I’ve climbed monstrous cliffs, scuba dived in the ocean with sea turtles, rode elephants through jungles and spent days on deserted islands. I’ve quad biked through ox farms, kayaked through caves, visited empires built in the 12th century and taught refugee children English.. not to mention cheating death several times in the hustle and bustle of crazed tuk tuk drivers. But I made it home!
So, it’s taken me just over a month of returning back to London to finally write up this blog post – not because I haven’t had the time, but simply because I’ve been avoiding it.
I could not quite come to terms with the fact my year abroad has finally come to an end and I have to face reality once again.
If I’m totally honest with you – I’ve found it, and still am finding it extremely difficult to settle back into London life again. To a stance, my life went from 100 to 0 real quick.
I went from feeling free beyond comprehension, to now working full time and being constrained to a routine which I particularly cannot comprehend.
However, aside from the major anxiety attacks that I’ve been having since my return, my year abroad has been nothing but the best memories to have captured my soul.
I am going to be entirely honest with you, and tell you.. it wasn’t easy, but every second was worth it.
The mosquito bites, sickness, sun burns, food poisoning, sprained limbs, missed flights, and near death experiences – but none of these could dampen the memories and experiences I have collected during my time in Southeast Asia.
I’ve witnessed sights I thought only existed on postcards and felt emotions I thought only existed in movies.
I wish I could put these emotions into words, but I physically cannot. One would have to go out there and physically experience it for themselves.
Travelling has seen the best and worse of me – During this period, I had so much time to self reflect, my mind was being completely challenged.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
..And this is exactly what has happened to me.
Travelling has taught me to be even more selfless, even more appreciative, and even more aware. It has without a doubt changed my perspective on the world.
I travelled out there as a 19 year old girl seeking to find oneself, and I can successfully say I left as a 20 year old woman content beyond words.
So my advice to you? – Just do it. I urge you to travel, to seek, to find.. but most importantly to feel. To fully immerse yourself with the beauty of living rather than just existing. I promise you, you’ll never look at life the same hereafter.
The world is yours for the taking.. if you want it.
Ps: Mum, I know you’ll read this.. one day – maybe when I’m 40 – I’ll tell you everything that really occurred on this year abroad. Until then, smile because your daughter is home and safe! lmao.