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The Decision to Travel the World

The Decision to Travel the World

>> The Decision to Travel the World <<

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The initial plan was to travel for 6 months. Realistically it was going to be 9-12 months to cover all I wanted to see. In a way I’m nervous when I’m reaching the 11 months mark and I notice that even this is never going to be enough. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. It is not a decision to be made for now. **Update: I had to cut my travel short because my father passed away. Life made the decision for me.

Whereas I had saved up some money over the last years, my boyfriend Ben was paying off some debts he had accumulated over the years. Somehow he found himself lost in unhealthy spending habits and well…he decided to tackle his financial situation once and for all nearly two years ago. I admire his will-power and courage to battle through it. He had been working 7 days a week with only a few days in between for rest and a few little trips away which I volunteered to sponsor for us.

He’s been debt free for a few months and is now saving as much as he can. He completely transformed the way he handles money and I have learned a lot from him in the course of the last years. This was quite a challenge for our relationship as essentially we never saw each other. In the first year we’ve been together, I was in my final year at uni and I was the one who was never around – always working or studying- and in our second year, he was home – always working. In essence, we have not had a traditional relationship where we spend loads and loads of time with each other. I can count in two hands how many entire week-ends we have spent together over the last almost three years. There aren’t many.

 

>> Our Unconventional Relationship <<

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I think it is this honesty we promote in our relationship which keeps us coming back to each other again and again. Of course we had our crises – but we always work through it.

I think, however, this works well for us. We are both very independent and love to spend time on our own. Both introverts, we need time on our own to re-charge our batteries and we don’t take offence when the other needs to retreat and simply does not want to spend time with the other. We respect each other’s space and we encourage each other to travel solo. In June 2014 Ben went on a trip to Montenegro by himself and I have travelled to Bali in 2013 on my own.

It’s interesting that we often get asked “Are you guys ok? Are you still together?” “Oh my goodness! What if he cheats on you?” “Why don’t you travel together?”. It never fails to amaze me that there is still an antiquated belief, despite living in a modern society, that if you do not spend every moment with each other, that something must be wrong with your relationship.

The question is….Is it antiquated at all? Perhaps this is a very modern way of thinking, having to spend every single moment with each other. We have WhatsApp, FaceTime and all the technological advances, so even we are apart, we are never really apart. Your Partner is always one WhatsApp message away.

 It is sad to think that there are a lot of couples who simply don’t trust each other. They keep the other on a leash and observe every move to make sure the other one behaves. How exhausting must such a relationship be? What’s the point being with someone whom you do not trust in the first place?
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Should Ben & I ever be unhappy in the relationship, then we would tell each other. If we felt an attraction towards someone else, then we would tell each other and decide together what we do. This is what I call respect. I respect this human being by my side and I don’t feel I need to conceal something from him. We are humans at the end of the day and I think it’s unrealistic to believe that temptation will never arise.
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I think it is this honesty we promote in our relationship which keeps us coming back to each other again and again. Of course we had our crises – but we always work through it.

 

>> Corporate World? No Thank you. <<

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It took me a long time to realise that I could actually fulfil my dream of travelling the world. I was so engrossed in my everyday life, graduated and found myself doing the reasonable thing and that was to look for a well paid job in the city to actually make use of my degree. I found the job in a big Corporate firm. Within a few months, I knew that I would never want to work as a Corporate lawyer. I admire the stamina these people have. Surely being paid a fortune makes up for the excruciatingly long hours you have to put in. But it’s simply not my idea of a fulfilled life.

I guess I was never money-driven. I don’t care how much money I earn, as long as I’m happy. Maybe this is naïve. But I never thought my worth as a person was attached to the kind of job I did. Work-life balance is extremely important to me. If I’m forced to work for someone else, then I want to have enough time in the day to still be able to see my friends and boyfriend.

And I want to have enough time to travel!

Well, if you work for one of the big city law firms, you don’t have time for anything else than your job. The firm becomes your life. You’ll be friends with people you work with. You’ll spend your week-ends working, your nights working. You’ll have a lot of money – but what’s the point if all you do is work? You only have one life….

You’ll most probably be married to another lawyer. You’ll have lawyer friends. And in the evenings you are obliged to make the effort to spend the time with your work colleagues…because if you don’t, then you are quickly noticed and people start asking you where you were last night when everyone was hanging around in the Pub after working for 12 hours or more with each other?

Only a few understand that you actually don’t have a life outside of this big glass building and that you actually don’t want to spend time with them any more than necessary. I guess most of them are afraid to say ‘No’. The competition is so fierce…if you don’t fit in or function as they expect you to, then you will have a hard time. The pressure is intense and there are always a load of people who would die to get your position – you are in essence a number and very replaceable.

The glass building, the open-door policy apparently makes you more productive. You live in this Panopticon – you are observed and controlled. You are regulated. You are owned. You are imprisoned. At least this is how I felt. No thank you. This is not what I want to spend doing for the rest of my life!

When I resigned, I felt the biggest sense of relief. I felt I escaped prison literally. I felt I was alive again.

After I resigned, I felt I had to come up with another plan. Luckily I had enough money to sustain myself for a few months and I had my bank account filled with the money for my Legal Practise course.

I could travel the world instead…
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>> Follow your Dreams! <<

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Ben was the driving force to decide to finally fulfil my dream. We had spend my Birthday in April 2014 in Tuscany and he gave me two presents: a subscription for the Wanderlust magazine and a pin wall with the world map on it and a pack of pins. He said to me, that he would never hold me back from fulfilling my dreams and if I wanted to go travel then he wanted me to know, that he will support me fully and nothing is going to change between us.
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He would visit me once in a while whenever he could – whenever he had enough money to do it. At this point in time I did not think I would do it. But so many signs always pointed to travelling…I could no longer ignore it. I remember one day at King’s Cross station, I went into the little bookshop in the corner, next to the famous Harry Potter ‘gate’, and wanted to kill some time before my train home.
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I walked into the store and found the travel book section. I don’t know what happened in this moment, but I stood in front of the wall and my eyes filled up with tears and I had this voice in my head saying: ‘You need to go travel. You need to go travel’. I stood there looking at all these travel guides.
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 >> Argentina, Bolivia, Bali, Chile, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand
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When I came back from Tuscany, I resigned. And then I spent a month fabricating a Plan B. I read loads of Law of Attraction books and listened to motivational clips on You Tube. Partly to prevent a huge depression and not let the sense of failure creep in, but also partly because I wanted to focus on believing that I could do it. I don’t know how I would do it, but I would. And one day, I stood in front of my pin wall that Ben had hung up for me and I knew it was time to do it….I want to travel the world and we will find a way to make it work!

Later on that evening, we both stood in the kitchen and I told Ben that I was thinking of travelling; worried what was going to happen to us. You know what they say about long-distance relationships….it is all very doom and gloom. We stood there hugging each other for several minutes and he said…
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“I’m going to miss you, but it is your dream. You need to do it. We will find a way.”
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And so I began researching like crazy and my idea of creating a blog started to come to fruition. Initially Ben decided he would come visit me for 1 month at a time (or longer depending on how much he managed to save) and then come back to the UK to earn more money before coming out again to visit.
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In the meantime, he saved enough money to be able to sustain himself for a few months before we’ll have to be stationary for a while to find an income. In fact he is so excited about travelling that he doesn’t have a firm plan when to come back again.
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So the adventure begins…
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heart-blueWhat was the reason you decided to travel the world? What are reasons to hold you back from travelling? I would love to hear your thoughts, in the comment section below.

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Trust

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