It’s been around 4 months since my last post. I haven’t been slacking on updating my blog, it’s just that I have been taking a break from traveling and frankly I just didn’t feel like writing. I am here to fill in the gaps before writing about my next travels.
When I started backpacking in April 2015 I felt like I could keep traveling forever, it felt so natural at that time. But after 6 brilliant months on the road I felt the need to stop. I’ve spent the last 4 months with my parents in Pune (India). It is the longest I’ve been with them in 8 years and I am glad I got the chance to stay with them longer than the usual 2 weeks a year. It’s also the longest I’ve lived in one place in the last year and a half.
These 4 months have been the exact opposite of my backpacking days. Sleeping in the same bed night after night, the promise of a decent shower, waking up to the same faces, eating home cooked food everyday, not having to figure out how to get from A to B, not answering (or asking) the same Qs about “where are you from? What do you do? How long are you traveling for? etc.” has been fabulous. I’ve also been studying a lot and going for swimming and tennis classes, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I also visited Hyderabad and Goa to see friends I haven’t met for years or one’s I met during my travels. My sister visited us from Germany so there was a lot of family time and a brilliant trip to Goa (second one for me) which included going for drives, eating delicious food, long walks on the beach and then just chilling for a few hours in one of the beach shacks.
But it’s time to move on again. I am not ready to go back to work (at least not full-time) just yet and I’ve been lucky to have spent close to 9 months with friends and family around the globe which meant my money has lasted much longer than I anticipated. I don’t feel like backpacking or taking a trip with the sole intention of sight-seeing/photography either. I feel the need to travel slower, be in one place for a few months, find something meaningful to do (and not just something that will get me free food and accommodation) and then move to the next place.
When I left London in 2014, it felt like I was leaving to “do” something different and that when it’s done I’ll settle down in Germany to live close to my sister. But the 15 months of nomadic living has shifted something in me. Like this journey is no longer about what I do but who I am. I knew this break from “work eat sleep” cycle would change me but I felt I would still go back to the same lifestyle, just as a different person. I don’t see that happening anymore, at least not for the next couple of years.
My life has never been black and white, there’s always been a (massive) gray area and now it feels like the degree of uncertainty has just gone up a levels. It makes me nervous to think of where I will end up but when I think about what I am doing “NOW” I feel extremely calm. There’s nothing I would do differently. So I guess all I have to do is live in the present and be true to myself, which was the whole point of my travels anyways.
This sabbatical was meant to end in a year but 15 months later it feels like the journey has only just begun.