‘We boarded the plane, and forgot England ever existed’. It is funny but that quote from the beach is so true. Before I left home, I remember being a wreck. The butterflies wouldn’t leave me alone, and I was so terrified about leaving home. I started to doubt myself, having random epic panic attacks and breaking down in the supermarket on the shoulder of a complete stranger. The funny thing is, I’ve been away for 7 months, and I’ve completely forgotten about home. But now that my money had inexplicably vanished from my bank account, I am forced with the reality of returning to Jersey. Waaaah.
I have the same nervous, pant wetting feeling that I experienced before I left for this very trip. My home has become the girls and my rucksack. I feel completely mortified at the prospect of returning to Jersey. And by the time you read this, I will indeed by home. Even as I write this, my eyes are practically popping out of my head. ‘Oh good God’ is the phrase rotating around my head like a merry-go-around. I can’t believe it. 14 days and I’ll be home. I could barely enter my bank details in order to purchase my LDN-JER flight because it felt like I was giving up the fight. Surrendering to the beginning of the end.
In reality, I don’t want to go home EVER! I want to stay living out of the very rucksack I am currently perched, whilst on writing this horrific article!
I don’t want to succumb to a life where I cant learn a new language every day, where I cant rent a tank and go and explore the beautiful blue, where I cant simply just ‘find’ a mountain to trek up, sleep in the jungle, or walk up the face of a volcano. I want to live in this dream forever! With only the responsibility of money, a rucksack and where I am going to sleep tonight.
The idea of a job utterly breaks my heart. I cast my mind back to what seems like another lifetime. Did I really work? What else did I do? Oh yeah, nothing, because I was always working. Oh. Well that’s rather dull really. 14 days, 14 days and I’m done for! Back to boring bloody reality!!
The thing that excites me, of course, is seeing the beautiful faces of my lovely family, Team Steam, and all of my wonderful friends. I now understand what they meant when they said that coming home felt like a separate life to the one they lived at University. I remember counting down the days to each of them leaving, communally crying with them at the harbour as we waved each of the 20 of us off to a new life at Uni. Now I’m counting down the days, and we’re communally crying at ME leaving our life abroad. It feels like I’m closing the book, and starting a completely new one in a place that I call home, but I don’t really know anymore.
I’m nervous, really nervous. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I will be able to save up and do this again someday. I will have new experiences; see new cultures, new temples, new beaches and mountains. I’ll learn new languages and try new food. But as for this trip, I’m done. My journey ends here in Indonesia, as my current account reads closer and closer to 0. The money has gone. No choice. Go home.
But what are the best things I’ve done? People are recently asking me this a lot, after hearing I am going home. Working in the Orphanage in India was utterly fantastic, trekking with the orang-utans was unbelievable and I don’t think I stopped smiling for days afterward. Scuba diving was like discovering another world completely. Seeing my first turtle, bathing in my first waterfall, the magical glowing plankton in the sea of Cambodia (swimming amongst the natural torches in midnight sea was incredible). The locals we met, and befriended, the currencies we learnt, languages we picked up and freedom we have had. The many temples and ceremonies we have attended have been eye opening, humbling and amazing. The sights we have witnessed, sunsets we have waved goodnight to, mountains we have biked over or trekked up, paradises we have found and the people we have met.
The people we have met. I don’t even know where to begin. People so fun and fascinating, people that I only thought existed in films; funny, crazy, annoying, confident, comic, ridiculous, shy people. People.
It is the people who make the place. I’ve been lucky enough to share each experience with two of the best girls I have ever met. My two best friends, Jodi and Niema. I will never forget the things we have done, sights we have ‘wowed at, the people we have met, but mostly the laughs that we have shared. I have spent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 7 months with these girls. And I still love them. I think that qualifies us for sisterhood.
All I can say is…. If you have the chance to go, do it. Don’t think about it, don’t plan it, don’t worry; the world will push you in the right direction. Everyone you meet will be for a reason. Just make sure you notice it. Now, book your ticket, book your flight, and run.