I believe that if you make the right decision then you only have to make it once, there is no angst, no soul searching, no ‘what have I done’ moments, No, you know a good decision the moment you make it.
I had told my family, apart from my Mum, told friends and I even told work. I had booked an appointment with the lovely Amy at STA Travel in Leeds and we sat for ages and chatted and I told her my ideas and she said that she would work on an itinerary and come up with a price.
So why didn’t I feel more thrilled and why did I start to have sleepless nights, worrying about this, worrying about that. Reading all the travel books and the blogs I could about staying safe, travelling alone, what to pack, when to go, what to see, don’t miss this, don’t miss that, a backpack or a wheelie case, open trekking sandals or will flip flops do –on and on dripping onto me just like that drizzly sort of rain that doesn’t seem so bad but you end up soaked and miserable just the same.
Then finally after weeks of this misery I worked it out, I had been caught up in the ‘wow amazing’ and ‘you’re so brave’ and ‘take me with you’ comments that I had begun to believe the hype. Oh yes I said, more than a little smugly, I’m going to North America then travelling down to Ecuador and popping across to the Galapagos Islands before moving on to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia then home – Oh it will be such a hoot!!
When the hype haze started to lift and I realised that I hadn’t been true to myself I asked myself some simple questions; do I truly want to be travelling alone to Ecuador, do I really want to spend a fortune on a trip to see a Marine Iguana (25% of the whole budget for a week’s ‘holiday’), am I the kind of person who would consider taking a 30 hour backpacker bus across Asia?
When finally the clear and definite answer came through? I was just one word – No. No I don’t want to go to South America, that was always Steve’s dream not mine, and No I don’t want to go to Asia and stay in hostels and travel by bus that just sounded exotic and interesting and impressive to others – aha – now we are getting to it – exactly where is the Yes in all of this?
It took some doing but I finally worked out the truth in what I was trying to do by going away for such a long time. Yes I wanted to enjoy myself, Yes I wanted to have positive life affirming experiences, to go to new places meet new people and Yes I wanted to try new things but I wanted to do this, if not actually within my comfort zone then at least within an arm’s length of it.
So here’s what I am going to do; May 2013 will be spent in beautiful Italy – I am going to start by spending some time in Florence trying to find a way to love the only place I have ever been to in Italy that I didn’t like. I am then going to take a week long cookery course in Puglia and the rest of the month will be spent travelling hither and thither using the excellent train service exploring southern Italy and the island of Sardinia before I fly home.
Goodness I hear you cry that is some sort of come down – 6 months travelling the world is suddenly a month in Italy!
Nope it isn’t, be patient, Italy is just the starter, this is a banquet of many courses and I’m going to keep the ingredients to myself until next time we chat.
So the answer to the question at the top of the page, YES, I have made the right decision.