Over the past two years, while we’ve been back in the UK, we’ve flirted with dozens of different possibilities about what the next step may be for us. We’ve eyed up working as a chalet couple in Italy, camp counselling in the US, teaching English in China or even trying to find work on the cruise ships. We have fluttered our eyelashes at Thailand, Spain, Italy, The US, Canada, Central America, Central Asia and Africa. We’ve tried our best lines with many a travel agent to get ourselves the best possible deal. And now at last we’ve found the plan of our dreams. We’re crazy about each other and we’ve decided we’re ready to take that next step and commit.
Our dreams are taking shape before our eyes. We build on them, slowly but steadily, every day. We have taken the foundations of inspiration and passion and begun to construct ourselves a more solid vision of the future. Bricks of excitement are lain over a mortar of certainty. Each step we take and each item ticked off the ‘to-do’ list creates windows of possibility and doors to the unknown. Rooms are ready and waiting to be decorated with memories. Shelves stand empty, waiting to be adorned with the joys of meeting new people and discovering new places.
After weeks of searching endlessly on airline websites and flight comparison engines, we have finally booked all of our flights for this year. We will be spending two months in South East Asia, six weeks back in the UK, 3 months in South America, 10 days in the UK and then a one-way flight takes us to New Zealand. An unexpected addition to the plans includes a nine day sailing course which will get us up to the level required to charter our own boats. We have the most exciting year ahead of us and it’s just about all I can manage to stay seated at my desk when all I really want to do is run up and down the office whooping in anticipation. In the coming year we will:
- Travel to at least ten countries, possibly 11
- Visit the beautiful Angkor Wat
- Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Piccu
- Learn to sail
- Volunteer at a school in Peru
- Take Spanish lessons
- Gain our advanced open water in Scuba Diving
- Visit Tokyo on our way to New Zealand
- Spend Christmas and New Years in the Southern Hemisphere
- Hike in Patagonia
- Visit the end of the world (Tierra del Fuego)
- Celebrate my 25th Birthday somewhere in the middle of South East Asia
And, I’m sure there will be many more unexpected and surprising adventures. Almost as much as I am looking forward to the big ‘bucket list’ type experiences I am also excited about the more subtle differences we will encounter this year:
- More treasured time with families
- More time to spend together as a couple – opposite working patterns are pretty limiting at the moment
- More time outside as we’re not cooped up in the workplace – bring on some much needed sunshine!
- Time to read
- More exercise
- Slowing ourselves down and not living at the hectic pace which London demands
- A better diet as we’re not snacking through boredom
- The opportunity to clear out almost all of our belongings – minimising is already having a hugely cathartic effect.
- I hope to gain an appreciation of the time we do spend in London
- I hope to gain more belief in our ability to find a way to live a permanently unconventional life – who knows where our sailing skills may lead us
- A tan!
Although I’m counting down the days until our adventure starts I don’t want to wish away the days. We’ve got so much we need to do to get ourselves ready and we want to make the most of the time we have to spend here. We have the wonderful opportunity to thoroughly clear out our belongings and I fully intend to make the most of it. Leaving family and friends behind is the part I don’t even want to consider at this point, but I want to make sure I take the time to enjoy their company as much as possible while we are here.
In the meantime, I love this feeling of anticipation; to feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins as I consider all of the ways my life is going to turn upside down this year. I love the pressure of deadlines in which everything has to be done due to an impending departure date.
I am enjoying having a light at the end of the tunnel; a tangible feeling of change is in the air.
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