Australia, Inside My Head

Too much time to think

3 Comments 05 December 2006

I’m currently leaving Australia and heading for Bali – I’m coming close to traveling for 3 months now. There are a lot of wierd stages I go through and I spend time in my mind chewing on these stages and try to make sense out of them or figure out how to simply get through them quicker without losing my mind.

As I reflect on my last 3 months I think about all of the stages I’ve gone through in my head. Back in Eastern Africa my head was obsessed with not having a job and not using my brain in any logical, money-producing way. In South Africa I was so worried about traveling on my own once my sister left I was scared that I would be bored and not meet anyone! In New Zealand I was struggling with my budget living and sharing spaces in hostels. In Australia new craziness entered into my head – mainly around spending too much money and generally feeling rather old and boring. During my time in Australia I was living my old life of spending – yet knowing that I didn’t have any money coming in was torturing me. As much as I desparately wanted to live that old life of shopping, having spectacular dinners, taking cabs everywhere, going out clubbing every night – basically spending about $100 on a full night out – I was wracked with guilt. I was painfully aware of the taxi meter, the cost of each bottle of wine, the cost of having an appetizer AND an entree – and I felt myself add it all up oin my head and then be depressed. The wierd thing is that I wasn’t upset about spending the mjoney as much as I was upset about what I was spending it on. I love going out – but I didn’t want to blow through my travel budget on a New York like existance – I wanted to blow it on something different than NY and the life I was so accustomed to. However in all honestly – there wasn’t that much different between Australia and say – California. Maybe that’s why I was on edge a bit. I loved being with Angie, but I was luke-warm on Australia. Sure it was nice, the cities were interesting, beaches were nice – but it was all really expensive there and I didn’t get anything that different for my momey. I didn’t have to struggle through a language barrier, the landscape was like the US and the food was pretty much the same as home. Except for the occasional ‘G’day Mate’ or ‘How you going?’ – I felt like I was at home living my old life. Yet – there was another thing missing in that scenario besides my old salary…my self image. When we would go out on the town I felt rather dowdy and old. Maybe I was just sick and tired of my clothing choices or the fact that I felt like I’ve gained weight or the lack of any male attention/interest for 3 months. I have no idea why I was so bitter about my self image – but I was. This then all mushroomed into me feeling badly that I douldn’t really vacation with Angie the way I used to – I felt like I was letting her down when I declined shopping outing to go to the free museum or go write at an internet cafe.

I have no idea where some of these neurosis come from – but they stick with me for a while and drive me a bit insane to a point where I’m not really happy with my behavior. Sometimes I wonder if I just have too much time to think now so I’m slowly driving my mind to insnaity! Or maybe this extra time is what I needed in order to stop and really think – without work distractions and everday life – maybe I was meant to ponder all of these things. Maybe I’m learning (in a sometimes painful way) what I like and dislike and what I want to get out of this year of travel. Hopefully this process will help me understand what is really important to me. I need to take these learnings and apply them to the next 9 months. The rest of my trip is fairly unstructured so I can contyrol my destiny a bit – which is a great feeling!

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m sorry to hear that Australia did not do much for you.Did you get a chance to get out of the cities at all?There are some amazing treks that I would have thought would have been right up your alley!

  2. Jill says:

    I really love your honesty on this blog.
    I have certainly changed my lifestyle, too. It’s a big adjustment to go from spending all your money in your comfy bubble existence on things to spending all your money on fleeting experiences. But at the end of the day, I’d much rather spend my money on experiences than things.
    I suffered (and still do to a certain extent) from feeling weird bouts of guilt about travel, especially financially. It’s hard to brush off everything we’ve ever been taught when we’re little: grow up, get a job, get a home, make a life and spend it there. When you change the hand you were dealt, you have to deal with the consequences of that, whether it be financially or emotionally.
    You have to be strong to travel. You have to believe that what you’re doing is the right thing and that you will learn lessons that are invaluable. You have to have faith that this is your journey, whether it’s outside of your comfort zone or not, and it will take you to some amazing places so long as you’re up for the challenge of living a nonconventional lifestyle. It’s not easy, and that’s why only certain people can do it.
    Rest assured that you’re not going crazy, you’re just carving out your own path and figuring it out as you go along. There’s a beauty and truth to that. Just stick with it and enjoy the now.


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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Minnesota/Wisconsin -> Nebraska

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