Well, it’s almost been 3 years to the day when my fiancé (at the time) and I took off for our 1 year adventure across Europe and the US. I still remember that anxious feeling of packing everything I needed for 1 year in only 1 suitcase! It was a feeling of nerves and mostly excitement. I was off on an adventure with my husband-to-be in my favourite place in the world… Europe!
Needless to say, it was the best year of my life. We drove through Europe for 8 months which enabled us to explore the smaller cities which we never had a chance to earlier. We got married in Dubrovnik, Croatia with our family and friends by our side. We also spent 4 months in the US visiting my family and friends. What can I say, but this was the best time of my life and I have absolutely no regrets. We grew not only as individuals, but as a couple. From being thrown in stressful situations, being on a daily budget and sometimes being the only other person we could speak to when in remote areas. It was a trip of a lifetime and only made my thirst for travel that much larger!
It’s been 2 years since we came back to Sydney and to this day I feel that I am still transitioning back into “normal life.” We were both lucky enough to go back to the companies we previously worked for. This was a great boost as we had new job opportunities at companies we really enjoyed. This was definitely great for the bank account.
I am not going to lie, going back into the workforce after a gap year was a big transition. We had to wake up to an alarm clock again and we counted down the days to the weekends. It definitely had its ups and downs. To help combat the downs we decided to follow a few tactics:
Look at our own city as a tourist would!
We decided that we absolutely loved traveling and what we loved most about travelling is exploring new areas and trying local cuisines. So we decided to “travel” in our own city of Sydney. We picked a different neighbourhood each weekend and did a bit of research to fill the day. This incorporated trying new cafes, going for walks in the area and essentially being a local! We also went on a few tours around Sydney just like a local! This kept things interesting and fun!
I had a great job with a great company, however in the back of my mind I loved traveling and wanted to go into this industry. I had nearly 10 years’ experience in the healthcare industry with a great path ahead of me, however since I aim to live a life with no regrets I knew I had to jump. With a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to take a leap of faith and join the travel industry. It has now been 6 months and I work for a great iconic airline in Sydney. This has kept my passion for travel alive as I have the opportunity to learn about the airline industry on a daily basis.
Take Mini Breaks!
My partner and I decided to take a strategic view of the calendar year and planned out our holidays in a 6 month period with the aim of capitalising on the national holidays. Instead of saving all of our holiday for 1 big holiday in a year, we decided to take 5-6 days off on the back of a national holiday 4 times throughout the year. This enables us to get excited for each holiday (the anticipation is one of my favourite parts of traveling), experience a new city(ies) and travel throughout the year! Yes, it is definitely more expensive due to the cost of flights, however we believe its worth it! If someone told you that you need to work hard for 2 months and then you get a 9 day holiday at the end of it, could you resist?
So it’s been a little over 2 years from when we came back to Sydney from our gap year and we feel pretty good about where we are now. It was definitely a transition back to “real life”, however we have managed to weave that element of travel and spontaneity into our daily lives.