Wednesday, 28 January 2015

(Another) Quarter Life Crisis

For the last few months of 2014 I wasn't in the best of places.  The weather was cold and dark, the previous year I had been in sunny Singapore having the time of my life, half of my friends were travelling the world, my job was boring, and I couldn't find anyone I wanted to be my boyfriend.  I was stuck in a rut.

On the first weekend of the new year, I woke up feeling pretty down.  I checked facebook and saw my travelling friends had uploaded some amazing photos, and I made a decision that I wanted my own adventure too.  I went online and booked a Trek America 21 day tour of the USA, with the intention of continuing to travel and not coming back.  I am a stubborn cow and I could have just booked flights to wherever my friends are, but I didn't just want to follow them across the globe, I wanted to do something on my own first.

I paid my deposit, started to look at what travelling options I could do from the USA when the tour finished, then totally freaked out. Like properly freaked out.  It didn't feel right.  I started to think about the logistics of going - moving out of my house, worrying about where I would put my stuff, saying goodbye to everyone. I even started to worry about the most inconsequential of things, like 'but what will I do with my oyster card if I went away' and 'what will the cat do without me' and 'do I take my house keys with me?'.  All logical, important stuff right?!

On Monday morning my boss asked me how my weekend was and I burst into tears.  I had worked myself up into a hot mess of stress and it all came out there and then, in front of my boss.  MOST embarrassing.  He looked horrified, then sort of did a 'there, there' nod and handed me a tissue. He's the best.

I explained that I had booked the trip to America, and I was planning on not coming back, but now I wasn't sure.  I told him I wasn't happy with my job, happy with my social life, missed my friends like crazy and was freaking out I was 27 and didn't have a boyfriend or a house or all the things that you should have when you're that age.

We had a good old chinwag and together we came to the conclusion that I was running away from what I had in London because I wasn't happy, and that's probably not the best reason to do that when things here can be fixed.  We're going to work on my career plan (I don't want to be a PA all my life), and I am going to focus on all my personal things I am unhappy with that he can't fix.  I am going to do the trip and see how I find travelling on my own, and see if it'll cure my wanderlust (urgh that's such an overused word these days) or make it stronger.  My boss is the greatest man on earth - he's incredibly understanding and supportive and though he can drive me up the wall at times, I love him to pieces and am eternally grateful I have landed a boss like him.

I have had a few weeks of waiting to see if my trip will go ahead as they need to wait for minimum numbers.  This came through this week AND WEEEEEEEE I AM GOING TO AMERICA!!! (that deserved pink bold letters)

This is my trek below, I land in New York, have two and a half days on my tod before I join the tour group (currently 5 of us, hopefully more will book on, if you're reading come along!)

I am most excited about NYC* THE FOOD.  In N Out Burger, Philly Steaks, Froot Loops, giant portions - arghhhhh I will come back a size billion.    I am currently researching accommodation and can't decide between an airbnb or a hostel, any tips?! Gotta do your research properly with these things, I was looking at one airbnb that looked cheap and really good location, was scrolling through the pics and up pops a photo of some naked people eating at the dinner table - I read the blurb and he's a naked host....I'll cross that one off my list!

*fact - I once dressed as the Statue of Liberty when I was about 6 for a fancy dress party. I presume my arm got very tired.  I have tried to find a photo for the purpose of the blog but alas, mother doesn't have it anymore. Sigh.

I am also VERY excited about the Grand Canyon (and will be trekking down it after Amy's advice) and have wanted to see it since I was little - maybe I can make it a mission that each year I definitely do/see something I have always wanted to see (Angkor Wat last year!).  I can't wait to see the Appalachian Mountains after reading Bill Bryson's book about his trek. The cowboy camp looks amazing too - American saddles are so much more comfortable than UK ones.

There's a bit of prep to do - I bought some travel insurance (trekamerica offer a policy for £85 but that's a single trip, I managed to get an annual global policy from Insure and Go for just under £100 which seems much better value and appears to cover everything the trekamerica one did but hopefully I won't need to put it to the test!).

I need to buy a sleeping bag (foolishly booked the wrong tour when I booked on a whim, didn't realise it was the camping one, oops! not the best camper...), get my ESTA processed and I would like some leggings and t shirts and hiking shoes so I can look like one of those cool chilled out girls with a pineapple bun on her head who wears aviators. Hmmm.  Also toying with the idea of upgrading my camera. Double hmmmmm.

Does anyone have any sleeping bag/air mat recommendations?  Or know of any cheap but nice places to stay in NYC? Or wanna come with?!


  1. When I stayed in New York by myself I stayed at the HI Hostel, it was massive, I met so many people and they organised quite good walking tours, it was also near an amazing pizza place which served the biggest pizzas I had ever seen. My mind was blown (and I put on a stone in weight....) that was 10 yrs ago though so it might have changed? Would also recommend hiking down the grand canyon and camping at the bottom...which is always made more fun if you take down a box of wine :-)

    1. Ahh yes I looked at that but on hostelworld it hasn't got the best reviews and also the location isn't great! I have found an airbnb and a hostel both near Times Sq so I am going to book one of those now :) I am worried about the weight bit too - you know how much I love my food!!! (the hostel I am looking at has free doughnuts for breakfast :-) ) miss you!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. This looks amazing Nains! I hope you have an awesome time. When will you be going? -x-

  3. Wow Nai this is so exciting!!!! Can't believe you were so close to heading travelling though! When is the trip? Is accommodation not included? I can't recommend Air bnb enough but it is all about the host; whether they seem sociable! Obv you won't meet other travellers that way though.. Where do youthink the others on your trip will be staying, is anywhere recommended? Ahh America is going to be awesome for you! I also put on a stone :-s

    1. I know right!! I think I like my home comforts too much haha. If I won the lottey and could stay in nice b&bs and travel in style I would go! I booked a hostel for my first 2 nights in NYC then I join the tour, then we DOA. Mix of camping and hostelig and hotelling on the tour with our group. The tour recommends an airport hotel but that's pretty far out and I'd rather be in central Manhattan! The hostel I have is on the same street as the empire state building :) xxx

    2. Ahh all sounds very exciting! Though DOA means one of two things to me: Dead On Arrival, or Date Of Admission..?! :-p

    3. whoops predictive text!! meant to say 'do a'. Hopefully I won't be dead on arrival, what a waste of money that would have been ha!


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