"I ... am no longer me.. At least I'm not the me I was. "
When we set out on our previous trip, neither of us were in search of anything really. We were happy and content, we just wanted to go rock climbing and see some of the world. Inevitably though travel does change you, more than you expect it to. It's not until you're home you truly realise how much. Things that were important before are now insignificant, fun times are no longer as much fun, you see people through different eyes. It's a two way street though you have to be open to it, as these days its pretty easy to tread a western path through any country. This is the reason we go on such journeys but are we ready to deal with the consequence?
When we returned from our trip away we had a list of ideals. Promising ourselves we would think long and hard about our futures but from the solid ground of home. So seven months on we are going again it's not that we don't love England and our friends and family, we do but we have unfinished business on the road. This time will be different of course, the security will be gone as this time we will both have quit our jobs. I've heard so many times from people that I've spoken to that "life's about living", "We are only on this planet once so make the most of it". A great quote taken from the front cover of the Verve's album History rings very true for us both right now, "life is not a rehearsal".
The universe can be a strange place sometimes and many believe our paths are already set out. So any wavering doubts we may have had were shaken when my employers told me I was to be made redundant in October. This was the largest catalyst into bringing the trip forward. Someone's trying to tell us to go and chase our dream.
Now the list I mentioned before had many things on it, some farcical some not so. We started to look at the things we said we would do and set the ball rolling working through the list. Work less, help others, live simply, climb more. Top of the list was to learn a new language and this little item lead to us choosing our first place to visit. Sarah wanted to learn German and me Spanish and due to my remarkable persuasion skills we both decided on Spanish.
"Shall we start in Spain?"
"Yeah why not"
I think everyone knows the best way to learn a language is to live it.
It was as easy as that. Now when we tell people the details of what our plans are they say "you're always falling on your feet", "you're so lucky". However the truth of the matter is we made this happen through taking risks and positive thinking.
We know the biggest expense of travelling is accommodation so we need to try remove that cost. We started looking at volunteering sites and set up a profile on Workaway, this is a great site that allows people to swap skills for free accommodation and food. In January we will head to Spain to live with a Spanish family for free. The place is on the beach in the Costa Blanca surrounded by amazing climbing and cycling. In return we will be teaching their young son English. Most of our days will be free and the lessons will take place in the evenings. We are both currently studying for our TEFL qualification and hope to maybe pick some experience in a Spanish school.
As I write this out its hard to comprehend how exciting this period of our lives will be and although at times we have both suffered with anxiety and doubts I'm certain we are doing the right thing.
I hope this little blog will act as some inspiration for anyone who's wondering about changing their life. Not necessarily travelling maybe a career change, starting your own business or saving for that holiday you've always wanted. Don't spend your life treading water, start swimming!