It is nearly 3 years since we put our home on the market and started planning our ‘Big Adventure’. Countless times before and during our travels we heard the exclamation ‘you are so brave’ and maybe we were, I don’t know. All I know is that the fear of not doing it beat the fear of doing it. For someone who got seriously over anxious about the smallest of social occasions or even deciding what to have for a drink at my very worst, I suppose it was an incredibly big step to take and in the end I think we both stepped so far out of our comfort zones that we never could step back again even if we wanted to.
Being in a reminiscing mood today, I thought I would tell a little more about our ‘Big Adventure’. I have mentioned it in passing in previous posts and felt it was time to put some flesh on those bones.
Before jetting off to foreign adventures, we wanted to spend time exploring our own country. We set off in our trusty Mr Bongo and travelled up the east side of England into Scotland, back down again via the west side and then across the bottom. Our route was based on random things such as places we had seen on the weather map, ones from books I had read as a child or simply because we liked the name. Our Bongo travels introduced us to life without planning and how to trust that things would work out if we didn’t plan every step. Our adventure started and ended with life in our little Bongo home.
Next stop on our travels was a week in Singapore. To be quite honest we took a gamble booking a stopover here as we knew virtually nothing about the country and simply wanted somewhere on the way to New Zealand that wasn’t the standard option of Dubai or Hong Kong. It was proof that gambles are worth taking – Singapore is amazing! If you ever get the chance to go, do! Okay it could do with turning down the humidity level, nowhere is perfect though. Singapore is friendly, easy to travel around on public transport, full of good food, wondrous sights and a glorious mesh of cultures.
After a tense and stressful flight via Hong Kong (tip folks – always make sure that your baggage allowance is the same for all flights on a multi-flight trip!), we landed in New Zealand. My head found it really weird to comprehend that I was actually on the other side of the world! After staying with friends in Auckland for a week (including a mini road trip up to Cape Reinga), we picked up our monster camper with 2 double beds and set off on our road trip round the two islands…and boy did we see some roads! We travelled past beaches, through mountain passes, across water, spent the night next to a colony of fur seals, saw wild penguins and laughed ourselves silly at the birds. New Zealand is a gloriously beautiful, friendly and laid back country. Having not been too fussed initially, I would return in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose.
Our final stop on our travels was Tokyo…for 6 months. We had visited Japan a fair few times and wanted to experience life there. Living somewhere is so completely different to visiting and it blindsided us for a while how much we struggled at first. Everything ‘normal’ seemed so..well…not normal. We did travel a little whilst there, mostly though our time was spent exploring our city and falling in love with life there in a way we never foresaw. There were times of isolation and also of belonging. When we returned to the UK, we left our home behind and have missed it ever since.
The view from our apartment window in Yanaka, Tokyo
This is a simple snap shot of our travels, a topic I could write about again and again. And I am sure that I will – let me know if you’d like to hear about any part in particular!
Anyone thinking of travelling, do it. Stop making excuses and do it. Before it really is too late. It is challenging and amazing. Our ‘Big Adventure’ shaped us and continues to influence who we are and what we do.