I am writing this as I await for the second leg of the flight from Frankfurt to Singapore. I cannot believe this dream of backpacking again is happening 2 years later. The original inspiration stemmed from my backpacking trip to Australia. Landing in Australia, I didn’t have the slightest idea of how that would turn out. I knew about the working holiday options, but I didn’t realize how popular this visa was until I got to Australia. Seeing other backpackers going through the working holiday visa experience makes me feel like it’s a missed opportunity that I longed to pursue in New Zealand before I am over the age limit.
Here I am en route to New Zealand. I no longer desire to go on a working holiday in New Zealand. There are too many other places I want to visit. Currently, I have a rough plan to spend 2-3 months in New Zealand, 2-3 months in South East Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, etc.) to volunteer, 3 months in Japan for the tea farming internship, and then see where things go from there. Similar to my experience in Australia, I expect this plan to change dramatically once I get into the groove of backpacking. I try to remind myself to differentiate making travels that I can accomplish via a vacation versus something I need to quit a job for.
Similar to a post I blogged for my pre departure for Australia, the decisions to travel and the emotional battles get tougher every time. Somewhere along the way, I lost the reason why I wanted to travel. I am writing this to remind myself that I am doing this because I felt like I was in a hole and an endless cycle in my post-grad life of just working and looking forward to weekends. I need a break to reevaluate my career choices and next steps. I need to be away from the unmotivated to reboot my long retired drive to strive.
I try not to have too high hopes in this journey. Taken with a heavy heart from my cousin’s advice to “not make a big deal of out things”. While this is a life changing decision and may dictate where my future leads, things would be taken lightly and not expect this experience for where I “find myself”. I never really imagined that this would be a soul searching adventure, but just time off to refresh my mind and really think about what I want to do next.
The days leading to my departure was an emotional turmoil. I questioned if I made the correct decision to quit and leave my comfort zone. I’ll miss the home I complain about. I miss the people I whine endlessly about. But for all these reasons, it proves that I made the right choice. I am getting older and more comfortable with routine. I should fight this feeling and lifestyle for as long as I can. We should not settle and stick to a routine this early in life. I don’t know if this travel would change my mindset or really provide me with some lifelong memories to carry me forward as I reenter the “real world” after this journey draws to an end. At this point, I shouldn’t focus on what I can get out of this journey, but to relax and enjoy.
Despite the many tears I shed leading to this day, I feel calm as I board the flight to Singapore. I hope I look back at this post years later and laugh at my insecurities and worries for one of the best decisions I ever made.