100 days travelling but already a lifetime of stories
Want to cause a debate at a table of backpackers, then ask them what day of the week it is. There’s only a few reasons backpackers will know this instantly: they’ve either booked a flight recently, had an important family member or friends birthday or they’ve just got a fetish for calendars. Everyone else works in “the day after next I’m heading to…” without ever mentioning what day that is, as they don’t have a clue.
So how the hell do I know I’ve been away for 100 days when I don’t even know if it’s Saturday or Sunday? We’re in 2016 so of course an app on my phone notifies me it’s been 100 days I’ve been travelling for. Yup, 3 and a bit months. Now normally, I too don’t know what day of the week it is, nor care how many days I’ve been travelling for, but a few of my travel buddies out here post a photo a day on their instragam “Day 56: sunset in Kuala Lumpur” etc and it got me thinking, how many days have I been away for? So of course I didn’t bother counting, I just downloaded an app and it told me instantly. It’s now notified me today I’ve hit triple figures in the number of days I’ve been travelling. 100 days gone just like that.
While many people I meet on the road have their journeys come to an end after this amount of time, mine feels like I’m just starting and finding the right gear.
I’ve had some say I’m lucky, others congratulate me on saving that amount of money to be able to go travelling for such a long time, others confess that they just want to go home after 3 months and living out of a backpack.
I Facetimed a mate the other day. She asked me what I’d been up to recently:
“Well in the last few days I went to the Perhentian Islands which are like paradise, I did 3 scuba dives there including a wreck dive and a night dive, I went snorkelling and swam with turtles and sharks, I then went to a national park and did a night safari in a 4 X 4 and saw leopards and other wildlife in the wild, I then hiked around the national park and did the longest rope canopy in the world and now I’m in Cameron Islands were I hiked to a viewpoint of 6,666ft today and then had to hitch hike back to my hostel”.
There’s a momentary pause and then she replies “wow I think you’ve done more in the last 3 months than I have in my lifetime”.
The scary thing? Those few days I told her about were the abridged version, it didn’t mention the awesome people you meet out here, the scenery, the atmosphere, nor what happens on a beach after the bars sell everyone an individual bottle of vodka.
Where do I even start with the days before that? The mad nights out in Bangkok, learning to scuba dive in the Thai islands, going to a Full Moon Party, having a mud bath with elephants, tubing in Laos, watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, swimming with whale sharks, completing 24 scuba dives including Japanese World War II wrecks and diving with some of the most amazing wildlife from thousands of sardines to turtles, thresher sharks and manta rays, to then quad biking around an active volcano and camping overnight on deserted island. Once again so abridged that it pains me the stuff I haven’t included, like the friends I know I have made for life out here.
I’m fully aware the longer I’m out here the harder it will be to come home and readjust. Just like a relationship, the longer you’re with them, the harder it is to split and get use to your new life without them. However I’m prepared for this and I’m not ready to come home and readjust just yet.
All I do know is mates comment about how I’m the happiest they seen me for awhile, and yes they’ve called it, I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. I love England, I love my friends and family but I’m not ready to come home yet. I know this is what I need now in my life. When will I be ready to return home? Maybe in another 100 days? Maybe in 1000 days? Who knows?
Maybe I should just be happy with the last 100 days and call it quits? But that would be boring and I’d be forever regretting that, and my list of countries I want to visit grows by the day (I’ve been recommended Papa New Guinnea twice in the last few weeks, that’s a sign right?). Plus you don’t end an relationship at its happiest even if you know there is heartache still to come and I’m not ending my travels yet when life is this bloody good.