2013, I Bid You Adieu
Next year is going to be harder, I imagine. Facing real life again is undoubtedly going to come as a bit of a shock but here’s hoping I have learnt to live with myself well enough to be able to handle anything that comes my way.
– Hannah’s wise words, 31st December 2012
(Yeah, I totally just quoted myself)
Well I wasn’t wrong. 2013 has had its adventures, and it has certainly had its struggles. My six months of travel came to a wrap in March, and I almost immediately fell into a full-time job in Malta. Malta was an inevitability for me; I had no money, and no home of my own, so it was back to the parents’ until I could get the grapple hook to stick long enough to pull myself back up onto my feet.
Malta was tough. After being completely financially independent for years, and having lived the freest lifestyle you can imagine for six months, I was back to square one. The smallest of things made me upset: the food in the kitchen cupboards wasn’t mine; I couldn’t leave my bed unmade; the crying baby downstairs that I couldn’t seem to escape. A few months into my return, I was almost set on getting on the next plane to Ireland with what little money I had, and my parents’ attempts to convince me that I should settle in for a few more months, if only to ensure I had enough money to make it work, sent me into fits of tears. I realised then that I was scrambling. I was desperate for something. I needed to get away … I needed to move. Having travelled through 15 countries in three continents over six months, two months in Malta was the longest I had spent in one place in a while, and it wasn’t a good feeling.
I discovered there is such a thing as post-travel depression and struggled with it for most of the summer, then made my escape back to Ireland. And here I am now, happy and back to being me 🙂 I wasn’t sure Dublin would work out; I assumed I might be homeless and destitute by November but somehow it did. It always does in the end. I even got to visit a few new countries in the process.
I have to say a huge thank you to my lovely friends and family who supported me this year. From money, food or a bed to sleep in, to a pat on the back or a hug, you are all incredible. Thank you!
Everything fell into place when I managed to score a job with the awesome hospitality company Airbnb. Practically everyone who works there is a traveller at heart, and travel is a part of everything we do. I finally feel like I have found somewhere I belong. Yay!
This year taught me a good many things. I learnt where home is, where home isn’t, and that I don’t always need to have a place called home. I learnt that travelling is an essential part of who I am. In essence, that gave me a clearer idea of what my answer to the evil question, “What do I want out of life?” is. I also learnt that I am a lazy traveller, who likes her exploring to happen mostly after midday.
And so I bid adieu to 2013 – you’ve been fun, but let’s not pretend I want to see you again anytime soon.
2014, I think you are going to be a good year. A build-up to something big, maybe. I think the “work hard, play hard” mentally is going to be a major theme this year.
I already have plans to visit Amsterdam, San Francisco, London, Malta and Canada next year, so stay tuned… 🙂
Until next year!