(South America to England and an arduous journey through my mind – My 2016 review – Originally posted Jan 2017 on my free wordpress site – thebackpackingbubble.wordpress.com)
The year I thought I didn’t need travel in my life…Oh but I was so wrong!
Normally at the end of each year I write a little post on Facebook talking about the awesome things I’ve done in all the countries I’ve traveled throughout the year but this year has been different…This is my 2016 review
This year started in Colombia and included Peru, Bolivia, returning home to England, with reality smacking me in the face to finally spending Christmas at home for the first time in 6 years. This past year was consumed by a crazy amount of thinking, soul searching and figuring out what I want from life. 2016 was also the year I fell out of love with traveling (yes I said it) It was the year I felt I needed to go home and be a normal person, only to realize that’s not what I want at all. Also, I truly found out that I just can’t be normal. 2016 taught me that traveling is my other half and although it pisses me off sometimes I need to roam the world; I am a nomad, a drifter!
Most of my previous years around the world, whether that’s travel, living or working have been so unpredictable. Some years I couldn’t believe how I got from the country I started the year in to the one I was in by the end – My travels can be very sporadic at times, however this year was the least eventful in that sense. Even though 2016 paled in comparison to the adventures of previous years, I think in a few years it will go down as a turning point and a very important year in terms of my self development.It was a year I needed for myself and for the direction of my future.
Feeling burnt out after 6 years of constant travel.
If I think back to how the year started back in Bogota, Colombia; I had already started to feel burnt out from traveling, I thought about shortening my South America trip to go home but I persevered through Peru and Bolivia. In my head at that point it was going to be my last backpacking trip. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, the buzz had worn off.
I spent the first 4 months of year bumbling through the days and excursions in Peru and Bolivia. Places didn’t excite me, sitting on a beach watching amazing sunset’s didn’t send tingles through me, it was just another sunset. Long bus journeys weren’t an adventure anymore they were a chore, meeting new people had taken it’s toll.
Going from desert to snow capped mountains was just ok and not amazing (like it should have been) When people said to me that I was so lucky to live the life I did, I didn’t feel lucky, In fact I started to feel lonely for the first time.
All I was looking forward to was seeing Machu-Picchu and experiencing the Uyuni Salt flats, everything else which I had looked forward to before hand was now missable. There was one more time I felt excited – when I boarded the plane to come home
( I explain how I felt at the time in this post Bubble burst, reality smacks! )
I’m not made for normality.
It’s funny and also a little insight into how my brain works – At the beginning of the year I was completely done with traveling and by the end of the year, I’m chomping at the bit to travel again.
I don’t want to go over the same things as I’ve wrote about previously but as many of you know I came home and felt relieved to not have to travel again. For the first few weeks it was bliss to do nothing and just have home comforts around me. It was great to sit in familiar surroundings but slowly the novelty wore off.
After that initial period reality smacked me in the face, I was back in real life and I had to get a regular 9-5 job. I am back in the rat race living a caged life of sleep, work, eat, repeat – I haven’t had to live this life for nearly 6 years and it has been real tough to adjust back to normality, I mean depressingly tough (I explain more in my previous posts if you want to check them out I’m trying so hard to be a normal person and The grass may not be greener but…)
I needed to come home to get perspective.
Since I started traveling and I think I’ve mentioned this before but one of the things I started to believe in is the saying ‘things happen for a reason‘ and there was a reason I had to come home. It has been far too easy for me to focus on all the negatives these past few months but coming home happened for a reason and now I can see there have been some big positives which have started to blossom. What I mean by this is, if I hadn’t come home I wouldn’t have lived a ‘normal’ life and I wouldn’t have been forced to think hard, to search deep, to look into what I actually want in the future.
Another reason I needed to come home was to realize I actually belong out there in the world and can’t live a life of a caged bird (some of you might understand what I mean by that) which I see as a positive. Another huge positive that has come from being home is this…what I am doing right now – Yes I mean writing and starting this blog.
What was the reason I started to blog? Well it wasn’t something that I had thought of while I was traveling. It actually just came to me, a night, well a couple of days and nights of searching deep within myself when I felt so depressed at being home; I was at my lowest point. I have always been a creative person in fact a year before I left on my first trip in 2010 I even started to write a book (yes this will surprise anybody who knows me personally) but that fell by the wayside as I travelled the world.
Those few days of soul searching while in the abyss of my darkness, ideas started to pop into my head, ideas for my future, things I could do and not unrealistic either. I drew up a plan for my future – A future which includes traveling, writing and a lot more which I can’t indulge on right now, I’ve researched a lot on how to get started and I did. The blog and the words just poured out, like it was meant to be, like this was what I was meant to be doing, that first post just came out so naturally, it wasn’t forced or manufactured it was real.
There wasn’t any expectations though, I didn’t think I’d get many views but people did read, people liked it, people subscribed to me just off that first post, so I continued and here we are 3 months later telling you about my 2016 and all that went on with it.
Now I am under no illusion, I am a novice, a baby in this blogging world and I know there is a lot of hard work in front of me, It’s not going to be easy and not every post just pours out. It’s also going to take a very long time to really establish myself as a real blogger but I am only just getting started with this and with what I have planned for the future. This train hasn’t even left the station yet! But if nothing else 2016 bought me to blogging.
Back to this year – 2016 also bought to light some things and situations in my personal life that wouldn’t necessarily have come out if I had continued to travel, which even though were tough and take, I’m glad they came to light because they have unclouded a lot of situations. Like every year there have been ups and downs, more downs than up this past year but 2016 has set me up for a exciting 2017. I think I may have learn’t more personally and about the direction of my future this past year than in any other year.
If 2010 was known as the year I spread my wings and started to roam the world, which I did for the past 5 and half year – Then 2016 will be known as the year I realized I will and need to forever roam the world!
Finally I want to give a huge thanks to all of you that have subscribed to my blog, to all of you who have liked and shared my posts.
As I mentioned when I started to write I didn’t know what it would be, if it was a phase or a new hobby; I just wanted to see how my writing would get received.
I will be the first to say I don’t have any degrees in writing, I don’t have the best grammar, I don’t even know if I paint pictures with my words – So I am honestly humbled at the amount of views, likes, follows and subscriptions I have had already in just the 4 months I’ve been writing.
2017 will be bigger and better with more actual travel blogs and less complaining about being home. 😀
Thank you and I hope you continue to like what I write 😀 😀