Here it is, my first blog post! Long have I dreamt of embarking on a long term, around the world adventure, and sharing it with friends and family while on the road. When I first started travelling over 15 years ago, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Skype. I kept in touch with friends and family via email, postcards, phone and even letters. There were people I met along the way who didn’t even have email addresses yet. This makes me feel very old! But while modes of communication have changed (even my grandparents are on Facebook now) one thing has remained the same. My love of travel.
I’ve daydreamed for years about taking some time out and spending a year travelling, but it wasn’t until two years ago that those daydreams started to become more urgent, and I seriously began considering making them a reality. I’d just returned from a solo trip to Myanmar and was suffering the usual back-to-work-blues. This time felt different though. I didn’t bounce back as quickly as usual. I felt an overwhelming need to do something different, and I knew that didn’t mean simply changing jobs. I love my job, but at 36 all I could see in front of me was 25 more years of work, with no change and nothing to look forward to. It was a gloomy outlook.
So I decided to go. And then I wavered and decided not to. Go. No. Go. No. A year passed before I finally committed. I knew that if I didn’t go I would regret it forever. Read any article or list about what most people wish when they are on their deathbed, and it’s not that they worked more. So I made my first booking, a champagne tour in France, paid the deposit, and began to build an itinerary around it. Once the decision was made everything else seemed to fall into place. I’ve had wonderful support from my family and friends. I was apprehensive about requesting a year off from work, and chickened out several times. But even that was easier than I imagined, and I was supported 100%.
I’ve spent a year researching, building an itinerary, changing it, studying Lonely Planet guidebooks and discovering some of the best travel blogs out there. All has led me to this, Journey with Jas. Although my first flight departs on 4 May 2015, the journey commenced a long time ago, on a beach in Myanmar, contemplating what would come next. Here it is.