When we returned to Australia we were excited to see our friends and family, yet disappointed that our travels had ended (for now at least). What I did find interesting was everyone seemed to ask the same questions. Some I found surprising and others I can see people were asking probably as they might be considering an adventure of some description for themselves. So, I thought if our friends were asking, than the rest of you might want to know our answers too. Here are the top 6 questions people have been asking now we’re back in Australia.
#1 Do you regret it?
As we didn’t last on the road as long as we intended when we set off, a lot of people have asked whether we regret quitting our jobs, selling everything and taking the risk of travelling. The answer always is NO! and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Regardless of how long we travelled for, this adventure was all about changing our lives and chasing the dream. We have done that and it has had a profound effect on ourselves, our relationship and how we live our lives today.
#2 Where was your favourite destination?
This is by far the hardest question to answer. How can you possibly choose only one destination? But, if I had to narrow it down, I would probably say Chiang Mai was a place I felt totally at ease and adjusted quickly to the lifestyle. I would love to go back and stay there for an extended period of time. And…if I could squeeze one more in, I would say Amsterdam. Going back a second time, I fell in love with the place again for all different reasons. It has now been added to my ‘places I would like to live’ list.
#3 Was it very hard travelling with Jack?
Travelling with a toddler on a budget is not the easiest thing, but it is totally worth it. There were moments early on where I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to do it. There was not one time we were in a lovely resort with the help of nannies and child friendly accommodation and I am pretty glad.
Jack learnt to rough it, to eat whatever was in front of him and to adjust to whatever situation we found ourselves in. In Cambodia when we were staying at a local Tuk Tuk driver’s house with no flushing toilet, no shower, no air con and he was still in nappies I wasn’t sure we were doing the right thing. But then there were the bike rides around the Temples of Angkor, the overnight trains in India, the days spent in the squares of Europe, the French day-care and the friendships he made along the way, and I can honestly say it has had such a positive effect on him.
#4 How easy is to settling down again now we’re back in Australia?
It’s tough. I’m not going to lie, but the excitement of seeing our friends and family wore off pretty quickly (no offense to them!). Having the ability to catch up with a friend for coffee or spending the day with my parents and Jack is amazing, especially after a year of not having that. But part of you wants to still be exploring, meeting new people and having amazing experiences.
And there is a part of you that is resisting settling down and getting stuck in that day-to-day grind again. So you feel a little like you are in limbo. Living like students as we slowly set up our home is also a bit of a downer (third world problem, I know!).
#5 What are you going to do now?
Many people expect us to find that 9-5 job, similar to what we were doing when we left and just get back into the swing of things now we’re back in Australia. So far I am happy to keep working with my freelance clients, continue with my studies and look after Jack. Travelling has changed my outlook on life and trying to have that all important work/life balance is essential to me. Is it working? Not quite sure yet…ask me again in a few months!
#6 Will you do it again?
That’s the dream. We would love to go travelling again (sorry mum) and most likely for another year-long budget adventure. Having done it now, we would certainly do a few things differently, but travelling is possibly on the cards in a few years’ time. For now it’s time to re-energise, finish my studies and enjoy spending time with our friends and family. It’s been a struggle to find my feet now we’re back in Australia, but slowly we are curating a new life and finding new direction. Travel is still on my mind and it is hard not to wish we were back on the road.