We’ve been home for a few weeks now. The Fear has gone and I’m happy to say that I haven’t yet felt my travel memories go grey and brittle around the edges, as they have done in the past. Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of being happy wherever I happen to be and not reading too much into it – which is going to be pretty handy for 2016, by the looks of it, as I have no clue what the year holds beyond the first couple of weeks.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way – unusually for us, we had a plan for this year.
After several years of ALWAYS coming back to England at its wettest, greyest and most miserable, we’d had enough. Why stay around for the whole winter when there is literally nothing stopping us from buggering off to somewhere hot for a few months and then coming back to visit during summer? So this time, we decided just to stay for Christmas and New Year and then jet off to Thailand to meet up with friends.
Hurray for sunshine, noodle soup and scooters!
But then Lewis’ former employer got in touch to offer an office-based contract during our month at home. And then the contract got extended to the end of January.
And now everything is up in the air.
It’s possible – but not definite – that they could offer a 6 month contract. And that would mean staying in the UK for 6 months. Or, to put it another way, not-travelling for 6 months. It would mean finding a place to rent, laying down some temporary roots and bedding back into a life we left more than three years ago.
Of course, we could turn it down, but the offer would be way too good to pass up. It would pay for an awful lot of future adventures and make our lives much more comfortable.
If The Fear is anything to go by, I should be freaking out at the ‘what ifs’ of an ever-lengthening contract: of our temporary stay turning into something more permanent long before we’re ready to hang up our backpacks.
But funnily enough, I think I’ll be quite happy either way. It’s made me realise that as long we’re decisive one way another, there’s nothing to worry about.
If I know I’m staying for a set amount of time, I can get on with it – I can find a place to rent, get into a good routine, make plans, research places to explore in my own backyard and make the most out of it. And if I know we’re going to be travelling, I can book a flight, get us excited about the next new destination and get us on our way.
So although we drift into 2016 with a question mark over our next move – we won’t know until early Jan – I can, at least, look back on our Mexican adventures in 2015, our Kiwi house-sitting exploits in 2014 and all the fun things we’ve done in South East Asia over the last 3 years, and know this: It won’t be boring.
Best wishes for the New Year, wherever you happen to be!