Sometimes, when you’re sat there having done nothing completely unusual recently, just plodding about in your everyday life, it is difficult to conjure up a blog post and make it interesting. Thankfully, two and a half years ago I wrote a draft post that I had totally forgotten about until now.
All that time ago, I wrote a set of questions to my future (now present) self and here’s what was bugging me back then before I embarked on the adventure of living and working overseas.
1. Is hay fever just as bad in South East Asia as it is in the middle of a field in Spalding? My eyes are streaming and my sneezes smell of rape.
I wouldn’t know… I never made it to South East Asia. In 2013, Thailand was the pipe dream and I was convinced that SEA would be the first place I’d explore. I’m not sure if I felt disappointment or sheer bemusement that my first one way flight out of England was to… *drum roll, please* EUROPE. It wasn’t even a short trip… I spent the next year of my life there. I spent at least four months on the butt end of jokes about my ULTIMATE WORLD TRAVEL PLANS taking me to the exotic corners of Benidorm (actually a lie… I worked in Salou). However, I don’t regret it one little bit.
And no, hay fever isn’t as shit in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Malta, Italy or Andorra as it is in England.
2. What is the best way of handling your period when you’re travelling a lot, don’t always have access to toilets and are sometimes so far out that you can’t find tampons?
Firstly, tampons are available pretty much everywhere I have been. It’s much harder to get THAT far off the beaten path than originally anticipated. Secondly, the best thing I ever did in regards to controlling my heathen, woman body is getting the IUD fitted… which stopped my periods. Thus making 48 hour train rides far more comfortable and a lot less stressful.
3. How am I going to find cartridges for my Wilkinson Sword? I struggle now!
I lost the sword in the first few days. Problem solved.
4. How bad will I allow my roots to get before I have to either shave my head and start afresh or find some hair dye?
Roots are in… or so I tell myself. In actual fact, when I left England (the first time) my hair was beginning to resemble it’s natural colour (“essence of dirty rat”). In the last two years, I haven’t dyed my hair once, which doesn’t mean to say that I haven’t wanted to… it’s just that the sun does a pretty good job of lightening it in the summer and in the winter I wear a hat.
5. Did we save enough money and were our budgets reasonable? Did we stick to ANY of our plans?
WE did save enough money, yes. But WE didn’t get very far before our relationship imploded. Solo travel can sometimes be far more expensive than travelling in a pair so my budget after that went to pot. Travelling as a group was again evidently cheaper when a different WE attempted to crack Australia. All the time that we stuck together we could just about manage to afford a shared room in a house in Adelaide, but as soon as we became unstuck it became apparent that I couldn’t afford to live there… even whilst working.
In other circumstances it totally pays to go solo. You can often get away with free travel, upgrades and many other non-monetary perks that you don’t get to enjoy when travelling in an ensemble.
Ps. Budgets are pants – save more money and actually do the things you went there to do.
6. Have you ditched anything that you packed or bought anything extra?
Yes, yes and yes. And yes some more. After just three months living out of a carry on size bag I had to replace certain items of clothing that were suddenly threadbare. I make a habit of shopping in sales when they are on and hoarding items for summer when I’m in the depths of winter. I hope to start taking a little leaf out of Brenna’s book over at This Battered Suitcase now that I have a much slower approach to travelling (and a much larger suitcase); I want to start a collection of traditional or typical clothing from the cultures that I have been lucky enough to enjoy.
7. How do you shave your legs in a cold, trickling shower when you claim you can’t do it unless you’re sat in a smouldering bath?
Of all the many showers I have sampled across the world since 2013, none were as bad as the one we had at home in Spalding. When the showers did seem to be as bad (or worse) than that, I just didn’t bother. Resulting in maybe 5-6 days of not showering. Gross, I know… But aint nobody got time for crappy showers.
8. How homesick/guilty have you felt since leaving?
It’s getting better, but I still feel guilty at times for enjoying certain things without Mum and Dad. Sometimes I think, Mum would absolutely love this, and then I get a bit sad that she’s not there. I felt mega homesick during my winter season in Andorra and if it weren’t for Gabriella I would never have made it to the end. When I did finally get to go home, my flight was cancelled and I was stranded in Barcelona (a city I hate) for three days. Despite being in a super fancy hotel with three buffet meals a day I just couldn’t wait to get home… and in all honesty? I hated the fact I was leaving again in a couple of months.
9. Have you felt underwhelmed by anything so far?
Yes, I have. But nothing too major. There’s obviously the odd city that isn’t as pretty or exciting as you first thought, but these things are what you make of them. I wouldn’t even go as far as to say that Australia was underwhelming, and therefore the reason that I came home. In fact… it was so overwhelmingly overwhelming that I had to leave because I had gotten lost in the sea of stereotypical backpacking. There’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle, but I wanted something different… and Australia couldn’t give me that.
Oh, and I’m “too soft.” That’s what the Aussies say.
10. Are you coming back to England any time soon?
If you’ve not been following MOOMADs let me tell you that this is the most ironically named blog that I can think of. And no, I did not intend it to be when I was discussing it’s name in a pub with my Mum, after three bottles of Prosecco. Moving Out Of Mum And Dad’s was supposed to be a one time thing! OK, maybe a two time thing… to uni and back and then to the rest of the world. But since 2013 I have moved back IN to my Mum and Dad’s house no less than three times with every intention of moving back in again come June this year.
Am I ashamed? Hell no. Being at Mum and Dad’s is like being on holiday for me and it’s the part of the year that I look forward to the most.
To sum up the last two and half years, I have been on a journey of discovery (BORK). I have realised that I have skills that are neither needed or sought after in England and my undying need to reinvent myself on a 6 month to yearly basis is easily possible when relocating to a brand new country.
If you enjoyed my little ramble, please feel free to leave me a little something something in the comment box below.