In a few hours I will take the last flight of my round the world trip.
I am going back to my hometown Barcelona.
It is strange thinking about going back to Barcelona, because I am not only going back after 11 months of long term travel, I am going back after 11 years living abroad.
11 years. That is about one third of my life. Wow.
When I decided to apply for a sabbatical leave from my old job in Toulouse, I had no idea what to expect from the future. Would I love traveling so much that I would become a permanent nomad? Or would my wanderlust be satisfied so I could settle down?
Thoughts and decisions
During the trip, I have gone through different phases. At the beginning, the feeling of freedom was so intoxicating that I thought I would like to live like this forever. I had never felt happier, I was even feeling more healthy. The headaches, backaches and other aches from stress were gone. Going back to my old job, to my old life? No way.
I had no clue what I would do for a living (because I funded my round the world trip with my savings, but they will not last until retirement), but I was not worried about that yet. I still had time to think. I was calm, I was happy.
After six months, though, I started feeling tired and missed having my own space, my room, my clothes, my books, my stuff. My family and friends around. Maybe I could do not be a permanent nomad after all. However, I could not see myself back to a traditional job with one month (or less) of holidays per year.
What to do, then?
I had some ideas but that would take time. I considered going back to Toulouse, to my old job, to start saving money again while I did the transition to a new career. But… I felt it would not be honest. How would I look at my colleagues, talk about our projects, knowing that I was getting ready to leave? Additionally, as the countdown started and I saw the end of the trip approaching, I started feeling strange, like something was wrong.
Anxiety was back.
I have learnt to listen to the signals. Not the astrological ones, but the signals from our body. If thinking about going back to Toulouse woke up anxiety, it meant that it was not the right decision, even if it was the “safest” and most logical from an economical point of view.
During these last weeks, whenever someone asked me if I would go back to Toulouse, I said “probably not”. Deep inside I knew the answer, but I was still scared to say it out loud. It was not until a few days ago that I had the courage to write to my employer to officialize the news.
I have quit my job.
I am 32, homeless and jobless.
When I think about it my head spins. I am scared. I feel like I am jumping to the void and I do not know if the parachute will work. A lot of people my age already have a stable job, apartment and kids. I have chosen a life of uncertainty instead of the “security” of being an employee (as secure as that is today, with the economical crisis and all). I have some ideas for the future, but the transition might take some time. And I do not know if it will work.
So, for the moment, I am going back to Barcelona.
This is not the end of the trip though, it is the beginning of a new journey. I left Barcelona when I was 20, still a student. I have not lived there as an adult. I am looking forward to rediscover the city, to see it with new eyes. Traveling is not only about the destination, but also the attitude. I am also looking forward to test my ideas and try to figure out how to have a lifestyle that allows me to combine work and travels.
And what about this blog?
This blog will continue! I still have to tell you about the last months in South America, and I am also planning to write some useful information about the trip, as the final cost and feedback on traveling with hand luggage only. If there is anything you would like to know about the planning, solo travel, a specific destination, or anything else, please feel free to ask in the comments below.
And of course, I will find a way to keep traveling in the future and sharing it with you!
Thanks for having been with me all this time!
More about my round the world trip
- Month 1 (India): learning and adaptation
- Month 2 (Thailand, Laos): changes
- Month 3 (Laos, Cambodia): reflexions about being lucky
- Month 4 (Malaysia): unexpected events
- Month 5 (Australia, New Zealand): new continent, new challenges
- Month 6 (New Zealand): testing my limits
- Month 7 (Chile): slow travel
- Month 8 (Chile, Argentina): my best memories, the people
- Month 9 (Canada, Chile): holidays and back to the road
- Month 10 (Bolivia): dealing with altitude and health
- Month 11 (Argentina, Uruguay): decisions
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