Home sweet home
It was nice to come home, but it didn’t feel strange like I was expecting. Travelling from place to place, being constantly on the move, makes you adapt, and quickly. That’s what happened when I returned home, I simply adapted. My room had changed a lot since I’d been away, my bed and chester drawers were gone; my computer was broke; and my room had turned into a storage room for lots of random objects – it needed some serious organisation. I arrived home with the “get rid of everything” mentality. Seriously, if I can live comfortably out of a forty-six litre backpack for thirteen months, did I really need all of this stuff? After a week I’d downsized my possessions quite considerably, and came out of it all with just two boxes; a few clothes; my turntables; and a new computer which I’d repaired. I took a few visits to the tip, and sold some stuff in the local newspaper – it’s amazing what people will buy. Afterwards I felt lighter, and more in control of my possessions. There’s nothing worse than seeing something gather dust, use it or lose it, I say!
Christmas Day soon made it’s appearance. Father Christmas didn’t stop by; with all the broken roof tiles I presume he spent the whole night trying to get in through the roof, little did he know we’d left the bloody back door open! We thought at first he’d come because the carrots and milk were gone – turns out Miow included them in his midnight feast. I got a few gifts, and some money. I think everyone is scared to buy my anything because I’m always harping on about how I don’t want any more posessions. Christmas dinner was a success – mum never fails to deliver on that – yet the Snowman and the Snowdog was a complete failure. I’m well accustomed to change, but please, the music selection was absolutely rubbish, leading quite tragically to an ending baring an emotional connection as alive as Father Christmas himself – sorry kids.
The week encompassing New Years Eve saw the arrival of my Aussie cousin Stephen, and his girlfriend Chip. With memories of a very good New Years Eve several years ago, I decided to take them to Wigan. We got there early, just in case. I’m sure you can imagine how gutted and embarrassed I was to find nothing but tumbleweed bouncing down the streets – it was deserted! You know you’re in for a shit night when they start serving food for free just to keep you in the club. We were in the pizza place at the end of the night and we told the guy behind the counter that Ste was a professional chef back in Australia. Somehow, Ste managed to charm his way onto the front of house, and was serving customers whilst I pulled them in from the streets – one of the funniest moments in a long time I must say – in particular his efforts on shaving the donner meat.
Going back several months now, whilst sitting on the beach in Spain reading Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars I came to the realisation – thanks to the book – that life was too short to hold on to the past, and that in order to move forward, I must let go. There are a lot of broken relationships in my family due to arguments, and the divorce of my parents, and I hadn’t been speaking to my dad properly ever since. On coming home I decided it was time to rebuild my relationship with my dad, so recently I’ve been seeing him, and catching up on lost time – basically that means beating him at chess and scrabble. I’m also making sure that I devote plenty of time to the people who are important in my life – you know who you are.
After a month at home I knew it was time to take the next step in my journey. Before my last backpacking trip I had planned to make my way over to South East Asia after a short stay in Spain. As you well know, that never happened, and I ended up making a thirteen month trip through France; Spain; and Morocco. As brilliant as it was, the feeling of incompleteness lingered. It didn’t take long until I pressed down hesitantly on the confirm button – as you do – and booked a one way ticket to Thailand.
Thailand marked the occasion for my first trip into Asia. I knew for one I needed to pack less so I spent a few weeks getting my pack weight down, managing to get it just under six kilograms which I was more than happy with. I replaced some merino wools, and removed all the items which I didn’t use last time. With my experience I felt less worried, and making decisions became a lot easier.
When you start backpacking it’s common to worry about what’s going to happen when you’re out there; to plan too much; yet alone take too much! When you’ve got your first trip under your belt, you’ll find yourself more relaxed about these things, that’s when backpacking really becomes fun as you thrive in the unexpectedness of it all.
I have four months worth of visas for Thailand, and the opportunity will be there to explore more of South East Asia through countries such as Laos; Vietnam; and Cambodia – a common backpacker’s itinerary. The journey ahead will be full of wonders and surprise – I can assure you of that – so I hope you stay with me as I write my journey once again in great detail with all the nitty gritty events that occur throughout my trip, not forgetting the Backpackers Tips and Advice section. I love to read your comments on my posts so don’t be a stranger!
Before I go, I must tell you of a girl who has came into my life recently. Her name is Louise; she’s pretty cool like me, and has decided to join me on the road in South East Asia. She’s coming in three months, so when she arrives my domain will be realistically invalid but just pretend you didn’t notice.
See you on the road guys.
Love Jonathan x