I have an announcement. After 9 years in what I believe to be one of the most incredibly inspiring and exciting cities in the world, I am packing up my life and heading on a new adventure.
The last year or so has been a whirlwind for me. My grandmother who I was very close to passed away and I split up from my boyfriend of 6 years last summer. I will never forget the bittersweet moment and the words of my grandma who held my hand tightly from her hospital bed and muttered the words ‘you’ll do well’ over and over whilst looking into my eyes.
In one month I went from owning a flat with a guy that had been my best friend for years, to singleton with nothing but my job and blog remaining a constant. I ran away from everything – a close group of friends, a boyfriend and a hell of a lot of security. Those close to me will know the reasons for the split and the fact that nothing for the next year was plain sailing. I broke someone’s heart and had my heart broken in one fell swoop and it suddenly hit me that life is not as straightforward as I thought. But as much as everything that has happened in the last year has pained me and at times driven me absolutely potty, I am not one to have regrets and truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And when I look back at 2013, I have memories that make me squirm in my seat, but the events that were uncomfortable and upsetting at the time led me to do things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I started playing netball twice a week, I moved to Hackney with some amazing housemates, I bought a bike (and had two accidents within a matter of months), started going to the gym and started drinking and pulling ridiculously fun all nighters (my fav was ending up in a Casino in Leicester Square at 3am on a work night). I made a whole host of friends for life, started freelance travel writing and visited no less than seven cities in seven months. Needless to say, I didn’t sit around and wait for my life to get back on track – I forced myself to get out there and try to keep my head above water.
A year later and I feel in a much better place. I still love London and I am happiest when I am out exploring the city and spending time with my friends who I share interests with. But after a series of emotional setbacks, I was struggling to see how I was ever going to fully pick myself up and be truly happy. The nervous energy that was flowing through my body for months had subsided and I felt like mentally I was crashing down to earth and I would soon hit it with a big thud. I contemplated a new job, but as I was telling myself that I was thrilled at the idea, in the back of my head I still knew something wasn’t right. I wasn’t enjoying the thought of dating again and no matter how many conversations I struck up on Tinder, I just couldn’t get into it. Everything in my head was screaming for a change – again. But had I not already been through enough change in the last year and could I handle it again?
Then a couple of weeks ago a girl that I met through a friend at work started at my company on a temporary contract as she is going travelling at the end of the year. I don’t know what happened but after a 10 minute conversation in the kitchen something clicked in my head. I got back to my desk and I had this overwhelming urge to go travelling. So overwhelming that I immediately messaged my brother who lives in Melbourne to ask if I could come and stay with him and work in the city before going backpacking around the world – on my own. I then proceeded to tell my mum, dad, best friends and ex boyfriend that I was going away for a year, or more, before applying and receiving a 1 year working visa and booking a one way ticked to Australia via Dubai to visit a childhood friend. Within 24 hours of the conversation in the kitchen, I had booked everything for my new adventure. For the first time in my life, I didn’t look to anyone for advice. There is little that I am ever certain about in life – it takes me 10 minutes to choose which packet of avocados to buy in the supermarket and I pick up 10 packets before settling on the ‘right’ one, but I had never been more certain that this was the right thing to do. I am young, single, have no ties in England, have a little bit of money saved up… and that’s as much as I needed to know. I had made a decision for myself and I felt so liberated – I was riding so high that waking up the next day, it felt like none of it had happened. But it had – and I’m going.
What I’m most excited about is blogging, eating and photographing my way around the world. My camera, laptop and phone are going to be my prized possessions when I am travelling. I want you to all follow my blog, Twitter and Instagram – I want you to all keep in touch with me and I would LOVE you to come and join me on a part of my trip. I am incredibly excited, whilst slightly scared at the same time. I will miss London, I will miss my friends and family, I will miss the food, the pubs, the culture, the architecture, the diversity, the parks, the history. Oh dear, why am I leaving? Oh yes, I know why, because you only live once and if I don’t take this chance to see the world now, I never will.
I board the plane exactly three months today – make sure you follow my new blog Doing it Anyway to follow me on my new adventure.