When I first got to Australia it was unreal. I was actually really happy to be in a place where, after 3 months of hopping around, I felt I could begin to relax and settle down in one country for a while. Life started to get a lot easier when I was able to understand the locals – and to an extent, the locals were able to understand me. And it was great, for a while. For the majority of the time I’ve been in Australia actually, but now I know I’m ready for a change. I know I need get back out there and do what I came to do.
With regards to my blog… I think the content of my posts, and the direction they started heading in was also starting to stagnate. I don’t want to be a blog where I just ramble about activities and note every single place I’ve been to, I have my instagram for those moments to be able to track and trace my footsteps. But this blog was, for me, to remember how I was feeling at important points of my trip and somewhere along the way in Australia, I think I kinda forgot that.
Which is why I didn’t want to just write another blog post for the sake of “catching up”. Because who am I catching up with, or for ? I understand I have my faithful readers, who never scroll past a post without clicking on my link and seeing what I’ve been getting up to (and I’m so happy you guys love my posts!). But I think you’ll all agree it’s time to spice it up again. It’s all fine and well looking at photos of the cool stuff I’m getting up to, but this post is gonna be a little different. Its to remind myself that its not all sunshine and rainbows, and if I were to just cover it up and pretend it’s all amazing, then I would be staying true to myself (or you guys). So this blog is to find out what’s going on with me, where I’m at on my trip not just in terms of which country or continent but where my heads at as I’m coming up to my half way point of my trip. So if you wanna skip past this one feel free, but this is as much for myself as it is for anyone reading it.
Admittedly, I’ve been struggling a little bit this month. It’s why my instagram has been slacking, and why my blog posts have been lacking that chuckle-a-minute tone I usually write with. I’ve not been struggling physically – I’m still kicking around keeping active, eating well..maybe eating a little too well but awk well, I’m on my holidays. What’s really bugging me about my health is how I’m coping mentally. And to say I’ve been struggling is actually putting it lightly.
The truth is I’ve hit that crunch point I always get to where I start to miss home. Instead of appreciating my surroundings for what they are; I find myself comparing EVERYTHING to our equivalent that we have “back home”. And it’s really knocked me for six. I’ve never experienced this kind of longing for a place before. For me, a place is only as good as the people in it and I’m usually able to settle anywhere as long as I’m surrounded by good company. But the sound of the waves hitting the beach outside my house, my dogs barking in the garden on a summery night and the rumbling noise of engines as my dad footers with the cars in the driveway is something I can’t seem to get out of my head…
I’m not really sure what brought it all on. Okay, I’m lying. I do know. When I got up to Cairns, and said goodbye to my travel buddies for the final time – instead of feeling empowered and back on my solo journey again. I actually just felt a little lost. And when I got to Perth surrounded by family it just made me realise how much I missed my own family in Scotland. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to laugh and joke in an accent you didn’t have to hide or change to allow people to understand you. And for a brief while I started to settle in and feel like I WAS at home (with a warmer climate). But it wasn’t home, nowhere ever will be when you’re hopping around and changing locations as much as I do. How can anywhere really feel like home when the people you love most in the world are thousands of miles away?
It’s also why the people you meet backpacking start to mean so much, so fast. They become your replacement family, and you become theirs. You’re there for each other when you both need it most, because in a myriad ways, they’re the closest thing you have to home. And just like brothers and sisters, it’s true their little habits can begin to grate on your nerves after a while – it’s inevitable. But when it’s all said and done, and you’re heading your separate ways, you’ll find yourself sat on the pavement bawling your eyes out watching their taxi head out of sight when you realise you’re back on your own again.
And I can’t help but feel like this is a metaphor for the life I’m beginning to lead…
Am I just a traveller in people’s eyes; in people’s lives ? Are my relationships with people defined by how short and fleeting they always seem to be ? I can’t remember the last time I was in a country longer than six months and am I worried that I’m preparing myself for a life like this, unable to settle in one place for any length of time. While it’s exciting to be able to lift and leave whenever you want, is it really what I want for myself ?
I’m on this trip for a reason. I started researching, and putting down deposits at quite a low point of my life. I was drowning in uni work for a triple degree I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to use (cheers, Brexit) and was desperately seeking something to motivate me to work hard for and look forward to.
And not for a second am I saying I regret it. I’m learning more about myself than I’ve ever realised. I’m learning what really makes me happy and unhappy, what makes me excited or raging beyond belief but above all – I’m learning to control my emotions when it all starts to get a little too much. I’m not a stranger to anxiety, and it’s something I really struggled with in my last year of uni from the sheer amount of work I had to get through. But I did get through it, and in a lot of ways I know I’m a better person for sticking it out and finishing.
It’s hard right now, but I know it’ll get easier when I’m in a new place with new things to see and do. Maybe 3 months in Australia was too long ? Maybe I started to settle here unintentionally and develop a bit of a comfort zone I’m now a bit scared to let go of. And I really don’t want to go home, home. I’m not ready yet. I’ve still got so much I want to see and do over the next year and as much as I miss my friends and family – I know they’ll be raging with me if I came home prematurely.
Travellers who say it’s all hunky dory every second of every day are lying. And it’s important to highlight the fact that EVERYONE struggles sometimes. The strongest people are the ones that bow down and admit their weakness and in the end, we learn more from what we struggle through than what we breeze past.
So if there’s anything I can take away from this whole experience, aside from the cracking adventures I’m able to have with the fantastic people I’m able to meet – I think I’m finally beginning to recognise myself again, after a lot of years of thinking the old megs was gone for good.
Just bear with me for a while.
It’s all thrilling and exciting and emotions running wild. But I’m still a kid at heart, and sometimes a kid just needs a cuddle from her mammy.