Post-Travel Blues: Back To The 3-hour Commute

It’s already been now a month since I came back from Japan. Where did all that time go? I can remember almost everything so vividly during my 3-week trip and yet I cannot remember what I had for breakfast last weekend.

The past month has been hard adjusting back to, although 3-weeks in Japan is relatively short compared to other travellers going on 3-month, 6-month or even year-long trips.

I never thought post-travel blues was a real thing after coming back from my first proper trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2014. I did expect I’d feel the same way after Japan, but this is on a different scale.

[The featured image is of a Buddhist monk that I have encountered when exploring Tō-ji temple in Kyoto, Japan.]

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Climbing Welsh Mountains!

I did not know what I signed up for nor did I know what to expect. Back in November, I received a generic email sent to the county organisation that I am a part of about participating in a weekend of mountaineering in the heart of Snowdonia in the cold winter of January. “Who’d want to do that?” I asked myself as I was sat by my laptop in my hotel room during a business trip. And at that very moment, I thought “heck, why not? What do I have to lose?” and signed up for it. It’s a new experience and the weekend will only cost £50 for hostel accommodation and food. I never knew much about where I’ll be going, who else will I  be going with and what exactly I will be doing, but I wanted to be spontaneous and try something new. So I replied to the email, transferred the cost over, and confirmed my place for this trip.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

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Flights booked, Japan here I come!

Happy New Year, everyone! The first post of the year and this first week has been great for progress on my travel plans.  There wasn’t too much to do at work and after confirming that I want to travel to Japan this year, I spent the whole week searching on Google Flights and Skyscanner for cheap flights from London to Tokyo.

Firstly I had to decide on a time frame and I knew I wanted to take advantage of using the bank holidays in England which are Good Friday, Easter Monday and the Early May Bank Holiday, so I narrowed it down to leave on or before the 14th April (Good Friday) and arrive back in England on or after the 1st May (Early May Bank Holiday). Both Google Flights and Skyscanner have been really useful tools because I can work out which date has the cheapest deals and I managed to find return flights on suitable dates for around £400! On Google Flights, I have also used a feature to track prices of flights I wish to save and also get alerted on any price increases and decreases.

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Discover Your Life Purpose and Write it Down!

Some time ago, I watched a video, read a blog post, or scrolled down my Facebook feed and encountered some sort of guide to discovering your life purpose. I can vaguely remember what’s been said, but I did find an old text file hidden away in a folder on my laptop. Reading the text file jogged my memory a little bit. I remember jotting down about the hobbies I enjoy, the people I love and the goals and ambitions I want to pursue.

As a result, this is what is contained in the text file:

22/10/2016 21:25

“What is my true purpose in life?

To do what makes for a good story – living a life of adventures and without regrets. Seeing what there is of the world – the cultures, environment, and experiences that forms into the sphere we call Earth. To discover our potential, limitations and possibilities and grow and develop into someone with wisdom, stories and lessons to pass on to the future generations. By travel, sometimes into the unknown, carrying risk and responsibilities in the hope of reward and experiences.”

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Your Life Stories, Lessons and Plans

“Learn from the past,  live in the present, plan for the future” – Audrey Farrell.

During a recent business trip, I had opportunities to have meals out with my colleagues whom I don’t really talk too much in the office as I am in a different team. As an Apprentice, it was especially important to not just learn about the job and what it entails, but also about working life and the stories and lessons learnt by colleagues that are far older and wiser than me.

A man in his mid-50s emphasised the importance of doing things while I am still young: to travel the world and to live and love without regrets. He told me about his time in the Royal Air Force and more about his life regrets and ambitions. He was a bit more drunk further on in our conversation and mentioned a lot about his love life, but I won’t go there, but there is more to come later.

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So, Who Are You Travelling With?

As the title suggests, I get this question asked a lot. Recently, I confirmed plans for my first ever solo travel trip! The kind of questions I am getting asked now are usually the Five W’s and the One ‘H’. That is ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘When’, ‘Where’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’. I’ll answer them now as I’m sure they’ll be Frequently Asked Questions in the near future.

Who?! Just me, simple as that. I’ve decided after going on family trips to Barcelona, Spain; the Isle of Wight, England; and camping with a group in Haverfordwest, Wales, this summer. I wanted a personal challenge and I feel that backpacking (travelling on a budget) on my own (but not alone) meets that challenge. Initially, I have asked friends if they wanted to go, but due to university, time, and money, there was not one that would want to commit to such an adventure. I think it will be more fulfilling taking on this challenge as I’m at the prime age (19) to be going off on my own adventures and growing independent.

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