When we left Melbourne, we left for an indefinite period of time, but we had in mind we were thinking we would be gone for about 2-3 years. We are heading home well short of that and my first reaction was to question whether heading off on this adventure was all worth it.
Having two mortgages to maintain and a substantial tax return held up has proven too difficult to manage while we are abroad. If we were travelling debt free we would have easily continued with our freelancing income and savings. But alas, reality has hit and we both need to earn a ‘proper’ income to meet our obligations. If we had our chance again, we would have done things differently. We would have started freelancing early and at higher rates, maybe we would have head straight to the U.S. which was the place Chris wanted to experience the most…there are several things we would do differently if we had the opportunity to turn back time.
I wonder if giving up everything to travel for just a year was all worth it…
We missed the birth and death of loved ones
Several of our close friends have been blessed with beautiful babies whilst we have been away and I am sorry we weren’t there to support their parents and welcome their little people into the world. Sadly we were also unable to say goodbye to loved ones including my last living grandparent and my friends beautiful, courageous little boy. It’s upsetting not to be there for my grandpa as well as our friends who lost their people.
We gave away our dog
One of the hardest decisions we made was giving up our dog. Although we found her a beautiful home with a loving family and she is living it up, I wonder whether it was really the right decision to give her away for just a ? of travelling. It was a selfish decision we made and one I may live to regret in regards to giving Five up.
We quit our jobs
When you have a mortgage and a child having stable jobs is pretty handy. We both had pretty great jobs and I worked with an awesome crew who has looked after me in many different ways over the 5 or so years I was with them. Was quitting our jobs the right decision? Unfortunately I think I found them a pretty good replacement, so they won’t be calling on me anytime soon! We will be returning with no jobs, no security and no belongings…was it worth it?
We sold all our belongings
This is one thing that I don’t regret. We had too much stuff – furniture, clothes, books, toys, kitchen supplies, linen…Although compared to many, I think we lived pretty minimally, but after travelling with very little I have come to realise stuff has the ability to hold you back, to tie you down and to be a burden. No more stuff!
There are positives about returning home which can’t be ignored. We get to see our friends and family. Jack’s grandparents get to catch up on missed moments and we have the opportunity to spend more time with Chris’ dad who has been incredibly ill. We are able to start building our new lives with, after enough time to reflect, we have more idea of what we want our lives and careers to be.
I know we had some amazing experiences on our travels and maybe this is the beginning to many adventures. Perhaps we will have a Travelling Apples Take Two later in life, but right now all I can think about it is that we have failed to make it and we gave up so much in the process! You might say that I sound very pessimistic and that I should be grateful for the adventure we have had. Just note this was my initial reaction and since having time to let it sink in, my thoughts have altered somewhat. More on that later…