It’s pretty clear that our generation is more obsessed with travelling that our parents or grandparents before us. I don’t know what it is, but we all want to jet off and explore other cultures more than ever – and rightly so, there is a whole world out there that we should want to learn about. But packing up your essentials and saying goodbye to your friends and family for a year or so isn’t as black and white as you might think.
There are definitely so many emotions I didn’t expect to feel when I got to complete my dream of travelling Australia for a year after finishing my Masters. In fact, it’s probably been the biggest and most intense emotional roller coaster I have ever experienced.
So here’s a list of all the emotions you will definitely feel while basking in the world and all it’s glory:
Okay, so this one is obvious. You’ve wanted to do this forever, right? And now it’s finally happening. Of course you’re excited. But it’s important to remember that’s okay to feel other things coming up to and after you jet off. Just because everybody is full of jealousy and you’re going to experience something great, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel other things alongside excitement.
This one might seem expected to some and unexpected to others, but either way you will definitely come across it a few times during your trip. Firstly it can appear under all that excitement leading up to your departure, as it starts to dawn on you that you’ll soon be far away from your friends and family for quite some time.
Then it comes if you struggle to get your hands on any work and your bank balance is suffering the consequences of your first month spent partying hard. Who knew you should budget your year out, just in case? Don’t worry, this one definitely happened for me, but stick at those applications and you’ll find something soon. If not, there is no shame in calling your parents for help… isn’t that what your twenties is all about?
And finally, fear can arrive just as you prepare to go home to reality, unprepared and uncertain of what’s to come. Sorry I have no advice on this one just yet – ask me in a few months. Eeek.
It’s not shock that the worst part of being away from home is that the lives of you’re friends and family don’t stop just because you’ve left – and rightly so. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not difficult to hear about their plans. For me, this comes with group chats. Oh, the pain of group chats.
I love my friends, but hearing about them getting together for drinks or Sunday brunch makes me slightly jealous. But to be honest, that’s just life and they’re not going to forget about me – I’ll make sure of that ha – and I can’t wait to go home and make plans with them myself in the next few months.
This one comes hand in hand with homesickness really, only I didn’t realise that it would. I knew I was going to miss home, but I expected it to pass quickly and not really have any effect on my mood. Only it did, a huge effect actually. So much so that my boyfriend and I have had arguments, completely unaware that our sad emotions for the past week or so have been down to the fact we miss our friends and family but haven’t consciously acknowledged it.
It’s important to accept that you will feel sad while you’re away. Whether it’s only for an hour (lucky you), or for a week or so, it’s totally normal. Don’t let anybody tell you to ignore it or that you should just ‘forget about it’, it’s definitely not that easy and everyone deals with it differently. For me, what helped the most was to admit it out loud, have a nice long cry and find some comfort food that reminds me of home. Of course it still comes round every now and then, but it gets easier knowing I’m going to be flying home soon.
This emotion can hit you even if you’re not travelling alone – which was completely unexpected for me. Being here with my boyfriend I definitely didn’t see this one coming. I thought I would be fine because I was with him.
But we’re only human and sometimes that one or few persons you’re with won’t always be enough. And that has nothing to do with them, it’s just sometimes the case. Although it sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing when you’re feeling lonely, I always find the best thing to do when this comes around, is have a moment to myself and reconnect with the reason I am here.
I also find this feeling comes around when I feel suffocated and irritated by the people around me. What you have to remember is that it’s super easy to become frustrated with the people you spend everyday with, especially if you never did so before you went away. Everyone needs some time out, so don’t see your loneliness as a bad thing, use it as an excuse to get some ‘me time’ and binge watch some TV your travelling partner hates.
At the end of the day, no matter what emotions and troubles you have along the way, you will definitely experience a feeling of pride as your adventure comes to a close. Not everybody has the courage to step away into the unknown, thousands of miles away from everything they’ve ever known. It’s important to remember that and realise how brave you are and ow proud of yourself you should be.
If you were hit by any unexpected emotions while you were away travelling, let me know!