Time to be a ‘grown down’...

Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
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Trip End May 11, 2011


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nearly ten years to the day since I sat down in front of the TV exhausted from spending the last few hours packing my 35 litre Eurohike bag in preparation for my first trip abroad as a young traveller. I had just turned 19, it was May 3rd. 2000 and on the TV was a film about an Israeli hijacking. Ironically enough, the destination of my maiden voyage the following day. I didn't even know Karen existed back then, although I do feel quietly confident we had passed each other on the Jubilee line from time to time... I’m sure she noticed me.

I was off to do a Kibbutz and ended up spending three and a half months in the Middle East. It only took for me to be a week in when I knew this was what I wanted to do.

The whole experience totally opened my eyes and allowed me to appreciate and understand what a small and accessible world this place really is. Sure, at times you may have to stand in a crammed bus for eight hours with nothing for company but a strangers armpit but when you’re travelling not only is that tolerable... it’s a story to share!

The bug didn’t end there though. Between home and life at uni, I somehow managed to get to places like Korea, New Zealand and Morocco. Then me and Karen got together. There was me with my penchant towards hot, humid, sweaty, leaky boxes with the type of air conditioning that can only be described as 'a hole in the wall’... and there was Karen, who was slightly more swayed by hotels that had stars after their name – and lots of them. Convincing someone who described the scent of every single item of my clothing as ‘musky’ that travelling was a beautiful thing was going to be tricky and challenging. As a consequence, it was even more rewarding than I ever could have imagined as we embarked on a month long trip to Thailand back in 2004.

We have both since described this on numerous occasions as one of the best times of our lives and why that was never built on is anyone’s guess.

The most likely answer is that we became ‘grown ups’ and grown ups simply don’t go gallivanting around the world willy nilly. They get jobs, buy a house and complain that nectar points don’t stretch very far when shopping at Sainsbury... and it seems that’s exactly what we did and thus lost sight of the bigger picture.

Unfortunately it was me that had to sadly put his foot down and remind us of our responsibilities and why it would be ridiculous to drop all of that and just jet off. Grown ups don’t go travelling! It’s for when you’re young or on your gap year. I still had a picture in my head of what it was like when I was travelling. Yes, I enjoyed it – loved it even but you can’t recreate the past and far more importantly – why on earth would I want to spend months on end with a bunch of teenagers?!? It appeared as though I had not realised how quickly the world can change in just ten years... that is, until common sense prevailed.

Being surrounded by teenagers was all I knew because that was what I was back then. It finally occurred to me, to Karen’s great relief, that just as back then there were a certain amount of travel minded people my age, this remains the case today, the only difference is we’re just a little older, perhaps even a little wiser if I can be so bold. We’ve still got that burning desire inside to see absolutely everything even though we all know that even if we all lived to 200 years old, not a single one of us would be fully content with our travels because there will always be another corner to go around to arouse our curiosity... and that’s the best part.

Equipped with this new zest for travelling, we decided to start researching how we would do this as adults trying to carve out careers. Much to my surprise there appeared to be a vast market for people just like us. Previously untapped by myself because it had never even occurred to me that people did this. Reading through article after article, your eyes can’t help but glow as you begin to realise that this is a very realistic possibility.

It appeared as though I had severely underestimated our chances of pursuing this dream as well as to what extent the modern day traveller had evolved. Just ten years ago simply having Bob Marley’s greatest hits and Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication screeching out of your Sony Discman was essentially being teched up to the skies. I remember quite clearly being in awe at the idea of using internet banking and keeping in touch with people I had met on my travels via email, none of this facebook nonsense! The concept of taking your phone was laughable. Your laptop... ludicrous and iPods? Those will never catch on! Where are the buttons?!?

As I sit here now and think about my packing itinerary as we draw closer to our inevitable departure this summer, I can safely guarantee that my iPhone will be top of the list. Even as grown ups, we need our toys, and one that can practically get us around the world? Well, that’s a serious bit of business.

Yes indeed, it seems the world of the traveller has changed remarkably but should I be at all surprised? I plan on merely embracing it! I’m tired of being a grown up... it’s time to be a ‘grown down’... but a little sensible...

...it’s time to begin Karen and Tris' awesome adventure...
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Comments

Mike Badmin on

Awesome... Raises a glass to fellow adventurer's* :P

I am going to follow you around the world, so you had better keep us updated!

I've got me an iphone and now ipad so I need a good excuse to use them - and my travels are going to start soon too! I'll be sure to check where you are at in case I'm heading out where you are headed lol Florida/Miami/Caribbean September, then possibly out to Thailand for a while and maybe Australia later in the year... The world is your Oyster! (I always think back to the film Scarface when I hear that phrase, but I do mean it with the hope of not ending in being mown down in a haze of AK47 bullets). It was a pleasure working with you Tristan btw ~ I'm just sorry we never really got the chance to go out for a drink and hang out. Sorry you had to deal with TTV! You must still curse me for that. Best of luck to both of you, look forward to hearing all about it :)

~ Mike

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