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The Preparations

Well, nothings booked or set in stone…but I think I’ve finally decided to go through with something that, if I’m honest, I was hoping I’d end up doing.  What I’ve been going over in my head for the past few weeks.  I have been looking and looking for another job in my chosen field, barely finding anything I’m even qualified to apply for that isn’t an unpaid internship.  My rent is high, I’m stuck in a town I hate, and life is passing me by.  I did say I’d wait till the end of March to make a decision, but I’ve already told both sets of parents and my job that this is the course I want to take.

Moving to Australia.

Admittedly, when I say ‘move’, I mean ‘get a holiday visa and mooch off my mother till I find my feet, then workstroketravel until they kick me out’.  There is the horrible fact that I’ll have to move in with my mother again – now there’s a battle in and of itself.  But it also means I’ll be forced to shake my routine up.  I’ve got plans and dreams for my life, and most of them are just stagnating while I huddle up in this city, letting myself get lazy on the familiarity of my rut.  Losing the flat was probably the best thing that could have happened to me last year – it forced me to start looking at my choices.  And since my job isn’t what I want to do the rest of my life, has no room for growth or advancement or transferring, and is as of now, in a town I can’t afford to live in, it’s no longer the safety net it once was.

I’ve got a lot of work to do – I won’t be going until late this year – probably not until early next year, but need to figure out visas and renew my passport and, the fun part, how I’m getting there.  I love to travel, and there’s no way I’m quitting my job and just hopping on a plane.  No, I think we can be a little more creative than that.

My first plan was to do a little jumping around Europe, before I remembered something I’ve wanted to do for a while.  Russia’s ‘vodkatrain’ – the longest train journey in the world, and something all die hard travellers need to do at least once.  This train starts in Moscow, and travels through Russia, Mongolia and China before stopping in Beijing.  It’s not cheap, but what you get sounds close to un-missable.  Plus, icing on the cake, it stops in Beijing, where a friend of mine works as an English teacher, so I can finally catch up with him before travelling through China and meeting another friend, one I met on another holiday in Hong Kong.

After that?  I’m thinking I could try making my way through Vietnam, then stopping off in Cambodia for a few days before heading to Vietnam, and then finally getting to Perth to start my working holiday visa.

It’s a pretty ambitious trip – definitely bigger than anything I’ve done in the past.  We’re talking about travelling through 6 countries – most of which have poor English – over the course of 3 months on a tight budget, with a girl whose sense of direction and ability to have a bungle-free holiday is nonexistent.

But not only do I want to do it, I can’t help but feel I need to do it.  For as long as I can remember there’s been a desire to cast aside everything and just take off.  In the real world you can’t just do that…but this is the closest I could get.  I can sell 90% of the junk in my room and go about my life without shedding a tear.  The final 10% can be put in storage or put at the mercy of my father’s attic.  And 3 months having to rely on my own planning and (minimal) common sense could do wonders for my own independence and confidence.

Now I just need to piece it all together and find out just how much this little dream trip will really cost…and what I have to do in order to make it justifiable.

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