Two years ago I was sick with wanderlust, chafing at the bonds of a reasonably awesome life and scared to risk it for adventure. T was a little sceptical and struggled at times but became a convert along the way.
A year ago I came home sated, knowing I’d made the right choice, and ready to get on with the next phase in life. I was content knowing that all things considered, there was nowhere else I’d rather settle down, with memories nobody could ever take away from me – even if, in the case of certain cuisines, those were bittersweet and unobtainable over here 🙂
It was a leap of faith, leaving. Leaving New Zealand with less money than projections suggested we needed to travel the way we want to travel, counting on earning enough on the road to sustain us. As life would have it, that aspect worked out almost eerily perfectly.
Thinking back, I’d been working up slowly to that big leap of faith. Baby steps.
Moving in with T, early 2007.
Signing on to be the head of a flat, with my name on the lease and relying on 2 other flatmates to pay the rent (which I’ll never do again), circa 2008.
Giving up a good, stable job for a new, riskier one in 2011 (the sign that sealed it for me was the office relocating essentially down the road from our house; I wouldn’t have taken a job at its old, out-of-the-way premises).
Changing industries this year (a series of signs pointed me in the right direction). I worried whether I would be happy; I thought there was a good chance, and my instincts were right – I never looked back.
And in July, we took another leap of faith, deciding T should quit a toxic job – before potentially being pushed out – with nothing else lined up.
It was less than ideal given it would make 2 short-term jobs in a row (the first having ended for reasons beyond his control) and the fact it had taken 3 months to land this one. Trusting that something would come up, and that being free of that mental burden was worth the hardship, was one of those tough calls you resign yourself to when you have an equal partner to consider.
This has not turned out the way I’d hoped so far, but I don’t necessarily regret this. Just hanging on to my core belief that things always eventually work out.
These past two years have been a rollercoaster, really. I never imagined marriage (in our case) would be so exciting – or stressful.
Awhile ago I stumbled across a blog named Surrounded by the Sound. Their last post is from 2013, two years after their return home from a yearlong RTW trip, and their experiences echo ours so very closely … Struggling with unemployment. Enjoying working for The Man and realising the peace that comes with being a steady employee. Relishing life, moreso than before we left. Amy sums up life Pre-Trip and Post-Trip beautifully:
The Trip, as it has become known, seems like a movie we watched about someone else’s lives, yet not a single day goes by without some memory or connection to our trip popping up in some fashion.
Like them, I think we may struggle to define our before-and-after lives. Odds are that our trip is going to be the most exciting thing we ever do; the time period from which we draw all our best stories. While that might come off sounding a little sad, I’m actually okay with it. I don’t need to live an extraordinary life. I want to live a happy life. And for me, that is largely a quiet life.
I don’t know what our next leap of faith will be or when it will come. But I’ve built up those risk-taking muscles and gotten used to gritting my teeth. I know I’ll need to draw on that again at some point, probably when I least expect it. Because … Murphy.