I Lost A Year Of My Life When I Returned Home From Travelling

My last world trip in 2010/11 was one that I had planned for around 18 months prior. I loved the planning stage and got starry-eyed for hours on end, as I agonised over which routes, countries and continents to visit. It was a hugely enjoyable aspect of the trip and I’m also making the most of it this time round too, as I plan for my next world trip due in the next couple of years. One thing I didn’t plan very well for last time round however, was returning home… and I paid for it.

Coming home after an extended period of travel is hard. You might feel down after the constant changing scenery is exchange for the familiar surroundings of home. You could feel as if you’ve changed beyond recognition and aren’t the same person who left. You might have left a great job behind and it is no longer available. Your career may have suffered and you might need to start again. It can be overwhelming. For me, when I returned back, I was reliant on my sister for a place to stay, which meant living in an area that I didn’t really want to. I also had to find a job and start again with my career. To be frank, when I returned back, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do work-wise and that lead to a wasted year of working in a job I didn’t like, just to get back on my feet. Then I realised, I could work with my passions and it all made sense.

(Pic: My welcome home birthday party June 2010)

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I started to work in travel, three years ago and it has been good for me. I didn’t want to be off travelling all the time and my wanderlust has been satisfied with regular short holidays. My career has also allowed me to get to know my home country much better, as I’ve lived in London, Edinburgh and am now in Glasgow, working for the same company.

That brings me up to now and I find the road calling again. I met my partner 15 months ago. Kate is from Perth, WA but has been living in Scotland for a few years. We’ve decided to plan for our future and as Kate is a duel citizen of the UK and Australia, our ultimate goal is that I become the same to allow free movements between our home countries. So after our period of travel, we intend to settle in Perth, WA and get me a partner visa and start working towards that. Now, that takes a whole lot of work, so I’ll perhaps go into that on a different post but it feels great to have a plan for after travelling – something definitive to aim for.

So, in summary, from my experience, it’s a great idea to think a little about the period after your trip and what you’ll do then. I truly hope you avoid the kind of year I had when I returned from my first trip. Good luck with your planning – enjoy it – but don’t forget about what comes next.

Thanks, Ian

(Pic: My welcome home birthday party 2011, me and my friend Natalie)

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