Today L and I were talking about travel and where we stand; our place in the world at this point in time. The visa talk is one that we have often, as we sit stuck between knowing what we can and can’t choose next. As I said in a previous post, I want to settle down a bit, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’ll never stop traveling. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t days that I feel envious and wonder if I’m hanging up my backpack prematurely. Australia is an infamous backpacker destination, where young gap years and thrill-seekers run around the East Coast crowding into backpacker bars and doing all they can to sleep two to a bed in giant dorm rooms. To be honest, I’ve seen the backpacker trail, although I didn’t do it quite by the standards (if you are even allowed to call them that) but I don’t have a huge desire to see those places again. The more I talked about the dilemma of the words ‘traveler’, and ‘backpacker’ the more I realized that I no longer believed that a dilemma existed.
When I think about the possibility of sticking around Sydney and working in my office job for another few years, the only thing that makes me seize up a tiny bit on the inside is that I might loose the freedom of a working holiday traveler. If my travels become spread along a string of annual leave days, suddenly I loose the freedom of choosing where I go and for how long when I’m already there. I may have to meticulously plan my holidays and I will loose the freedom to ever be ‘free’ as a traveler in this country again, as I’m here now. It sounds scary, and it did scare me for a while. And then I started telling L about my fears and realized that the feeling of fear was not accompanying the word fear.
Would you rather this be your local or a quick stop on your way through town?
I have no trips left that I feel like need to be done in a certain way, I know that the way I do them, is the way they were meant to be done. I never really felt limited by age, I can just as easily see myself as a 30-something toting a backpack through SE Asia as I can as a 20-something. I can just as easily walk by the backpacker bars in my 30s as I would in my 20s. And I think I’m quite capable of making friends of all ages with like-minded people and travelers.
I have a lot of trips left that I want to take, some of them I hope will take place over extended periods of time, but I no longer see any of them as trips that need to fit into certain years of my life, as long as they are within my life’s years, whatever those happen to be.