I originally came online to write about Cambodia, bus rides, trekking and Thai food. But now that I’m actually online, I started writing all of those posts and realised I’m not really going to get anywhere if my heart isn’t in it. I know people read this blog to find out about the stuff I’m doing, but for now, I’m going to write about what I’m thinking. Because lately, I haven’t really been feeling travel, and I can’t really tell if that’s bad or not.

Most people are probably going to think I’m ungrateful/whiney/sulky/whatever. Even my friends/family who read this will probably think the same. But I’m writing it all down anyway, because it’s the only way that I’ll be able to stop thinking about it all the time. This is also a fairly long post (as long as my high-school essays) so if you don’t want to read about how I’m feeling, I’d just stop here.

Travelling, for me, is not really what I thought it would be. We’re doing a whole bunch of stuff, and 90% of the time we’re engaged in some activity, or we’re visiting an interesting place, or experiencing new things. But after all of that stuff is over, I feel more drained and bored than I did before. We’re moving around a lot, and there’s been a few day-long/overnight trips to new places. I feel so eternally bored by these that I’m really not sure what to do with myself. I’m not interested in computer games, I have no books to read, all of my music I’ve heard repeatedly for the last 3 months. Turns out, I’m really easily bored by things. I can understand now why people only go on three week holidays, because it becomes very easy for the novelty of the entire expedition to wear off.

Every day feels like a weekend, a day off from life and responsibilities and work and all of that stuff that most people hate. What worries me is, it turns out I’m not really like “most people” – in fact, I actually crave structure in my life. It’s strange for me that there’s no work, there’s no uni, there’s no regimented actions in my life anymore. I feel like something vital in my life is really missing, like there’s something just that little bit off in all of my actions. When I did have to go to school four days a week, work another, and then had two days to get the rest of my activities done, I felt quite comfortable and felt like things were as they were meant to be. Sure, I constantly said I hated school, and wished I could skip it for a week, but after that I want to go back again. Knowing what to do is really important to me, I like to know what’s expected of me, what I need to do, and when it needs to be done by. There’s no time-limit on this trip, and while the rest of my family revels in that, I find it disconcerting. I like time-frames.

In addition to my need for structure, I think this trip is hard because it feels like I’m not going anywhere. I mean that metaphorically of course, as this is my third country in less than three months, so I’m definitely going places. But while I travel around in my never-ending weekend, all of the other people I know are getting jobs, going to university, getting their license and moving out. It’s difficult to watch because these are the things I expected 2013 to be about, and this trip changed all that.
As well as that, the rest of my family really have a lot to gain from this. Jono is learning a lot that he would never have the chance to in school, Kate is slowly learning how to be independant, and she’s growing and finding herself, as most 15 year olds do. My parents have changed their lives and broken out from jobs that didn’t fufill all of their hopes and dreams. They both had jobs, but no career and they were just working, not blissfully enjoying the things they were doing.
I really feel like this trip isn’t going to change me, at least not in the way I was expecting. It feels as though I’m just going to be the same person, because all of my growing up is meant to be done at home, where I can get a job, support myself, and work through uni. This trip doesn’t feel like there’s anywhere for me to go, except to another country, where I’ll learn about more things that won’t help me grow or change.

I already talked about how being seventeen sucks. And I still think it does, even more now that we’re on this trip. It’s such an annoying time, because people expect you to be an adult and act like one, yet they won’t always treat you like one, the government doesn’t consider you to be one, and when you don’t act like one, you’re in trouble, even though everyone knows you aren’t one. I really have a lot of things to do in life, a lot of places to go and a lot of things to learn. But it really gets to me that perhaps this trip isn’t what I need to do all of these things. I feel frazzled with my family and deserted when they’re not around. I need time to myself to think, I need my family for support, but I need peers to help me grow.

Everyone is moving forward, and doing things with their lives. My friends at home are growing up and becoming adults. My family is changing who they are and experiencing new things. And sadly, I feel very stuck in this never-ending weekend, and it’s such a shame, because this should be the best part of my life. I hope things get better and this foreboding feeling of being in a rut fades as the year wears on. I also hope my family don’t resent me for not basking in the trip, and I hope my friends and people who read this blog don’t regard me as ungrateful. This is just how it is.

5 Comments

  1. Hey don’t feel bad about feeling like that. Holidaying always tends to be either one of two things – either TOO rigid and planned or not planned at all. And both have a tendancy to annoy the heck out of most people in a short amount of time. You prefer structure and there’s nothing wrong with that. Perhaps this is a chance to step up to the plate and take on more of the planning of your family’s great adventure. You might not be able to plan the entire trip but you can plan the next few days at least.
    And you will look back on this adventure and find it a life lesson you couldn’t get elsewhere in the years to come (if nothing else you can annoy the grandkids with tales of ‘when I was a youngster and travelled around the world….’ 🙂

    ps: Max misses you all!!! xoxoxoxo

  2. The long term travel gig isn’t for everyone. Here is an interesting post for you:
    http://travelingtomboy.driftingfocus.com/2011/06/why-im-not-a-long-term-traveler/

    Somedays we find the same thing as you do…. we miss the consistency of home life, friends, careers, etc….those are great things to have in your life, so it is completely fine to be missing them.

    All I can suggest (unless you can go home early) is to do what you can to really ‘be here now’ (so cheesy, I know) and really try to get something out of each day on the road. The fear I would have is that if you do not do this, it might be one of your biggest regrets, once you finally get home.

    All the best,

    Skott and Shawna

    • Brittney

      Thank you so much, I read that post and really agree with the things Kelsey said. I do enjoy travelling and experiencing new things, but the loss of natural things like work and friends and my own bed can really be hard to deal with at times.

      Also that’s a great suggestion (no matter how cheesy it may be) and I’ll definitely be putting it into action, starting right now. I agree with you that it could definitely turn out to be a huge regret in my life if I spend all my time pining for home!

      I’m following you guys on your trip now, and I look forward to reading about your adventures!

  3. Pingback: Why Take A Two Day Slow Boat from Thailand to Laos? Part 3. | Life Changing Year

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