Dealing With Coming Home vs the Freedom of Travelling

This blog post is for assignment two of the MatadorU course, but don’t let that stop you…

I woke up this morning at 11.30am, although I didn’t know it was so late until I staggered into my room to hunt down my phone and squint at the bright screen. After going to the toilet I got back in bed and tried to relax in the warmth of my boyfriend, but the fact I’d already slept away half the day tugs at my conscience. It’s a sunny day and ‘I don’t want to waste it’. Ten minutes later and I’m up. My head is spinning and my stomach lurches when I recall the half bottle of Jack Daniels I drank last night washed back with house party punch.

It’s 2pm before my boyfriend struggles out of bed, moaning about the fact it’s Sunday already and we’ve got work in the morning. “Why does the weekend go so fast?”

I thought about our ‘Big Trip’ when we went around Europe for four months doing whatever we felt like every day. There was no work to think about, no routine to stick to and if we felt like sleeping in till the afternoon we just did. Or even better, we could nap on the beach if we ever got tired.

They've made travel their life

But it was this travelling through 10 countries in four months that bled our bank accounts dry.  With no money for rent in London like the rest of our friends who’ve chosen to save for houses rather than passport stamps we’re back at my boyfriend’s mum’s house. Where we’ve been for 18 months now.

It’s not all bad. I can smell the meaty juices from her Sunday lunch efforts from upstairs. One of the clear upsides of no privacy and sharing with his Grandma too is proper meals every day. We definitely didn’t have that when we were travelling. Although I do remember a few meaty feasts cooked in the hostels. One in particular was on a campsite in Venice. We bought a pack of sausages, a bag of rocket lettuce, mustard, French stick, a few bottles of wine and a disposable barbecue. We cooked the lot and made luxury hotdogs for two for less than a fiver. As we were poised to take the first bite we just looked at eachother and smiled. We knew the next five minutes of our lives were going to be beautiful.

Living back at home we still got the feasts, but just didn’t get to decide what and when. And instead of eating them in the great outdoors we’re up in his bedroom with just the thick air of Kilburn to keep us fresh coming through the window.

“Food is ready” the familiar shout from my mother-in-love rises up the stairs. We went down to claim the steak, potatoes and veggies she’d lovingly created. She must be getting bored of cooking for us by now, surely. Again the flash of guilt came to mind that had me obsessively looking on housing websites but never quite pushing to do anything about it. I’m hesitant to sign a housing agreement on the off chance I can persuade my boyfriend to do another Big Trip.

My current favourite itinerary is Bolivia – Ecuador – Colombia – Panama – Mexico – San Francisco – Utah – NYC for six months. He’s not so sure. “We need a house”. ”Work’s going well now”.

Living life the way it should be led

I want to go back to the days where we wandered the streets of a different city every week. We met new people every day and were always on the go. Our Big Trip was the best time of my life and every Sunday when we can’t quite believe it’s Sunday I know that life doesn’t have to be like this. Instead of spending our days sat in front of computer screens we could be watching the ocean. Instead of sitting here eating steak and potatoes watching The Cleveland Show we could be eating fresh fish on the Panama shores.

After lunch I’m stuffed. I go downstairs to clean the dishes and put the washing machine on. Then I come back upstairs and make the bed, tidy the room, vacuum the floor and hang up the clothes sprawled from the night before. I check my Facebook, see what the celebs are up to on the Daily Mail and keep up with Twitter. I shower and listen to music as I put my pyjamas back on. I can’t go out today, my salary doesn’t allow for two days of fun at weekends and I spent too much in Greenwich yesterday.

I look around at the photos that dot our box room, the drums we bought from a kid in Tangier, the postcards from Berlin and the bag from Fes. Our money has gone on creating brilliant memories not to bricks and mortar. I know we’ll go travelling again one day, and we’ll also buy a house one day too, I need to just sit back and enjoy the ride, as soon we’ll be there and then what will I do?

"I’m Not Rich, But I’ve Had a Rich Life"
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