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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!