Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fear, failure and a different form of rehab? Welcome to my new life...

​What do you do when you finally have all you've ever wanted? You doubt that it was ever what you wanted at all.

For so long I've fantasised about having a clear horizon and empty schedule - but now I have it, I have no idea what the fuck to do. I'm still living in fast forward in a place that plays in slow motion. A restless retirement. No wonder Katie Waisell's nan became a prostitute once she'd give up the day job. I imagine it was more to kill some time than a burning desire for cash and cock.

Since my last blog I made it to Australia and have been asked the same two questions across social media: Where am I going to be living and what will I be doing for work? I'm still working it out and I'm still working it out. Until then, I've been sleeping between my brother's spare room and hostels.

When I was younger I used to think hostels were for poor people. Shameful, I know. Then when I started travelling a couple of years ago I thought they were just for party mad morons. Again, I was wrong. What I've come to realise is they're almost like a rehab for the restless.


You check in, you sit in circles and you repeat the same sentences. Name, age, where you're from and why you're here. Say as much or as little as you like. Your character's put on trial. Your strengths and weaknesses exposed. The conversation flows like therapy and the morale from the like minded creates a support network. But then the sun breaks, bags are packed and either you move on or your new found friends do. And then repeat.

There's a common misunderstanding that people 'backpacking' are escaping real life - which I think is a bit bullshit? I'd say they're embracing it with both hands while facing up to the thoughts they rare to dare in the comfort of their homes.

My first week was mess of fear, failure and constantly wondering what if. But I'm getting there. All thoughts of returning home were stumped by the harsh reminder I have no home. I gave that up - along with everything else. All I have in England is a single box of memories stored in a room at my mother's house on a street I have since outgrown. I've never seen much point in dwelling on the past.

After seeing my big bro in Brissy, my first solo stop was Surfers Paradise where moved into a shared dorm with some lads also solo travelling and we explored the town together. "The family group chat is going off with plans for the new kitchen extension," the 19-year-old chap fresh from Kate Middleton's boarding school exclaimed after checking his iPhone. Despite his life of privilege he surprisingly didn't fit the stereotypes you'd automatically attach. Neither did the rest of the people I've since spent time with along the way. But I suppose that's one of my reasons of being here? To break free of that superficial way of seeing the world and stop putting people into boxes.

Although when a campervan with the words 'We're All Born Naked' sprayed across the side pulled up at the beach I did look at the driver and think: what a bellend. Then I noticed the bonnet had 'METH MACHINE' branded across it. Get to fuck ya hippy. I'd happily have put him in a box. And then lowered it six feet into the ground.

And that's all I have to say for now? Hopefully the next update will be a bit more upbeat.