After travelling for five months or so now I’ve really got in the swing of moving from place to place and keeping my bags as packed as I can, all the time knowing I still have months to go. I knew roughly when I would be going home(after about two months of travel anyway), that it would be just before Easter for some family engagements and guaranteed good British food to compensate for the lack of a Sunday Roast or Christmas Dinner all winter. Or ‘winter’ as I should say.
But today I booked the flight home and now there’s a set date and I know its final so now I’m panicking and looking at all the places I still need to squeeze in before I leave and it suddenly seems like time is so short despite still having over 3 months, and a third of my journey, left. I know deep down that you can do a hell of a lot in three months and most people would be stunned to travel for even that long.
In my nine months of travel I will have seen more than I could have possibly expected, especially with the last minute addition of 5 weeks in Northern India, just to shake things up a bit. And I don’t think I could go on backpacking indefinitely both in terms of budget and mentality. I really like moving from place to place and seeing so many things but I’m increasingly getting a pull to stop and settle and be somewhere that I can call home. I’m also missing my cats more than I would have thought. I guess the thing I miss the most is familiarity which is probably the thing which most drove me to travel in the first place. After initially intending to look for a job while I was in Asia, most likely in teaching, being here has made me decide against it for a number of reasons;
- Due to the recession and jobs being harder to get in the West, Asia is overrun with expats and English teachers, to the degree that they are making visa requirements much more awkward, which, to me, means they don’t really want anyone else there.
- The quality of most English teaching is very low and teachers can act as little more than day care, and a lot of the time they are just slightly older gap year students just wanting to drink and party.
- I don’t see teaching in Asia anything that could be done for more than 2 years maximum in which case you return to England in the same job situation you were before but two years older.
- I want to do a Masters, I think higher education is the right path for me so I should get to it rather than putting it off with frolics in the sun and hopefully the career it results in will lead to more sustainable fun or jobs abroad in a position where I’m actually doing some good.
- A lot of people teaching in Asia don’t get much holiday and will have probably seen less of their country in a year than I will in the six weeks I’m travelling there.
I’m looking forward to the next three months, enjoying the standard holiday scene of Thailand, the mystery of Northern India and the developed side of SE Asia with Malaysia and Singapore. Having a deadline is probably a very good thing because it stops those lazy tendencies of hanging around in one place for too long, like I’m doing in Pai, but sometimes it is very hard to resist!