An Even Stronger Wanderlust PT 2 OF 6
January 24, 2022
On a grey and cold morning in the UK, I thought it was time to continue my Wanderlust vagabonding blog post. I am about to set off on another great adventure to a part of the world I have never been too. Where will you go when you begin your world travels?
In my last post I gave you a brief look into my past and the reasons I now love to travel.
Going back to the story of my life and travels, things have improved considerably since my difficult early years. Let us not pretend everything is perfect now, nothing is ever totally perfect. I have experienced some dark times recently too, my terrible bike accident at the end of 2019, the global Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown in 2020/21, and some periods of extended illness. Being the jolly upbeat type of person I am, I always brush these things away quickly and carry on with life. Always a smile upon my face but these things can bring you down sometimes. Having things that stop you from living the life you want can be deeply frustrating, but every hurdle can be defeated.
A wise and respected friend of mine, who had been dealing with a nasty dose of flu herself recently, said this:
She felt that being ill or injured is sometimes like a cleansing, a bridge between two parts of your life, a time where you are forced to rest and take stock. So, I suppose in some ways it is something that can also be a positive thing if you use the time to rest and clear your mind; to meditate on your life. Like the Coronavirus lockdown period, I suppose.
I have this underlying health condition which means I hang on to viruses for longer, especially in our bleak British winter. I have always been someone who does better in the heat and the sun. These past couple of years have led me to really think about my mortality. An old friend of mine died a couple of years back; he was the age I am now. He was an architect by trade, and he went to meet an architecture client in Ireland, on a day the same as any other. As he entered his colleague’s office he suddenly keeled over and had a massive heart attack and died right there on the spot. He had not previously been diagnosed with any problems regarding his heart. Just like that…he was gone.
Any of us could go like that; life is too short not to live our life to the fullest right now, to take chances and experience things while we still can before it is too late.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot
My most recent trip to India was a real turning point for me. I met some people on that trip that have shown me that the life I have always dreamt of, is possible. Can you imagine a life full of travel and adventure, travelling for extended periods, exploring foreign countries, and experiencing different cultures and maybe even ending up living in some exotic land? This ambition has been calling to me for as long as I can remember but the time to do it never seemed to be right. Now, however, the time has never felt more right.
When I say ‘the time was not always right’ this was nothing to do with my age or my work or home-life circumstances (my security if you like). Without sounding too hippie-dippy, it is more about the stars being aligned, you just know when it is the right time to go; your whole soul tells you so.
Long term travel is something that profoundly changes our perspective on life. A two-week package holiday to somewhere like Spain comes nowhere near the life-changing experiences that long term world travel can offer. The difference is, long term travel brings a new dynamic to your experience; you will find yourself living amongst the locals, taking in new cultures, meeting amazing people and really using the time to explore this beautiful planet of ours.
“You may think that’s easier said than done and there are a multitude of reasons why you can’t travel right now, but they aren’t reasons not to do it. They’re just the things that you have to start working to overcome from this moment on. The time to make the firm decision that you will travel and start getting your life in order so that you are able to go, is now.”
From: TRAVEL FOR YOUR LIFE by Chantell Glenville
“But it’s not as easy as that!” I hear you say, “I have family, a good job and responsibilities; maybe I can do it once I’ve retired?”
Let us say you are right, when is the right time to go? Is it when you have finished university? Or once the kids have left home? When you win the lottery? Or even when you retire?
Or perhaps when you are dead? Oh no, that would be too late.
“Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.”
– Joseph B. Wirthlin
Yes, of course we can feel that there are things that hold us back and let’s face it, the prospect is scary, but if you wait until you retire you may not be fit enough to travel and live the life you really want. If you have kids, bring them along with you; what an education that would be for them.
For me, the biggest thing that was holding me back was that I had massive credit card debt and no income or job that I could transfer abroad to financially support me during my travels. If you need to make regular payments to a credit card provider, long term travel is out of the question, and you will definitely need some sort of income to support yourself on the road.
If I am being totally honest about the reasons for putting off my travels, I also felt locked into the security of my flat in Surrey; it is a lovely flat in a lovely area. But when I sit in that flat, lovely as it is, all I can think about is travelling the world; so, der!!
Another concern for many is the thought of losing contact with our friends; I love my friends so much and could not bear the thought of leaving them behind. At the time, these things felt like enormous hurdles to me.
But let us get some perspective here. As far as losing contact with my friends; I should have simply said to myself: “ever heard of social media?” These days our friends are only one click away on our laptop. You can see them regularly through your computer screen via programs like Skype, Teams, Zoom and Facetime. Video calling is a great way to catch up on your friends’ lives and as a result, they can keep up to date with what you are doing as well (Which will probably make them very jealous).
Over time the concerns and hurdles that were holding me back just disappeared naturally one by one; ‘the stars were finally aligned.’
Each of you will have your own hurdles, fears, and financial/security restraints but it’s all a matter of putting things into perspective and dealing with them one by one.
I am now free to travel because many things have fallen into place; often because I have worked at making it so.
Apart from being almost completely recovered from my traumatic bike accident, there have been several promising changes in my life that have meant I am now ready to take the leap and go.
The first change is that I am now debt-free, thanks to a debt relief order.
The second change is I have a publishing house that is prepared to publish my books; you are reading part of one now. You can write anywhere in the world, which means this is an income I can transfer abroad and have whilst travelling. Ask yourself, what could you do that would serve the same purpose?
Thirdly, I have set up an online business selling hippie clothing and accessories. As this is an online business it is also something I can do whilst I am travelling.
Regularly putting money into a savings account is paramount at this point; save, save, save.
As I keep saying, it is all a matter of perspective; if you want to travel long term, list the hurdles that are stopping you and then work through what needs to happen to conquer them.
I think one of the reasons I have found this new given drive and confidence to finally embrace my nomadic dream, is I have been really motivated by some of the people I have met on my trips to Goa over the last couple of years. I have been invigorated by those who have already accomplished their dreams of travelling the world; many of whom have now made a new life for themselves in places like India.
Meeting new people is what I enjoy most about travelling, the characters that you meet along the way.
During my last trip to Goa I was introduced to four amazing individuals; their names were Nadia, Vinod, Jean, and Jan (I had met Jan briefly in London before). All three have been brave enough to create completely new lives for themselves abroad. These wonderful human beings have had the confidence and bravery to go for it, and not only that; they have also made a success of their dreams.
Nadia (from Belgium) is married to a lovely North Indian man called Vinod and they now run a place called ‘People Bar’ on the beach in Benaulim in Goa during the tourist season. For the rest of the year, they run a guest house in the north of India in the mountains, at a place called Naggar, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, a beautiful part of India. To me their life seems idyllic, they have beautiful worldly children and always seem to radiate a happy, glowing energy that is infectious.
The second is Jean, (a Frenchman), who has also chosen to live in Benaulim for much of the year, he is retired but keeps himself busy helping out in the local Indian community. He also spends part of his year in Thailand. I found he has a remarkable calm about him and all he does; he lives a good life and talking to him really stirred up the travel wanderlust in me.
The third person is Jan, as I’m sure you will read in my second Hippie Kushi book, she tells her story about what a beautiful life she now lives.
All four of these amazing souls have had a massive influence on me and are a real inspiration and motivation for anyone with long-term global nomad goals.
As for my own vagabonding plans, I intend to depart from the UK in October 2022; when hopefully the worst of the pandemic has blown over. Initially, I will sell or give away most of the contents of my flat and then do a Housing Association flat swap to a much smaller studio flat (my future UK base). Then, when I am ready, I will put on my backpack and just go on the first of many long-term adventures! There is no more fear, no more reservations; I am ready to live the life of a global hippie!
After an initial journey around Europe, I will be exploring Southeast Asia and then Nepal before I take on the whole of India.
I will of course eventually return to my beloved Goa and once I have chosen my favourite happy hippie place there, I will be moving to Goa for good, yes, you heard me, I will not be coming back to live in the UK for any length of time after that. Who would not want to live in a happy hippie paradise in the sun? I know, it is a huge leap of faith, but I also know it will make me happy. It is the right thing for me to do in my life right now; the right time to leave and follow my dreams. I know if I do not do this, I will be like a slug who has had salt poured over it; I would simply shrivel up and die.
When I write the next book in the series, I will be writing about my upcoming travels around the world, this book will be called: ‘Hippie Kushi Adventures Around the World.’
Hippie Kushi Waking up to Life book one will be out on February 28th 2022.
Until next time….