This one time, I went travelling.
I was suppose to have been gone for three months with my sister, Jo, lapping up the wonders that Oz, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Vietnam had to offer. I say ‘suppose to’ because after only 5 weeks, I was back home on British soil.
I should start by rewinding a little bit really. After a truly horrid year, my sister and I had decided that distant shores, a dose of culture plus time to reflect and recharge our batteries was a fab idea. This coupled with me turning 30, seemed like the most fab idea to me. So 6 months prior to departure from London’s finest airport, we started planning our trip.
In the midst of all this planning, little did I know that I’d meet the love-of-my-life. They say true love never runs smoothly and in our case it most certainly didn’t. Both of us the wrong side of 30, and fresh from long term relationships, our worlds collided. And then smashed and burned.
Less than 2 months into our courtship (I’m so British aren’t I?), Wayne decided to end it. Not exactly thrilled at this, I decided it was probably for the best as some Aussie hunk would undoubtedly take interest in me I thought and declare he was some mining magnate and off I’d go and live a fab life down under, complete with sun, surf and barbies and beautiful little blonde surfer children.
Wayne put an end to all that, of course.
With less than a week before I was due to fly out to Sydney, he declared his undying love for me (6 weeks had passed since we’d parted ways). So I flew out to Oz with a heavy heart, knowing I’d miss him dearly (I’ve said before he’s the funniest and wittiest and not to mention hottest chap I’ve ever met) and that it would be a long 3 months apart.
Or so I thought.
Wayne lived in Oz you see many moons ago, having fallen in love with a native and running off to follow her. Safe to say that as I pummelled the streets of Sydney and took in her breathtaking splendours, even though I was as far away from home as one could get, the European familiarity of the city made me homesick for my beloved…
Finished with Oz, off we trotted on our Qantas flight bound for South East Asia and first stop was a bit closer to home, India.
I hated India. It’s a long story and one for another day, but I have no interest in ever visiting India again. Having survived on boiling Pepsi (yes, you read correctly, boiling as it was so hot, the Pepsi boiled in the bottle!) and out of date Mars bars and crisps, almost dying on our first and last Tuk Tuk ride, being taken unwittingly to the other side of Delhi against our wishes, having air con turned off at 10pm in a paid hotel room (WTF?),my sister sleeping in soaking wet cold towels and touring a country where every man looked at my little sister as though they were about to abduct her, it’s safe to say that I doubt India will ever want me to visit again.
Cutting our tour short without even making it to the Taj Mahal, we took the first Jet airways flight out of Delhi at midnight one night with the help of a kind Indian businessman who, without his help, I’m almost certain that night I’d have ended up in an Indian prison after being threatened by a member of the Indian army about not having a non validated ticket to exit the country (hence the kind businessman assisting us).
Back on Thai soil, we headed where all travellers head – straight to Koh Samui for some R&R. Whether it was the beautiful sun, landscape or hospitality I’m not entirely sure, but it hit us like a thunderbolt. My sister and I weren’t cut out for travelling.
Before my departure I’d had a very good job with a Spanish bank and enjoyed a rather boring life of work, work and a bit more work. So when I announced I was taking a sabbatical to go travelling, my colleagues almost wet themselves. me, travel? How ridiculous was the reply. Bets were dually placed that I wouldn’t last a week… I lasted 6.
No I found that I don’t like hostels, no air con, living on a budget and cheaper means of travel. But most of all I wasn’t cut out for travelling, not because my sister and I clashed (we didn’t), but because it was the wrong time of my life to travel. I was running away from my problems (I’d recently lost Mummy) and inadvertently, I’d run away from the love of my life.
Always there, on my mind, I missed Wayne like I’d never missed anyone. I’ve always been the most selfish person I know (I’ll be the first to admit this). I’d always put myself and my needs before anyone else; happily forsaking everyone else as I was always so career minded, determined and focused. No one was getting in my way. And then he happened.
I knew when I flew out from London that I wouldn’t last the 3 months but I was determined. So I managed 6 weeks and not 3 months; of course everyone at work was quick to assume that me and traditional travelling hadn’t gone hand in hand, no they hadn’t in the holistic view of everything, but of course if destiny was to have her way, I was never going to stay away for 3 months was I?
The point of this blog wasn’t to humour you with tales of my travels, I may share those with you one day, but it was to labour the point to take a chance. Take a chance on travel, take a chance on love. I did both and it’s funny how sometimes, despite our best attempts to change the course of our lives, sometimes just sometimes, the universe has a way of throwing it right back at you.
Whatever you may be contemplating in life, just do it. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not meant to be; like me and travelling. But I’ve a wonderful husband to be and a beautiful and adorable son and had I not taken a chance and come home, my destiny may have been all too different.