I made a promise to myself when I moved home from London in May 2007. I’m not allowed to return to Europe until I’ve seen more of the world that frankly, isn’t Europe.
I broke that promise in 2008 went I went for one last trip over to Greece but it was also the first time I stepped foot on Asian soil while briefly on the Turkish island called Bodrum, so I figure technically it was okay.
The following year I went to Thailand. That was my first Southeast Asian experience complete with Full Moon parties on the beach, $5 massages and picturesque long tail boat rides. It tore at my soul when I spoke to the bazillionth backpacker we met and realized I wasn’t doing the typical Southeast Asian backpacker circuit. Up until that point though, I didn’t even know it was a thing. I had no idea that Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam – these are the playground for mid twenty somethings who had saved up all their money at a real job to spend it all on a 6 month adventure having no job. I had 10 days. Hello Thailand, good-bye Asia.
In 2010 I ventured to Australia for the first time. I didn’t even want to. Australia felt safe to me, and easy. Almost as easy as just going back to London. Somewhere that I knew at some point in my life I’d go and wasn’t sure if it needed to be now. But, my travel buddy friend was going, so it was go or go somewhere else alone and at that point in my life I was too intimidated to travel solo. In that short trip though I unexpectatdly fell in love with Sydney nightlife and Queensland weather. I knew it was the right next step for me so less than a year later I moved to Australia and have been here for almost 3 years since.
In that time, the 7 years since I left London, I have declined offers of weddings in Tuscany and festivals in Sweden. But to make up for it I stayed true to my vow, and maybe even a little off course, to only travel on this side of the world. That has allowed me to adventure across Australia, to New Zealand and back on multiple occasions, as well as Japan, Vietnam, Fiji, South Africa, and soon to be Bali and the Gili Islands of Indonesia.
But despite all the places the world can take you to my heart sometimes just yearns for Europe. It aches for the dark pubs of London and those tempting english accents, as well as for the vineyards in France, the warehouse parties of Berlin and the beers of Antwerp.
I bit the bullet and said screw my rule; the world is small enough to not have to make geographic limitations. This August I’m offically going back to Europe!