 months of bad dreams and restless nights is not appealing. I’m hoping that I’ll get used to the constant travelling, otherwise I’m going to get very grouchy, very quickly.
… my family
I am so close to my family. I live at home with my mum and dad (well, in the same building) and my brother comes to visit almost every weekend. It’s rare that I don’t speak to my mum every day, which simply isn’t going to happen when I’m on the other side of the world. Bad internet, un-synchronised schedules, and the travelling mentality contrive to keep us apart. It will be strange, but they say it only takes 28 days to create a new habit – hopefully it will be easier after that.
… being alone
Unlike many of my peers, I don’t have roommates. I live alone, and chose to have company when I want to. Also, living in London means that I don’t have to interact with anyone if I don’t want to. I can get to work using my Oyster card, I can buy food at a self checkout, and I can order anything else I want online. While I’m travelling, that freedom is going to be taken away from me. I’ll be living in hostels with dozens of other people, going out at the slightest hint of social pressure and talking with other humans to get anything I want: food, accommodation, travel…
… being naked
Basically the same, but with an added twist. In my life, I can shower with the door open. I can sleep nude. I can grab some water at night without wearing a dressing gown. Not in a hostel. Sharing space, being aware of other people, sleeping in pyjamas are all perils of hostel life. Nakedness is part of what keeps me grounded, so it’s going to be weird spending 6 months without knowing what my body is like.
… the cold
I love my coat. I sleep with the window open in the depths of winter (not that it really gets cold around here…). I only turn the radiators on for guests. Not that I don’t feel the cold, it’s that I like to be wrapped up warm. There are few things more comforting than being under a heavy pile of blankets, feeling the cold air on your face while your feet are toasty warm. While I’m away, I’m going to struggle to stay human temperature, let alone cold.
Speaking of which…
I can’t wait to leave behind…
… the cold
Jesus christ am I over winter. I lost my hat yesterday which is really the final straw. It’s far too cold, my hands hurt, my bones hurt. I want me some warm.
… the commute
Travelling to work in the morning makes me an awful person. I lose all of my compassion, consideration, sympathy and chill. I elbow people out of my way. I make snide comments about people who I hope can hear me. I steal seats from old ladies who can’t walk fast enough. It brings out all of the ugly in my soul and it has to stop.
… my job
I finished 18 years of full-time education last summer, and went almost immediately into a full-time job. It’s been one hell of a ride, but it was too soon. I need some space, away from my (lovely) colleagues and my (not so lovely) customers. I also need to work out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, and spending 9-5 in an office without natural light isn’t a good place to be making those decisions. I need me a beach for my thoughts!
… cleaning my flat
No more laundry! No more washing up! No more hoovering! Yes, I know there will be some washing up, especially if I’m not going to be a hostel dick, but not much!
I’m so excited.