For the past few years, I’ve had a very severe case of itchy feet; a yearning to drop everything and head off into the unknown. It’s not like I’ve been stuck in the rainy UK with no chance of parole – in fact, I’ve been extremely lucky in being able to have brilliant holidays, including some to very far flung places with enough tropical beaches and palm trees to satisfy anyone’s craving for paradise.
But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to go for longer than a couple of weeks, to have the chance to forget about everything back home, to explore lots of places in one go. I wanted to be able to be one of those annoying people who start conversations with “when I was travelling…” Not that I would start conversations like that, you understand, having had it done to me many a time, but having the ability to so do would be appreciated.
It’s often said that good things come to those who wait, and it’s certainly true for me. After some pretty serious discussions about The Future and Our Jobs and What Do We Actually Want To Do With Our Lives, S and I came to the decision last year that in 2012 we were going to take a bit of a leap, quit our jobs and take some time off to go travelling.
So we did. And we are. We’re going to be gone for three months, between August and November.
Want to see the route?
The overall itinerary is a month in South America, three weeks in Australia, a week in Bali and three weeks in India, plus 2-4 days in each of our stopover places that were requirements of the plane tickets – Miami, Santiago, Auckland, Singapore and Bangkok (on the basis that since we have to go through them anyway, we want to see more than the inside of an airport). We’ll also probably cross over into Bolivia too, as we’ll be travelling overland from Peru to Chile and the lure of Lake Titicaca is too strong to ignore.
We planned this in much the same way we planned our wedding: after dinner, over a bottle of red, with the help of the internet. It’s the fault of the wine that we’re stopping off in Bali but I don’t think we’ll regret it.
So far, things seem to be working out well. S handed his notice in for his job late last year and has taken a new six month maternity cover position that finishes in August. The aim is for him to have another job lined up for when we get back in November, so there’s some job security for at least one of us. My freelance work can be put on hold for the duration with a little bit of forward planning, and it’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll be made redundant in August from my part time job. As I planned to quit this job anyway, ending up with a redundancy payout means I’ll actually be better off financially before we go.
The leap has been made, the tickets have been bought and a new passport has been applied for. And having now got over the few panicky moments of wondering whether we’re doing the right thing, I can. not. wait. Any advice/suggestions/must sees for any of the places we’re visiting?