My life at the minute is seemingly as sweet as it gets to the average 9-5 onlooker. Throughout University I worked part time and manged to self-fund two different 2 month long backpacking trips to Australia and Central America, and since uprooting myself at graduation from the tiny bit of routine normality I was anchored to, I’ve travelled 4 continents, 15 different countries, and spent the winter working in an Alpine Ski resort.
So yeah, I guess ‘nice’ is a bit of an understatement. Life has been full of adventure, fun, new experiences, new friends… and, well, everything I’ve ever really wanted from life.
But now comes the awkward inbetween-y bit. The necessary limbo that comes between travel and fun and all of those idealistic fantasies becoming realities. This is where I find myself currently. I’m back in my small, extremely sub standard town just North of Nottingham, staying in my parents house, and trying to keep my temporarily very boring life from driving me to insanity.
These states of limbo are necessary at this point – I need money to pay off a rather excessive student overdraft whilst making plans for the next big adventure. But when you don’t have your own house, have a degree in, fundamentally, reading books, and all of your friends seem to be getting on with their lives, it leaves you with an abundance of spare time to ponder the lifestyle in which you may have chosen to lead.
The nomadic life is one that I have actively chosen. It’s not that I want it, I kind of feel like I need it. Two months backpacking did nothing to quell my hunger for travel, it only worked up an appetite. So really, settling down and ‘getting on my with my life’ in the conventional way, at least, just isn’t an option.
But in this plethora of free time I’ve suddenly found on my hands, I do start to question myself. Is this really how I’m going to live my life? Am I really not going to get a ‘proper’ job and get rid of this depressing overdraft and experience the security (or novelty as it seems at the minute) of having money in the near future? Am I going to, inevitably, sacrifice friendships and relationships to move around the world as and when I please? And that’s just the start. As time slowly drags on, the questions become statements. Big, dramatic, scary statements… I’ll never have any friends! I’ll slowly but surely transform into that crazy old hippy woman who sits in a world of her own in the corner of a hostel! I’ll never get married! I’ll never have kids! I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE AND NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO RECOVER MY BODY BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHERE THE HELL IT’S GOING TO BE??!?!?!?!?!?!
But then I chill the bloody hell out, and realise that this job-house-husband-kids scenario isn’t a necessary part of life. We’re all kind of told that that is the path we should take, the path of a secure and stable life and society. But how many people achieve all of these ‘necessities’ only to wake up at 45, 3 stone heavier, 3 times lazier, and full of 25 years worth of failed aspirations and discarded dreams?
Let’s roll all of those inspirational time-old cliches into one big perspective filled picture: Money is, apparently, the root of all evil, an excessive amount will never do you any good. ‘Friends’ who are friends will always be there. Relationships will come and go until the right one comes along no matter where in the world you are. And you know what? That crazy old woman in the corner of the hostel always looks pretty content with her lot in life anyway.