I was so excited as I made my travel plans to go off for ten months. Here is the post I wrote nearly one year ago. How things have changed. Travelling the world will now become more difficult as we adapt to a new normal. It will not stop loyal travellers. We will always find a way. We will now be more mindful though of how we get from A to B. Conscious of staying safe and being courteous to the countries that want to continue to host us. They still need tourism and their livelihoods depend on tourists. So to all of you travellers especially solo globe trotters, our paths will cross but we shall be wearing our masks. I have rented my house again in September 2020. I have left it until now to start thinking about where I shall go this time. Turkey seems to be calling. There is a lovely boat there where I am told I can step on board and do some writing. Will keep you posted.
Tomorrow September 1st 2019 is the day of the big one. That means I am not coming home for at least ten months and I have made myself homeless. I have to do that to be free to travel.
So now I have no house to clean and maintain, utilities are minimal and I can be on my way. The aim is to stay within my budget, obviously, and from experience, I know, that if I am careful, choose the right places to go, I can definitely live cheaper than staying put.
I can prove to you, the best experiences are usually free. I keep on telling my kids that but they do not listen.
Mum is off again, perhaps they think I am swanning off around the world whilst they are left to suffer. (They are all grown up by the way) I am sure they do not really want my stories drummed into them. Their lives belong to them, it is time to create their own memories to share and they will. It is normal for one to want to show your kids places, unfortunately, they have to discover them for themselves to really appreciate what is out there. So I guess I will get the usual ‘Call us when you get there and OH, where are you going again’ Honestly will they miss me when I am gone.
But we are never really gone, or far away, we have the internet, enough said.
For those who read my blog and are interested in traveling, especially if you are 62 like me. It is no big deal, not unless you make it into one. Get yourself connected, traveling is easier than you think. There is no excuse if you are prepared to jump out of your comfort zone.
- You will be leaving your friends and family behind for a long period. Believe me, you know who your friends are when you see who is following you on social media. They stay in touch and you will be having meaningful conversations at weird hours. True friends want to know about your experience and if you are OK.
- Packing up your home. I own my home, so I rent it which funds my trips. I get a good agent who takes a three-month deposit. That way I can always get home in time if I have to and my house is not left empty. Plus I have family and friends who live close for added security. Even my two cats are taken care of. All my personal items get locked away but I am happy to let people come in and look after my house for me. I always stay in touch with my tenants and they are happy to send me news from home.
- How much stuff should I take? Keep it as minimal as you can, My first trip, I took a huge suitcase which I ended up throwing away, including all the clothes I hardly wore. I always find places where I stop long enough to wash clothes and refresh, maybe throw away a few things in favour of buying new.
- What about work, Um yes that can be tricky if you are stuck in education or a nine to five job which requires you to stay put. Education I will write about later, the latter, well if you have a mortgage to pay and kids to send to school then obviously you just cannot take off. But work is changing and I meet many travelers on exciting journey’s head down on a computer screen either earning a remote income or getting educated. It is not for everyone but worth thinking about how your career dictates where you are.
My first stop is Krakow in Poland. I am volunteering on a program run by a company called www.Angloville.com The upside is I get to stay in superb hotel accommodation with three meals a day, all for free and in return, I have to engage in conversations and activities to help non-native English speakers improve their conversational skills. I have already partaken in a similar course near Madrid earlier this month and had an absolutely amazing time. You meet new friends and create memories, Check out Estacion Inglesa. They do mainly Spanish locations.
Following my course, I plan to stay in Krakow for a week and will be visiting Auschwitz. I am then going to Czech republic before I do a quick trip to Blighty and suffer the Brexit Mayhem before I venture down to Bucharest to speak English with some willing Romanian students. I have no plans sorted past November 1st but as I said I can rely on the internet to help me on my journey.
Footnote:- I travelled on to Cambodia and India where I stayed for over two months then went to Thailand Vietnam before returning to the UK to spend lockdown for the last couple of months.. It is best not to plan to far ahead and keep your options open. Remember you do not know who you are going to meet and where life and circumstance will direct you, especially as Covid restrictions can be unpredictable. I never planned to spend so long in the UK but as it happened it worked out lovely. I rented a fisherman’s cottage in deal and explored the Viking way and coastal path in Kent. A place I now intend to return to.