For someone who works a full-time job, I’ve travelled quite a lot this year. The list so far? Glasgow, Dublin, a week in Budapest, Bucharest, Berlin/Hamburg, near enough two weeks in Deep South USA, Leuven, just under a week in Malta, and two weekend camping festivals. With plenty more planned.
That’s not meant to be a brag, but more an introduction to the fact that for a little while at least, I’m slowing down a bit. And when I say ‘a little while’, I do mean it’ll actually be for more than one weekend, like I usually end up doing. Honest.
Because the rate I felt I was going through May and June until very recently, I felt like I’d burn out. Getting on the Eurostar hours before starting work, or landing five hours before I need to leave my house may be something I’m willing to do for the sake of fitting travel around work/life, but it’s not something that’s sustainable weekend after weekend. As a result, for a while, I’m focusing more on me, and the things I can do closer to home.
This means: More lie ins, more weekends spent casually meandering around London, Instagram posts of front doors with bikes and ivy. Eating roast dinners with a glass of actual decent quality wine in the garden on a Sunday evening after doing some blog stuff for the week ahead. Brunch with friends, listening to podcasts in a situation that isn’t commuting. Saving money for my next ‘big trip’ later this year, too…
Particularly in the world of travel blogging, it’s easy to feel like you’d be looked down on if you’re not giving up your job, selling all your worldly possessions and jetting around Asia with a new bed and new bunch of friends every week. I actually came very late to the world of travel, meaning I sometimes feel like I’m playing catch-up. That I’m an impostor, and how dare I seem even anything like I’m giving ‘advice’ about travelling when I haven’t done a year-long round the world tour meeting locals and eating beans because I’ve spent my last £20 on a train journey and hostel stay? Heathen.
(I think those who have done that are awesome btw, and LOVE reading stories from people who’ve upped sticks and are making their way around the world. But extensive experience of a different type of travel than the kind I do, is something that can sometimes make you feel ‘less’, in ways.)
In reality – many of the travel bloggers I’ve got to know over the past year or so DO have full time jobs and/or a home base. These are actually the kind of bloggers I relate to most, showing you how seeing lots of places and experiencing the world with a job and a settled situation is achievable. But the self-criticism and questioning is there, and you can bet that it coming from yourself more than anyone else.
I still have so much passion for going all the places and doing all the things (and eating all the food), but even when you’re the kind of person who feels like there’s so much out there to do and see, it’s okay to sit some things out. And with a world that moves fast, with a million blogs and tweets and Instagrams copies of Time Out telling you you have to do this, and need to go there, that can definitely be a hard fact to grasp.
So, alongside the huge amounts of tales and places I still have to catch up with, you can look forward to plenty of London adventures and fun little day trips over the summer.
I’m looking forward to them too.