OK, so technically this isn’t a travel recap since I haven’t been traveling the last three months. (*Heavy sigh*) I reluctantly returned home to the States at the beginning of August after traveling abroad for about 5 months. From Southeast Asia to Europe, I literally flew around the entire globe! (Bucket List ✓)
Coming home wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I decided it was ultimately the best decision at the time. I came home to work, save up some money, and to figure out where to travel to next. I had several options to choose from:
- Spend an academic year (Oct-May) as an English Language Assistant in Spain
- Finish backpacking the rest of Southeast Asia
- Head to Australia or New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa (Work & Travel for up to a year.)
- Take advantage of the 1 year Working Holiday Visa that Ireland offers to recent grads
I can’t tell you how tough this decision was to make. I found out mid-September that I finally got placed to teach at an elementary school in Leon, Spain. (I had applied very late, which is why I found out so late. Due to the visa process, the earliest I could arrive in Spain would be December.) I literally went back and forth between taking the Spain job, going back to SEA, or doing the WHV in Australia on a daily basis. I would think I had officially decided and then the next day I would totally change my mind again.
It was honesty the most frustrating thing!
I ended up accepting the Spain job and was a few weeks into the visa process, when I noticed that I wasn’t 100% happy with the decision. As much as I love Europe, I realized that I mainly choose the Spain job because of my Dutch boyfriend. The idea of being able to work close to him sounded great in theory. In reality, it would take about 8 hours (one-way) to visit him via a combination of buses, flights and trains, which isn’t all that practical for a weekend visit. I also realized that after spending a total of 7 months traveling and living in Europe over the last 3 years – seeing 22 European countries – I’m more interested in exploring other parts of the world right now. After all that was finally resolved (in my head), I choose to decline the Spain job.
So where the heck am I traveling next?
Well, it turns out that my Dutch boyfriend was actually serious when he said he wanted to come visit me in the States once he had saved up enough money. He’s never been to America before, so we decided to make a road trip out of his visit. His flight is all booked, and he arrives in Miami on November 7th for one month. So, although this totally wasn’t in my plans, looks like my next trip will be a U.S.A. road trip!
I’m not going to lie, it was a tough 3 months where I constantly wondered what the hell I was doing with my life. Yet my goal to continue to travel the world pushed me through it all.
- Tough adjusting to regular life after being in the backpacking world for so long
- Moved back home with my parents to save on rent
- Spent time looking for temporary work since I didn’t want to commit long term
- Worked 70+ hour weeks for several weeks
- Went into complete saving mode where I only spent money on absolute necessities
- Didn’t have much of a social life
- Dealt with a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for 3 months
- Constantly struggled with the decision of what to do next with my life
There really was only one highlight during the last three months…
- I was able to save up over $5,000 USD
Words can’t describe how glad I am that the last three months are behind me. I am so looking forward to traveling again. I’m heading to Miami in a few days to pick up my boyfriend from the airport, which is when the road trip officially starts! The plan is to spend a week in Florida before heading out to California for our road trip out West!
Check back for November’s travel update for pictures of our Florida & out West road trip!