Round the World

Early Morning Musings

I woke up today thinking about New Zealand. I have no idea why. I couldn’t remember the name of that grocery store that I was so in love with, the one that had cheap fresh products perfect for the backpacker budget. New something. New Lands? No, that’s the Justice song I put to my Fraser Island video. New… New… World! New World! Yes I wrote a post about it. After Kaikoura, when I woke up to see the sunrise with tea. Tea sounds nice. I’ll go make some tea and read my post about New World.

That led to watching my road trip video to the boat video to the oceans video to the sandboarding video and I felt myself enter a downward spiral of reminiscing and nostalgia. I knew I didn’t actually want to be on the road again, but I will always miss the lifestyle I had that year.

I’m just shy of a year away from the end of my 300 days around the world, so maybe that’s a contributing factor to this feeling of uncertainty about settling into a single place for so long. Every Timehop that shows me where in Japan I was a year ago is just a countdown to the end of that trip, to the time my first year of travel was over, to that feeling in the Seoul airport when I had a panic attack about going back Stateside. I’m not Stateside now but I am stopped. I live and work in one place, something I haven’t been able to say for almost two years.

And I just got back from San Francisco, the last place that I did live and work. It’s been a rough adjustment since I got back a week ago. I do owe you a blog post on my time there, and that will help explain this a bit, but suffice it to say that reentering my old life for two weeks has put my new life in serious contrast and I’m not sure how it will play out. Yes I am still happy in Antigua, yes I still believe this was the right choice for me right now, and yes I am still staying for the foreseeable future. For the foreseeable future. What lies beyond the seeable I don’t know yet.

I do know that for now, I must make the most of my time here. Many of my friends are on their way out or have already left. Sometimes I feel like I’ll outlast everyone. But then I remember how many people have left and come back and are still around and I am still just getting to know and I know that there is still more for me here. But what some of these friends have said about their final days in Antigua is how much they’ve come to appreciate it at the end, almost like seeing it for the first time again. That instant love that we all felt when we got here, that made us stay here, seems to return when you’re about to leave. So instead of waiting for that moment when I decide to leave, I will try to remember every day how wonderful this place is and make it my own. It won’t be my permanent home, so in a way every day I’m here is like a day on my way out. Even if that final out is still months away.

But for now, I will indulge my nostalgia and watch a few more travel videos. And why not? Those first 300 days remain 300 of the best days of my life. Why wouldn’t I want to relive and remember them any chance I can?

Advertisements

Indie Flight Help

When I was in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile I received an email from Indie: your flight on November 27th from Sydney to Bangkok has been cancelled. It was the end of August and I was in a remote town in South America. Normally, this would be an “oh shit I have to waste some time at the hostel finding a new flight” moment, but not with Indie.

The email included the alternative flight that the airline carrier was offering me, which happened to necessitate an overnight in Manila, and asked if that was okay with me or if I would prefer a refund and a new flight. I responded that I would rather not have an overnight in Manila and my days were flexible, and after a short correspondence the team at Indie was able to cancel and refund that flight, and book me on a new flight now out of Melbourne to Bangkok (so I didn’t have to return to Sydney on my way out of Australia).

Just a few emails and that was it, problem solved.

Thank you Indie. I can’t say enough about how great this website is for flight planning. I already raved about it when I found and purchased my itinerary through it, and now it helped me solve a flight issue completely painlessly.

If you are thinking about booking a RTW trip, or really any trip, take a look at Indie. It may become your new best flight booking friend.

Looking Ahead

I’m anxious to get to Asia.

Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand and Australia are wonderful countries. But after South America and knowing I have Southeast Asia coming up, this isn’t the kind of travel I really want to be doing.

Australia is full of gap year Europeans hopping along the East Coast from one goon-filled tour to the next. I admit, I got swept up into an East Coast plan too – how can you not when you’re offered things like spending 3 days sailing around the Whitsundays or driving a 4WD around the largest sand island in the world? There’s a reason this is a popular route: it has great activities.

But I’m ready to get out of this route. I miss the travelers of South America, the people who took a chance to go somewhere completely different from home and discover adventures along the way instead of having them laid out in a travel package. The solo travelers who unite in their love of backpacking around that continent and embrace a flexibility that allows them to continue their travel together across new borders.

I miss the challenge of South America. Every day was unique, filled with language barriers, transportation questions, distinctive environments, and new stimulants for all the senses. The warm showers and drinkable water are great things, but I will happily trade them for the excitement of making the unknown known.

I hope that Asia will be the experience I am craving. It will be different too and have its own perks, quirks, and lows, and I am excited to find out what they are.

I realize this is a strange post to write before I even start talking about my time in Australia, but it’s where I’m at right now mentally and it would be wrong to not mention it for the sake of chronology. I will write plenty of positive things about my time here soon, but with just 10 days left until I leave this country I can’t help but shake this anxious feeling.