This blog is coming to you from my bedroom. Not a guesthouse, hostel or beachfront cafe, but my bedroom on the horrifically rainy Wirral. I mean, is one week of good weather really all that June could manage? After months of sunshine, this grey gloom feels like the biggest culture shock. I’m surrounded by my belongings with a power shower and plenty of food in the kitchen. It should be great, right? Well, I’m definitely not complaining about the shower situation but I’m also sat here trying to figure out where time went! It feels weird to talk about ‘life after travelling’ – like I’ll never leave the country again! – but I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s a really tough transition!
Booking our flight home was tough – I even had a bit of a cry – but it felt surreal up until the last minute. On our last day in Kuala Lumpur, as we laughed at monkeys in the Batu Caves, it was weird to think that I’d be home in just 48 hours. I remember looking out the window of our taxi on the way to the airport as the city was just waking up around us, taking it all in one last time. The unbelievable humidity, the different languages and sounds of the call to prayer. And before I knew it, we were on the plane waving goodbye to our ninth and final country.
When I left my job last July to travel, it felt like endless time stretching before me but here I am almost a year later! I’ve been terrified of coming home from travelling because I’ve basically been living in a bubble for months. Even though social media means that you rarely feel far from home these days, there’s none of that accountability. Escaping from responsibility for a few months is something I’ll always appreciate being able to do. But this changed as soon as our flight touched the ground when the questions began. Are you looking for a job? Are you going to settle down now? Where will you live? Even though I was expecting this, it’s strange to feel pressured to have your life and plan ‘sorted’ when last month, I didn’t even know which country I’d be in next week.
I haven’t experienced the dramatic crash of coming home that I thought I would. There have been a couple of moments where my stomach drops and panic sets in. And yes, those moments are as bad as they sound. But generally bits of freelance work, blogging and life admin keep me busy enough to maintain a sense of purpose. If there’s one piece of advice I can give to others trying to adjust to live back home, it’s to find that purpose! And that doesn’t necessarily mean having a plan or knowing what you want out of life. It means occupying your day in a way that’s enjoyable and productive. Having something to do is hugely important in stopping me from vegging on the sofa with only Jeremy Kyle for company.
So what does this all mean for Wander with Laura?
While I’m not travelling full time anymore, my bucket list is full to the brim. Where Australia and Vietnam once sat at the top, I’ve now been dreaming of Japan, the Philippines and New York. And while I won’t have as much time to explore, I’ll always fit in as many trips as humanly possible. In the meantime, there’s a whole load of new content that I’ve still got to create. We spent a whole month in Vietnam which I haven’t covered on here at all yet! Alongside the travel posts that’ll still be coming thick and fast, I’m looking forward to weaving in some more foodie bits. Think finding vegetarian food in Asian cities, my favourite restaurants here in Liverpool and maybe even the odd recipe. I’m also hoping to spend time improving my photography!
I’d also love to hear what you want to see more of. I’ve been doing this for a long time now so it always helps to get some fresh feedback from you guys!