Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about life.
Not the meaning of or why we’re here or any of that philosophical malarkey. No. Just about my own life.
You know, wondering where it’s all heading and especially wondering when is someone going to hurry up and wife me.
That last part is a joke.
I mean, I do often lie awake at night sometimes wondering why some dashing young Prince Charming hasn’t swept me off my feet yet, but my state of consciousness is more to do with the copious amounts of caffeine I’m likely to have consumed that day and not the question itself.
But still, especially now that I’m 24 and old I find myself staring at the ceiling and wondering what on earth am I doing with my life?!
I’ve asked myself the same question quite often almost every year since I was about sixteen, and the fact that I don’t know has never really bothered me before. But recently? Oh my days, when I come to the conclusion that I still have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, I swear I spiral into the beginning stages of an early-life crisis.
Almost daily on Facebook People who once loaned me a pen in secondary school are popping up on my Newsfeed having babies and getting married and owning homes and getting dogs and being all grown up and stuff. I look at their picture and updates and I really am happy for them. Or as happy as I can be for someone I’ve probably only ever said three words to in my life (like, why are we even Facebook friends?!) anyway.
Then I take a look at myself in the imaginary mirror inside my head.
And when I realise that unlike them, I don’t even have a permanent address let alone my own home, I have no car (don’t even have a license, lol @ me), no dog, no stable job and all that comes with it, a sense of panic washes over me and I switch to survival mode by doing what I do best… book a flight. Because travel is a good enough excuse not to adult, right?
Some people panic buy milk and bread. I panic buy flights.
It first happened back in June.
When I had to temporarily excuse myself from my own trip (because the new girlfriend of my ex who, up until that point I’d been amicably travelling with, had flown over for a nice romantic holiday with him and I would have made the most awkward
and angry third wheel on that trip) and was feeling sorry for myself in my hotel room, it hit me that for the first time in almost six years I was properly single.
It was simultaneously a terrifying and liberating feeling.
Suddenly I could do anything I wanted to and go anywhere I wanted for however long I wanted without having to worry about holding anyone back from living their life. The excitement got a bit too much so I did what I think anyone in my situation would have done and used my credit card to book a trip to Latvia this December. Why Latvia? Because a return was less than £50, the dates were convenient and I kind of fancy going to a Christmas market.
The next day I woke up absolutely buzzing with excitement about the trip, even though I was (and still am) in the middle of a marathon 8-month trip visiting 13 countries across three continents. I found myself googling images of Latvia in winter, finding out the best cuisine and researching what to see and do in Riga to make the most of the short few days I’ll have there.
And somehow, somewhere along the way I ended up back on the Wizzair website booking a cheap one-way flight to Romania for – against my better judgement – January. It was going to be a three, maybe four week adventure making my way overland through Eastern Europe until I got to I don’t know, Poland or something, when I’d fly home. Then it became a trip ending in Israel. Then it changed to Armenia and Georgia.
Last night I spent way too much time contemplating the potential long-term effects of Brexit (late to the party, I know), so now you can forget any of the previous countries. Because I bought a flight from Berlin to some random city I’ve never heard of before in Montenegro next February. Montenegro, of all places. Do you have any idea what there is in Montenegro?! Because I sure as anything don’t, but I guess I’ll be finding out in a few months.
Now the “simple little trip” is a monster of a journey through the deepest depths of Europe in the dead of winter. I’m coming back without toes.
This is a bit of a pointless, rambling kind of post but basically I just wanted to reassure both myself and anyone else who sometimes wonders if they should be baking homemade apple strudel for your hubby and six kids by now that it actually doesn’t matter.
What I’ve realised is that I use travel.
I use it to enjoy myself, to experience the world and to learn a heap of new things. But I also use it to procrastinate; to put off leading a conventional life that I know some day I will want, but not right now.