Travel changes you. It really does.
Travel has ALWAYS been my number one passion. I was encouraged to travel in my early years by my Granddad, who bless his soul, brought me up on tales of his travels during the war, his immigration from England to Australia via ship with the family, and his numerous tours around Australia with Nan, their dog and the occasional crocodile.
On the other hand there was my Nan and Mum, who constantly told me that we had ‘gypsy’ blood in us, and that was why we could never rest, always looking for the next place to move to.
By the time I was 24 I had lived in over 18 houses and quite a few towns. In a way, I had become addicted to the constant moving, half the time not bothering to unpack all the boxes in anticipation of the next move. I moved houses, then suburbs, and then travelled overseas, even living and working in the UK.
Soon, every time I came ‘home’ to Australia and remained in one spot, I became miserable. That’s when I had to plan my next adventure. Hawaii. Sydney. Vanuatu. There was no rest. I’d work, save up all my leave, then take time off and travel. Then come back and work, save up my leave, and take time off and travel. I was a restless spirit.
And then – shock horror – I did the unexpected and bought a house!
I think it was one of the most stressful things I had ever done. I had anxiety attacks and sleepless nights. What was I doing? I loved renting. I loved moving. I wanted to live anywhere but here. I wanted to live overseas! I wanted to be a travelling nomad. My dream of being a travel writer was dead and buried under a pile of bricks and mortar and debt. Buying a house, committing to a mortgage – I would never be free again!
Obviously I really blew things out of proportion as it has not been all that bad. I actually love having my own place. The palm trees and Japanese garden in the back yard might help by giving me a feeling that I am somewhere else.There are no more rent inspections. I don’t have to put up with constant rent rises or being told I can’t allow my dog inside the house (seriously – she’s cleaner than some humans!). I can paint the walls any colour under the sun, or ‘fantasy renovate’ (my term for planning amazing renovations with no money i.e. a fantasy that may never happen – one can dream!).
And funnily enough, I’ve never felt more rested and at peace (or, as some people would say – ‘settled’).