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My back story
After leaving high school without a clue what to do, I did what most of my friends did at the time, looked for work. I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship as an electrician and after 5 years I gained my qualifications. It had always been a dream of mine to visit Australia. Was it growing up watching Crocodile Dundee or was it learning about climate and terrain in geography at school? I don’t know but the one thing I did know, the yearning would never stop. After another 5 years of clambering in and out of lofts, chasing out walls, being covered in dirt for long hours the company I worked for went bust. Being the height of the financial crisis, work was scarce and getting a job would be difficult….Adventure anyone!? I proceeded to sell everything I owned and booked a one way ticket to my life long dream.
The truth is, my dream couldn’t even come close to the reality. Going to Australia, I always knew I was going to be blown away by the scenery and wildlife and yes, it didn’t disappoint. The countless road trips, disasters, and once in a lifetime experiences are all etched into my brain forever. However, the one thing that stands out more than all the goon-overs, breakdowns, animals and random jobs were the people! Now what to say about the people? How long have you got? Hands down it’s always the people that you meet on the road that make any trip amazing. You could go anywhere in the world but if you’ve no one to share it with, what’s the point!?
After spending nearly two whole years bumbling round Australia, the last 8 months solely living and working out of a campervan. I was ruined! Between the constant struggle of nursing my 20 odd year old campervan to life everyday and living off super-noodle butties, I looked homeless, I felt homeless and I was really missing home!
The day the engine on the campervan blew, that was it, I’d had enough! I’m going home… Within 24 hours I was on an international flight from Sydney all the way back to Manchester! Completely burnt out!!!
Taking a step back, the biggest mistake I made was letting the dream turn into reality! Without realising, I’d slipped into the Australian rat race, working every hour I could to save money.
That was a few years back now, since then my life has gone through many changes, some good and some bad!
Re-joining the rat race!
At the time I was in my late 20’s and the feeling that I should just do what society expects of me was overwhelming.
Before I knew it I had another crappy job for an employer that treated us all like s**t and a flat that was costing me the majority of what I earned just to run. Within 6 months of being home I was in the same place as I had been so desperate to escape from… What had I done!?
In hindsight, F**ked up is what I had done!!!
“It’s just a phase” I told myself, give it a couple of years and you’ll be back in the swing of it. Having this train of thought, within another 6 months, I now had a house and mortgage/noose around my neck for the next quarter of a century.
Some people would have felt like they’d reached the promised land, nice house, easy, stress-less job, enough money to go abroad for one/two weeks a year depending on how I spaced out my measily 20 days a year holidays, of which they took 5 off me for Christmas.
Yes I know I’m “lucky” to get 20 days holiday a year, I know for you Canadians reading this, you get a lot less… How do you not go insane!?
There’s got to be more to life than this….
Some people thrive off deadlines, pressure and career goals. Some people strive for money and status. Some people want to look around and think they’ve done better than 95% of people around them.
Age and a certain degree of maturity has taught me that’s just not me. Keep your iPhone 62, I’ll have a Nokia 3210 thanks. Keep your 5 bedroom house, I can only sleep in one. Do I really need a car that can pretty much drive itself!? Well where’s the fun in that?
I’m sure people only go for these gimmics for two reasons:
- To “keep up with the Jones'”
- Well if you’ve got to go to work everyday and only have 21 days holiday a year then what else can you spend your wages on?
Don’t get me wrong there was a time where my younger self was all about “things” and earning lots of money…. As I’ve got older, all I see now is that there’s one thing money can’t buy you and that’s TIME!!! Once it’s gone, it’s gone!
Not feeling content with the 9-5 grind, I find myself always looking for excitement, adventure, basically the unknown. I don’t fit in with what society says is the norm, I don’t want the norm, I don’t want convention, I don’t want a mediocre existence!
I want to live everyday as I want to live it on that given day, not governed by someone else’s ideals, not by their timescales and certainly not by their rules.
So why the blog…
To be fair, there’s quite a few reasons why I’m writing this blog.
Not because I’m a lyrical genius or top notch wordsmith, in all honesty, I failed English at high school. I’m guessing if you read more of this blog, you’ll see I’m no J.R.R Tolkien, not even a Martin Handford! (Where’s Wally? or Where’s Waldo if your reading from the US). To date, I’ve managed to write over 55,000 words, I’d say that’s more than I’ve written collectively over the last decade. Not much call for it on a building site. The “lads” at work call me “ham fists” so if this laptop makes it to 100,000, it’ll be doing well.
The main I started “drunkenpom” was that the nearly two years I spent in Australia left a lasting impression on me and as soon as anyone mentions “down-under”, you can’t shut me up… Regardless of whether or not they’re talking about dropping their pen “down-under” the table, I’m unstoppable!! In all seriousness, I made many mistakes and wasted so much money, especially at the beginning of my journey I want to share my mishaps with the world and hopefully stop the odd person from making the same mistakes.
As I’ve stated above, over the last couple of years I’ve been battling with whether to just do what’s expected or do what I want. There was one thing that bothered me: Am I too old to travel? It seems a lot of people google this. So for me who has travelled in my 20’s and now in my 30’s what’s the difference? I hope to answer the questions for these people. Hopefully inspire them to follow their dream or if it all goes south for me, reassure them that they all made the right decision!!
Now that I have given in to what I really want to do with my life, TRAVEL! It would be nice if this blog, one day could bring in a little money to help finance some of it, enabling me to work less and travel more.
Also, memories fade! I’ll always be able to look back at this and remember where I’ve been and who I’ve met.
Goals for this website…
My aims are to collate and share all useful information from myself and people I met along the way. An easy to use and free database of everything you may need to know to thrive and excel on your adventures around the world. By doing this I hope to stop as many people as possible from making the same mistakes I and many others alike made.
This website is a one stop shop for cheap travel arrangements, accommodation, Working holiday visa, buying vehicles, finding work, life on the road, what to take, and how to go about gaining your 2nd year visa. Of course sight seeing and places to party.
Before setting out on the journey of a lifetime I researched where to go, when to go, how to go and every other question imaginable. Yes there is an abundance of information available to those dedicated enough to trawl the net for hours for it and although some of it is accurate, there is no substitute for firsthand experience.
My first foreign expedition was to the other side of the world, Australia. My first taste of this amazing country was a 15 minute taxi ride to a fellow backpackers temporary abode which set me back a staggering $50….a sobering ride through Perth. If I had my time again would I have crawled there on my tongue!? probably yes.
Learn from my misadventures!!!
So where is the blog going from here!?
Just writing this blog has sparked my wanderlust once again. Originally it was just going to be all about my journey backpacking Australia but the more I write the more I remember and the more I want to get back on the road. At the moment I’m exploring more of England, some of the places I’ve already been but with lack of wisdom that youth brings, not appreciated any of it. Some of the places I’ve never been. The next 2-3 months will be all about the UK and then after that I shall be setting off to either SE Asia or South America, not quite decided between the two yet.
Bottom line, I don’t want to know what is going to happen everyday of my life!
After fighting with what is “expected of me” and being true to myself, the house is sold, money saved up and time to hit the road again! The stress and worry are gone, from this day fourth I’ll do whatever it is I want to do, when I want to do it.
See you in a year when I’m flat broke and don’t have a pot to p*ss in!
All the best,