Feeling Uninspired and The Travel Blues

Blog, Life Lessons, Travel Tips

I have been trying for the past week to write a new blog post. I probably have five partially written posts, that in all honesty I don’t like at all. I’ve just been feeling uninspired and I think I have the travel blues. 

Don’t get me wrong, life here is amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But for the last couple of days, maybe even weeks, I have been feeling a little lonely and I’ve been wrestling with the question of why I’m here. Why do I have a travel blog? Why am I in Australia? Why aren’t I in University like all my other friends? Why, why, why?! I have also been freaking out about my money situation, and missing my friends and family back home.

cropped-blue-mountains-2014-edit-01611.jpg

At least my day pack is getting some attention…

In all honesty, I think my blues comes from the fact that I don’t feel like a backpacker at the moment. All of my friends here introduce me to their friends as a backpacker, but it feels like a shame. My backpack is stuffed under my bed, my clothes are hanging in a wardrobe, and I get to have a good shower every morning. I’m working (when I can get work), and have an apartment with room mates. This isn’t backpacking. I haven’t left the Sydney area in weeks, but even so the money that I saved up for backpacking is slowly getting drained.

So I’m having a minor freak out.

So Jenna, what are you going to do about it?

Well, I’m not going home, that’s for sure.

Look at that cute face! Wouldn't have seen that if I wasn't here

Look at that cute face! Wouldn’t have seen that if I wasn’t here

Never would have learned how to surf if I wasn't here

Never would have learned how to surf if I wasn’t here

And my photography skills are getting a little better since I've been here

And my photography skills are getting a little better since I’ve been here

I know that I will regret my decision to go home the moment I book my ticket. I know that this is just a phase of travelling that I’m going through – culture shock – and it will be over soon. And finally, I know that I will be incredibly disappointed in myself if I give up.

I just keep telling myself that this is temporary, only until February, and then I’m off again. I need to start living in the moment again, taking every day as it comes. I love Sydney, love it, and maybe going to the beach on the weekends and visiting the museums and movie theatres isn’t as exciting as wandering through jungles or road tripping across the desert, but it’s much better than being in Canada (hello -46’C weather!) and I shouldn’t be complaining.

So, I’m going to try to answer the questions I’ve been asking myself for the past few days, and reflect on what got me here in the first place.


Backpack Manifesto - shadow

So why do I have a travel blog?

My initial plan with the blog was to keep my family informed on what’s going on in my life. To share my photos, stories, quotes, musings etc. But somewhere in the last two months I lost that. I saw so many other blogs that were making money off of travelling and I wanted to do that too. But I kept getting discourage when I saw how amazing their blogs were and mine wasn’t. So I’m going back to my original ideas – this is a blog for me and who ever wants to read it. A travel diary with photos and ideas and inspiration. 

Oh right, this is why I chose Australia

Oh right, this is why I chose Australia

Why am I in Australia?

This is a loaded question. Australia itself was a random country I chose to travel in – the heat and the lack of snow helped my decision. At this point, the cost of being here and the lack of cultural difference has me wishing I had chosen a different country. But where? I could have backpacked across South East Asia for a couple of months. Or gone back to Europe for the fourth time. But I didn’t, I’m here, and I’m happy I’m here.

I left Canada because I was feeling bored with life. My friends had moved to all ends of Canada – and Canada is huge – for University, Military training, or to just get out of our small town. I was envious of them, but I didn’t want what the social norm was – go to school, buy a house, get married, have 2.5 babies. I needed to get out and explore this amazing world that we live on, so I did.

I'd much rather be here than school

I’d much rather be here than school

Why aren’t I in University like all my other friends?

The most honest and truthful answer I can give is that Canadian universities are crazy expensive. Looking at over $20k a year for an undergraduate, that’s a lot of money. And I truly didn’t – and still don’t – know what I wanted to study. I could study English, International Business (snor), Languages, anything and I didn’t know what I wanted. Far to many choices to gamble over $20k a year with. And I mean my friends are all doing it and surviving. Working during the summer, and studying during the rest of the year. It is obviously possible to go to school and not leave with a huge amount of student debt. But, unwilling to take that chance of not being able to travel after university because of the debt, I quickly decided to travel first.

Now I have to confess that I do want to go, I truly do. I had plans for it before I came here. To go to York University in Toronto to study International Development and Languages, with a certificate to teach English overseas. I would be good at it, I know I would. But then a personal situation ensued, and all of those dreams fell apart.

So I decided to come here instead. Voila!


Definitely going to miss Sydney when I leave...

Definitely going to miss Sydney when I leave…

Being in Australia is an amazing opportunity, and I don’t want to waste it by complaining or wishing I was else where. Even if I’m in Sydney until February, I have amazing friends to keep me company, and this city is big enough for there to always be surprises around every corner. 

And I know I’m going to miss it here once I leave.

Have you ever experienced culture shock or the travel blues? How did you handle it, or what did you do to overcome it? Let me know in the comments below!

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11 thoughts on “Feeling Uninspired and The Travel Blues

  1. Great read! I love hearing about people following their dreams, it gives me inspiration. I am from a small town and always find myself saying, ‘I can’t wait to get out of here!’ but as as soon as I graduated college, I got a job near by. I don’t really understand it honestly. I think I’m scared to move away and not be able to make it financially. Anyway, thanks for a great post!

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate the comment, and I’m happy I could inspire you in any little way!
      If you really want to travel, I think you have to go for it. The “you only live once” crap is true. There are so many short volunteer jobs you can do, or 2-week tours around a country or area. Just start little, it’s never too late 🙂

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  2. Jenna, everyone at home, is so very proud of you. I know i am living vicariously through you. Reflecting back on my life, i would love to have been able to do what you were doing when i was your age. Instead, i had a family.. not that i for a millisecond would change that. You have the opportunity of a thousand lifetimes. You are going to be homesick, worried, scared.. But you are also an amazingly strong woman. Every day, every opportunity, every new challenge is a new memory. I have no doubt that you will do what you need to do.. whether it’s work for a couple months then explore or move on. It will be the right thing to do. I love reading your blogs, your updates and seeing all your pictures. One day at a time, one challenge at a time, one memory at a time.. Love you Jenna ❤

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    1. Thanks Sue! I love you and I miss you, thanks for sticking by me this entire time 🙂
      I’ll keep on keeping on, and don’t worry there will be many many more blog posts to come, I won’t leave you stranded! ❤

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  3. Hang in there with your blogging and the backpacking! It can be tough, but I think you have the right idea writing for yourself and others who enjoy your posts. Also, I am so jealous of you in Australia, it looks gorgeous and has been at the top my to visit list for a while! Enjoy the adventure 🙂

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    1. It is really tough. Even finding the time to blog. I’ve finally seen enough of Sydney that I think I feel okay enough to set aside a couple of hours to blog. I just wanted somewhere to post my photos, and so that my mom can see what I’m doing and know that I’m still alive!
      Thank you, it is absolutely gorgeous here and I hope you make it here soon! Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, we’ve all been there! The point at which you stop ‘travelling’ and settle in one place due to work etc. Im in the same situation in Wellington, I feel a cheat if i say im ‘travelling’ as i wont be until at least march.
    Look on the bright side, at least you’ve got the sunshine! All we have is wind haha, good luck .
    🙂

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      1. Hey, wellington is a cool city! Weather isn’t the best but when the sun does appear its a beaut. Just saving for a trip to south island!

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  5. my dear Jenna
    i got the hint to your blog from my 22 years old daughter Thalia who is stayin in Ecuador for 6 months and a little bit coping with the same problems you are writing about.
    Almost 30 years ago, during a 2 years lasting world round trip, i settled for ca 3 months in Sydney. Great city easy living. I worked there for 2 months until I had diceded to buy a motorbike. This bike took me down to Adelaide and then all the way up to Darwin. From there I booked the cheapest flight to Indonesia, what took me to the island of Timor.
    You are sitting on a strategicly seen fantastic place. You can go anywhere with few money. The travel blues can get you anywhere so you can as well move on.
    And I tell you something. The blues after beeing back home lets say in a few weeks can be much worse if you are not prepared. Thats what I told my daughter and I know what I am talking about. Its the chance of your lifetime, do it for youself and for nobody else. by the way, your fotos are very nice. Go for it
    H

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