I’ve been delaying writing this post for several months. Truth be told, it’s been such an up-and-down experience being back, it’s been hard to commit anything to paper that wouldn’t be out of date just a day later. We’ve gone round in circles on an almost daily basis, discussing what to do next – in terms of jobs, travel, where we’ll live – and the only firm conclusion I can make is that travelling has made me even more indecisive (which is saying something!) as my eyes are now permanently open to all the alternative ways we could be living.
We know we want to life-hack in some way. We want to save up a load of money, set up some forms of secondary income (outside of jobs) to maximise on this, we want to free up time for more long-term travel – both in the near future, and at some point, as a permanent solution.
Current thinking is to save up, buy a flat in London, live in it for a few years then rent it out whilst we travel again, then come home and decide our next step. Selling up and moving to a cheaper city; moving/working abroad for a bit; sticking it out in London. Having kids; not having kids. It’s pretty much all still open. I’ve been freelancing in my previous career to save up for my half of the flat deposit; we’ve been living in the attic at Sam’s parents for 10 months so we can save (almost) all we earn.
It’s been a real learning curve, in a good way. I’ve been living in a family that now feels like my family (Sam’s) – something that may never have happened if we weren’t so obsessed with saving money to set up the life we want. I’ve got really close with Sam’s family, and now even hang out with them when he’s not here. I’ve had an amazing summer with friends that reminded me why we came home, followed by our first Autumn/Winter back in the UK in two years, which has been dark, cold and a little unnerving. I’ve thought about buying another plane ticket more than a few times.
I’ve learnt how important working in a happy environment is, whilst working in an office I loved during a freelance contract. I’m now looking at jobs that allow a flexible working week, prioritising work/life balance over other job benefits. I’ve started volunteering with suicide hotline Samaritans, the first step to my dream of becoming a psychotherapist. In short, I’ve put my own goals and happiness above everything else, and it feels good!
That said, I’m just as confused as ever, I don’t know how things will turn out, but I’ve got a sense of excited anxiety that I didn’t have before, like anything is possible. I recently started a job I hated – the atmosphere was poisonous, the job role was over-sold – so I just walked out after 1.5 days. Life’s too short. I know we could be teaching English in Vietnam and living like kings working a 3 day week. We could be dive masters on a beautiful remote island. I know that I don’t want to settle for decisions that make me unhappy, and that Sam and I will do everything we can to set ourselves up for the life we want whether that’s retiring early or travelling for our golden years.