So here’s the thing, my Facebook feed is a total abomination. It’s a total mess… aside from the political rants about Donald Trump and Brexit (we need a filter to take politics off Facebook by the way), the shots of weddings, babies, DIY projects and home extensions are interspersed with travel vlogs, slick drone footage of beaches, artistic photos of far flung countries and blog reviews of business class flights.
My life has been very much split for some time, a three years after starting this blog I connected in real life with other travel bloggers, this meant many of my friends weren’t on the tried and trusted path of marriage, kids, house, car and steady job. So on the one side I have friends wondering what the hell I am talking about when I mention that I write a travel blog and then others asking “Why have you still got a normal day job!?”.
I’ve also had the travel curse (or bug, if you like) ever since I left the UK in 2006. All fresh faced I boarded a plane to Beijing on a mission to see new places and experience the world. Two years later something had certainly changed but at the same time it was good to be back in the UK, in a new city. Somehow the routine of city life was exactly what I needed after roaming freely for years.
It’s Been Twelve Years Since I Got Back
Since then it’s been twelve years. Yes, over a whole decade since I got back to the UK. Twelve years since Gordon Brown was Prime Minister and Barack Obama was named president, there was a huge banking crisis in the offing (and subsequent bail out), Apple launched its first app store and Google brought out Google Chrome, Instagram, Tinder and SnapChat didn’t exist, Facebook only had 10 million users compared to 1.79 billion odd today! The England football team have had five different managers since Fabio Capello ten years ago and the internet has grown from around 1.5 billion users to 3.5 billion! My team Aston Villa were still in the Premier League FFS!
There’s been plenty of awesome adventures in that period of course, Australia (twice), Japan, Brazil, Malaysia and plenty of Europe… but it’s never been a sustained period of travel where you travel from place to place over a long period if time. I totally miss that freedom.
Somewhere along the way I fell into the trap of having a comfortable job, getting paid well and using my holiday time to travel to far flung places. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed having the regular income to spend on experiences and travel but in the long run the lack of flexibility that comes with a regular job just isn’t good enough for me. I look back at what I wrote nine years ago and it still rings true for me today:
“For me the realisation that my life for the next 30 plus years could be spent working for someone else staring at a computer screen made me take action.” reasons to quit your job and go traveling
You Always Need A Plan
Although I’ve been in London for twelve years, believe it or not I have been planning to get away. I love London, it’s a world class city with so much to explore around every corner. “If you’re tired of London then you’re tired of life”, well I’m not tired of London… I just think it’s time to see other places and experience a different lifestyle for a while. London is lovely in the summer but those cold dark winter days are enough to drive anyone straight into the nearest pub. So ideally, returning to London for the odd summer would be perfect for me.
Even if you like to travel without a strict plan, you need some sort of planning or else nothing would ever get done. As you get older most people tend to pile on the responsibilities and it becomes more difficult to up sticks and leave, but I also don’t think that’s a good enough excuse to just sit still and let life go by. For me I needed a plan.
Even twelve years ago when I set off for two years of travel, it wasn’t just a case of jacking it all in to travel the world. It may look like that from the outside but I’d planned it for a year. I’d been saving, budgeting and planning the details way in advance. So today I’m still in the planning phase of my next move. I always knew it would take much longer than expected and there have been many daunting hurdles, but now the end is well within sight!
For a start, the biggest two hurdles have already been overcome. The first was to buy my own place in London and the second was to quit my day job and go full time with my own business (Traverse). Two pretty big goals that I knew would definitely take a long time to complete. The main aim of all this is to obtain that holy grail of FLEXIBILITY, to be able to work remotely and have the freedom to travel whilst sustaining my own business. Now I can finally see the finish line but I’ve still got to wait a bit longer, thankfully I know that being patient is rewarded in the end. In the meantime, this year is shaping up to be packed with plenty of travel, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Rotterdam, Antigua and maybe even Australia.
Good things come to those who wait.