coming home from travelling.
I came home to Scotland 4 weeks ago. And I’ve been non-stop.
(so, sorry for the silence)
For the past 6 months, most of the words out of my mouth were either about my anxiety being a pain in the ass, or related to all the things I was looking forward to at home.
I wrote a post a while ago for Gilad’s blog, (Anxious Abroad) about how to handle coming home after being away for so long. I should really be reading that every day 😂 I know I’ve posted about coming home'and about my plans a few times on my ‘socials’ but here’s the scoop…
New Zealand + My Plans
My original plan was to get to New Zealand then hunker down for a year, working to save up loads of money then jet off to South America/Canada and carry on backpacking. As you know, this was quite ambitious considering my adversity to travelling after spending a month and a half in India. Whilst we were spending christmas 2018 in our Chaing Mai apartment, eating spring rolls, Scott and I decided to fly home next Christmas (2019) to surprise the family because we couldn’t face another one away from home. So we booked our flights when we were in Bali and started to get really excited behind closed doors.
Once we arrived in New Zealand, we quickly realised that it’s friggin’ expensive compared to the lovely low-cost-living we’d had in Asia for months and months. I ended up slamming £2k on my credit card in the first two weeks of jobless living in Auckland and started to worry 😅 We had hopes to get a job on a Kiwi Picking Farm in Te Puke (a small one-strip town in the north). After camping for two weeks without any response from all the people we emailed/phoned, we packed it in and moved into an apartment in Tauranga (the nearest city).
Construction jobs were better paying and a bit more stable for our savings. Did you know that you can’t pick Kiwis if it rains? so all these backpackers had days without pay when the heavens opened. Luckily (or unluckily 😂) for us, construction generally carries on regardless of the weather. We went to an agency for jobs who told us manual labouring would probably be better for us - more work, with construction mixed in. After a few months, we decided that we weren’t happy and were basically working to just live in Tauranga. As nice as it is, our homesickness coupled with our lack of a social life made us want to come home sooner than December. We changed our flights.
We had a colourful mix of jobs over the 6 months we were in New Zealand but our time came to an end. We hired a car and drove around the north and south islands, with a cheeky ferry in between. We flew through San Francisco because of something to do with our flight changes and it was a nightmare. We had to spend about 3 hours in line going through customs, checking our visas etc, even though we would have an immediate transfer… anyway, we eventually arrived home! Scott’s mum collected us from the airport and took us to his house. I hid there for 3 days until my family BBQ started then drove down for the surprises.
It was so nice seeing everyone.
My anxiety was ok. I half expected my overthinking to kick in and make me stress about missing the travel life but I was fine. I think I had too much to focus on to give my anxiety the time of day 😂 Between starting my new job and settling back into home life, it was non-stop. I’ve started working with my dad as an Aga Cooker Engineer. For those of you who know what Aga Cookers are, 10 points. My dad has worked for himself for decades and it’s always been just him. I was in KL when I started thinking about working together and put the idea to him. He was delighted because he’s been really busy recently and he’s feeling the lifting/driving etc since he’s getting older (old man haha). So, we decided to make it a family business and that’s why he was only one I told I was coming home. The learning curve has been unreal.
Now that a month has passed - I do miss it. But that’s always the way. You look back and remember all the good parts and start to miss it. I’m quick to forget the crippling anxiety I had, the depressive episodes and total exhaustion. Scott and I have both said that we wouldn’t travel the same way again. We think that we’ve done our fair share of budget hostels, penny pinching activities and living out of a bag! After telling everyone that we’re now in “house deposit saving” mode, we lasted a couple weeks before planning a trip to the south of france with our friends 😂🙄
The travel bug never really leaves apparently.
My mental health
Ok, since this is a rambly/update/personal type post - a quick update on my anxiety/mental health.
I posted about this on my Instagram stories the other day but I’ll elaborate a little bit. I’ve been having some bad depressive episodes for the past few months and I’m not really sure where it’s coming from. Usually, my anxiety makes me overthink and it’s a very “hyper” feeling but recently, I’ve had days of feeling unmotivated, flat and just “down” for no real reason. It’s instinct for people to start suggesting excuses as to why I feel like this; “it’s probably just because you haven’t exercised” or “maybe it’s because you’ve just come home and things are unsettled” etc etc. I just know that it’s at the point where I need a hand to manage it really.
I booked a doctors appointment as soon as I arrived home and started considering cancelling it as soon as I had a few good days in a row. Classic anxiety 😂 I kept my appointment and it’s in the next few weeks. Maybe it’s time for me to try medication, or maybe I need a therapist - I just know that I need a hand to manage my mental health. And that’s 100% ok. I keep comparing myself to everyone else and making myself feel terrible but I forget that they don’t have an actual disorder that they can’t control, like I do.
Anyway, enough rambling, I’m off for a nice roast dinner, courtesy of mum.
Have a good day and look after yourself.