Travel Sabbatical

The line “leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again” from John Denver’s song is on repeat in my head. Its a song about a man who is going on a journey and doesn’t say a proper goodbye to his lover as he doesn’t know when he’s coming back.

Not surprisingly, recent events with Basherter and RacquetBallGuy are to blame for me thinking about this song because like the character in John’s song, I sometimes take the easy way out. I leave without really ending things. Heck, RacquetBallGuy and I didn’t really break up when I moved to London. And if you ask Basherter, he’d tell you that my decision to withdraw from our budding friendship was somewhat abrupt.

The unfortunate result is that this seems to endure exboyfriends to me as they keep trying to get back in my good grace. Thus my recent desire to clean house and implement the no contact rule with all exboyfriends.

Heck, MrFixItGuy called me five time on my birthday and I didn’t pick up any of the calls. He called a couple times the next day and there again got no reply from me. So thinking he got the hint and now realises that I’m really serious about no contact under any circumstances.

I’ll apply this same strategy with RacquetBallGuy if things don’t work out on this go around. The situation has dragged on way too long and in a way, it’s perhaps held me back from really moving forward and being open to new opportunities.

Anyway, this song is also speaking to me as there is the allure of picking up and travelling without a destination or end date to the trip.

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Thus, why I decided to purchase a house three years ago is still somewhat of a mystery to me! I now view this decision as a moment of complete insanity as there is so much of the world that I want to see and having a property (which I know is a blessing) feels like a ball and chain around my neck most days.

Heck, one of the main reasons for moving to Europe was to do further travel, lots of it! The ideal base would have been Paris but since I’m not fluent in French and oh yeah, my then employer didn’t have a Paris office, I settled for London.

I’m not complaining. London is an amazing city to live in as its quite cosmopolitan and with easy access to continental Europe I’ve gotten the opportunity to visit some of the great cities I’d just read about in history books.

In the first two years, I did quite a bit of travelling. I went to: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Prague, Paris (three times), Vienna and Bologna, Italy. Then I stopped travelling after the Prague trip where my money purse got stolen. My fault really as I was a bit careless while shopping at an H&M store.

At any rate, I remember getting off the plane at Gatwick Airport and coming though the arrivals gate and being overwhelmed with emotion. There were lots of people there like the ending of Love Actually waiting for family and friends but no one was there to greet me and I was immediately filled with sadness and cried all the way home. Not wanting to experience that again, I decided enough with the solo trips.

Another reason for stopping is that when I went self employed during the height of the banking crisis, it just seemed a bit frivolous to take a holiday. Heck, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it as I would be thinking about all the work that needed to get done. So for nearly two years, I took no holidays.

Then as you now know, friends talked me into going to Montserrat for Christmas and I went back again in June for a family reunion. And now here we are, with me itching to get back on a plane. Somewhere in Africa or Asia would be ideal. Perhaps I can give some consideration for my next big holiday – most likely not until Spring 2012.

Why not before? Well I’m back in the corporate world but thankfully not in the city.

Earlier this year, one of my clients convinced me to join their company full time. It’s sort of an ideal situation in that it’s five minutes walking from my house and I must confess that not having to do everything related to running a business is quite appealing.

Being self employed was quite rewarding but it was also exhausting. Not only did I have to constantly win new clients, but also had to do the work and oh yeah, chase payments in between all the administrative stuff. This is not to say that I wouldn’t go self employed again – would just make sure that it was a business that made money while I slept and there was residual/long term income from each client (so no consultancy!).

That said, I now get to focus on what I enjoy doing – marketing! Interestingly for a number of travel guides that promote four/five star hotels/resorts/holidays in exotic destinations. All of this adds to my desire to get on a plane and go around the world for awhile — maybe for as long as a year on a travel sabbatical! I’d then come back and write a great travel book like my hero Paul Theroux!

But all in due time I suppose as preference is to travel with a partner. I know I can have fun on my own or even with friends and family – but there is something to be said for seeing/experiencing new places with a lover/boyfriend/partner!

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