HIYA! It’s been a while….. so this year I turned 40. 40! Most of you know this as I keep mentioning it… I think I’m still coming to terms with it to be honest. Apart from the ever increasing grey hair and crow’s feet – how can I be old enough to turn 40?! Around my 36th year, to placate my forever growing feelings of being a single girl among my “married friends with 2.5 children who all seem to have life figured out”, I earmarked my 40th as the time when I would pack my bags and head off round the world (again). Four years would give me a. plenty of time to save more money b. have a few years in my dream job which I had just started, working within a record label and with artists I adored c. meet a guy, get married, have 2.5 children and have life all figured out?! At 37, I was officially diagnosed with depression, I say officially as this is something that had plagued me since I was at University. At 39, I was diagnosed with a fatty liver disease. At 40, I had gone through years of weekly therapy sessions, given up alcohol, reversed the liver issues and saved all my pennies. I still didn’t achieve point c. but found myself in a much needed healthier and happier state of mind and body which overall wins. Whilst many discussions had taken place before I decided to leave my dream job and even though I had given my boss a good 4 years notice of my plans (just in case you’re reading – thank you for being the best boss in the world) I waited at least a week after I turned 40 to let the mid life crisis set in and officially hand in my notice.
My travels kicked off in Central Asia for a month – travelling across the Five Stans – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan. A short stint back home to sort out flat, belongings, visas, say farewells, climb Ben Nevis and now for the past 2 months I’ve been continuously on the road, my new nomadic life on a one way ticket round the world. So far I’ve visited China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and at time of writing Malaysia. Some countries have been for weeks on end, some have been short stop overs to places I’ve wanted to visit on previous trips but didn’t have time on normal working life holidays. Overall it’s taken me 4 months to put fingers to keyboard to try and revive Watson’s Wanderlust blog. My Instagram is pretty busy with stories and posts and my Facebook is being updated a lot more often than I had intended – sorry guys! but actually sitting down to write has been hard. First off – finding time to do it. Gosh, I’m constantly on the go, my own doing of course. Days are often long, my down time is filled with sorting out photos, updating socials, hand washing, sleeping, planning the next stop, booking transport, accommodation and researching what to do. Not a bad life though, eh?! Secondly and probably more importantly, writing doesn’t come easy to me. I write a lot of posts in my head, they all sound bloody great, if only something could be developed to link my brain thoughts straight to my laptop that would help…. I also can’t find a rhythm nor a theme. I feel like I need a direction, not only in my life, ha, but in my posts. I’m not sure I want my blog to be a “how to” guide. I’m too busy in the moment as such to take notes and my memory is too poor to remember where I found the bus stop, how much it cost, how long it took, although a quick search on google leads to this. I’m also terrible at retaining facts and historical information… this is why reviving the blog feels like a non starter! I don’t want my blog to become a series of entries of “and then I went here, and then I did this” but I would like to document where I’ve been and some of the amazing things I’ve seen in more detail than what has been posted on socials. Maybe I’m just over thinking it too much, and have spent too much of my down time looking at other people’s blogs wondering how to present mine and what I can offer. Any ideas my loyal readers?
Or maybe none of that matters and it becomes simply a diary of my travels. Something for me to look back on, bookmark and relive as 50 approaches ha.
Not only am I wanting to write about the places I’ve visited so far but I have a lot of thoughts about the whole travelling at 40 vs 30 (the last time I did a RTW trip) especially as a solo traveller. I’m going through a phase of whilst loving my travels, I feel somewhat lonely. It’s not what it was like at 30. I’m not rocking up at some hostel, going straight out to a bar with my dorm friends who will end up becoming my new travel buddies for the next x amount of hours / days / weeks / months. I’m also not visiting the usual backpacker hotspots so fellow travellers are few and far between. Saying that, I also don’t want that from this trip, for a start I’m not wanting to go to bars anymore in my new found sober life, I’m also veering away from hostels and now leading the cheap hotel life but I would like some company (now I sound old!). Although ironically, I am writing this from my hotel bar, but I am sat by the pool having a green tea…. Maybe I’m just feeling a bit discombobulated. In a social media world that seems to be saturated by twenty something travelling couples, I forget that I’m not twenty something anymore, but neither do I want to be.. I think?! Damn you social media! Don’t get me wrong, I am having the time of my life, this is something I’ve worked hard to achieve – both monetary and mentally and I know how incredibly lucky and privileged I am to be able to have this journey. I have always been a firm believer that I don’t have to wait for someone to come along to have these experiences, whether that be a friend or partner, but what I am realising more and more is that experiencing these things with other people is a bit higher up on my travel hierarchy than it use to be. Or maybe I still miss the people I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with over the past couple of months. Anyway, I shall gather my actual coherent thoughts and maybe write something more about 30 vs 40 travelling soon.
I will end my ramblings on one note though….. you never know what may happen in life. It only takes a chance meeting, a split second for everything to change. So I’ll take those lonely-ish days, continue to experience as much as I can, carry on oversharing on socials so I feel like I have interaction with the outside world and look forward to the next chance encounter. Weirdly it seems the Tame Impala sticker on my laptop is quite the conversation starter, but that’s a story for another day…… x