A Look-back with a Latte

Our first post comes from the most exotic of locations – Cafe Nero on Tunbridge Wells high street. It’s a cold grey day and I have 45 minutes before I return to the mind numbing world of inputting data and filling envelopes. Bare with us, it’ll get better.

So I’m sat, coffee in hand, thinking forward with feelings of excitement and trepidation at what lies ahead and looking back at the blur of events that have unfolded to get us to this point.
So where are we? Well in 6 weeks we’ll leave the UK and depart on an 8 month around the world adventure. On this trip we’ll visit locations ranging from the rugged untouched landscapes of Southern Patagonia, to the sandy deserted islands of Fiji, to the electric, hustle and bustle of downtown Sydney. I won’t go into too much detail about our itinerary here but you can check it out on the ‘Our Route’ tab if you’re interested.

How we got to this point remains a bit of a fragmented blur but I’ll do my best to make sense of it.

Where better to begin our journey in the greatest city in the world, Manchester. It’s a beautiful summers day and we’ve just got back from a months interrailing trip around Europe. Unsurprisingly, we’re broke and definitely in no position to consider anything but embarking upon the well trodden path of starting work, earning money and moving out.

So what do we do? We saunter into STA travel to ‘research’ the idea of potentially spending a few months in South America. We’re not weak people, we’d simply caught a highly contagious disease during our trip round Europe. No not the Zika virus, it’s called the Travelling Bug and its a condition for which there is no known cure. Symptoms include an overwhelming desire to avoid any kind of responsibility, a strong aversion to entering the so called ‘real world’ and above all, a deep rooted craving for travel. Baring this in mind, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that we came out of STA having put a deposit down on flights costing upwards of £2300 that would take us round the world.

So with no money and no jobs, we now had 5 months to raise a minimum of £6000 to fund our flights and the first 3 months of our trip – a fact that our families were only too eager to remind us of upon returning home.

Having been brought firmly back down to earth, we set out on a frantic job hunt. The next few months involved me initially finding work in Manchester before betraying my northern roots and making the move ‘daan saath’. We both found weekday 9-5 jobs and also weekend and evening work at local pubs. For lack of a better expression, we worked our arses off. 7 day working weeks and 16 hour days became the norm and relaxing weekends became a distant memory. It was tough but sure enough the weeks and months rolled by and the money started to build up.

And so that brings us to today. We’ve got 4 weeks left at work and we’re on track to be going away with more money than expected. Our feelings swing daily from excitement, to fear, to trepidation, but all in all we can’t wait to get our bags packed and get going.

On that note I’ll end our first post. Hopefully our next update will come from CopaCobana beach, bathing in 30’C heat with a cold beer in hand.. and maybe a few Brazilian dancers?
TW

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