Having just won’t my longest period back in the UK since I started my current adventure and life as a full time travel blogger and currently being sat on a plane watching the cloud peppered sky obscuring England fading into the distance as the rain drops dance along my window I’m pondering the last month.
It’s been a fun month – but I’m definitely ready to leave England behind once again. But there’s also things I’m going to miss about the green pastures of Devon where I call home (at least in one way shape or form!) and I’m sure everyone planning some backpacker travel will no doubt be pondering similar thought a about their upcoming trip.
So here’s 5 things I’m going to miss about the UK – and of course 5 I won’t!
I WILL miss my double bed. Don’t get me wrong I love hostel life and I’m not fussed with crashing out in a bunk bed for the majority of my backpacker travels, but being able to star fish in my own room, with a TV is a touch of luxury and home comfort that I will definitely miss!
I WONT miss the silence. In contrast to the above I actually found it hard to sleep for the first week of being home. At first I thought it was the jet lag (having spent the whole year living in Ecuador and Peru) but it then dawned on me, I couldn’t sleep because of the silence! My room and indeed house were quiet and totally dark at night. No lights being switched on, no one rustling through backpacks at 7am, no drunken traveller stumbling in at all hours. I’ve spent so long on the road now I’ve become accustomed and content with hostel life. The sound of silence is a weird concept to re adjust to!
I WILL miss a good cup of tea! Yeah I know you can get a brew on the road but nothing beats a proper English cup of tea, brewed in a teapot, in a proper mug, with real milk and a few biscuits! I think I’ve been averaging around 5-8 cups of tea whilst being home – it’s the simple things in life!
I WONT miss seeing people in the 9-5 grind. Obviously I’ve had no job to attend to in the last month (bar blogging work, which is done on my own terms when and where I seem productive!) but my family and friends have. I’m not ranting about them complaining about it but i can’t grasp why! Some of them really enjoy their job – and I’m stoked for them – but alot don’t. It makes me feel a bit sad that they seem trapped by the dogma of society and that we’ve created and accepted a society that makes people think that’s the way forward. Indeed just seeing rush hour traffic and people bored on their commute makes me feel the same. I hope one day I’ll annoy them enough to go travel or follow whatever makes them happy!
I WILL miss my family and friends. Despite not really keeping in rich with many people on my travels I know who my true friends are.
The ones that jump in their cars and drive across the country simply for a few beers and to catch up for a single night.
The ones that offer me a sofa to crash on.
The ones who let me ramble on about my adventures.
The ones that no matter how long we forget to chat with it’s like I never left.
The ones who I can just hang out with and not even talk I’m just stoked to be chilling with.
And of course it goes without saying that I’ll miss my family. Despite the joys of technology (even my Grandad can Skype me!) nothing beats sharing a pint with my dad, a hug from my grandma or my mum telling my to clean up my mess for the tenth time!
I WONT miss the lack of adventure. Despite making the effort to see friends, go out and grab some surfs I can hardly say that home is full of adventure. Don’t get me wrong there’s plenty to do, but it just doesn’t compare to the adventure, excitement and unpredictability of life on the road.
I’m used to spontaneous days of hiking through jungles, freediving with sharks, wandering around local markets filled with the aromas of exotic places of taking people up on invites to see new things. The UK just doesn’t have that kick, it’s too familiar, it’s too predictable. I love being surrounded by languages I don’t understand, cultures I want to explore and experiences I want to try. I crave the unknown!
I WILL miss home cooking! Yup another home comfort courtesy of my Mum! Even though I love to cook on the road it’s usually in rather improvised hostel kitchens and fairly basic and manic. Having a whole kitchen to myself, a fridge and cupboards full of tasty ingredients (none of which have name labels on them!) and a full section of pots, pans and knives is a treat. It may send weird but I’m sure many backpacker will agree!
And then of course there’s mums home cooking – nothing beats coming in the door to the smell of dinner on the go!
I WONT miss the cost of living. After spending so much time in South America and Asia, where I’ve been living for close or under £10 a day the UK came as a massive shock to myself and my bank balance! In all fairness I did spend less than I thought I had, but parting with £10 for a meal out knowing what I could buy for the same amount elsewhere on the road was a tough adjustment to make. I’m looking forward to a few months of work to top up my funds and adjust back into a backpacker budget!
I WILL miss unpacking. One of my biggest gripes with long term travel is the pace. Occasionally you simply burn out and need a solid base, for a solid period of time simply to recharge and unpack. Even though I kind of did that in Ecuador I never fully unpacked. I still lived out of my backpack.
Being back at home have me my own space again to unpack and sprawl my life out on the floor (much to my Mums annoyance!) simply because I could! Being able to leave things on my bed and not worry a of security or being a mess stripped away the backpacker element of my thinking, I could relax, let chaos take over and have a solid base to recharge in. It may sound an off thing to miss but ask any long term traveller about the mindset emptying your rucksack properly rings and I’m sure they’ll agree it’s an over rated luxury!
I WONT miss the weather! This was bound to come up at one point! Although the UK has served up some great sunny days (and unusually some surf to match!) I’m not a fan of the climate or changing weather patterns. I love life in the heat, where board shorts and bare feet are the accepted attire, where I’m greeted in the morning by blue skies and finish the day under a fiery red sunset. Grey isn’t my preferred choice of colour and it doesn’t make me feel stoked either – I’m like a solar panel and I need a good dose of sunshine and outdoor living to function properly!
And there you have it – a glimpse into the moments and experiences you’ll miss and gain as a backpacker, especially if you’re going long term. Maybe it will help you prepare for your adventure and appreciate the small things before you leave or maybe it’ll make you crave home if you’re away..
Are you on the glad or preparing to go? Anything you’d add to the list?