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How do you take the plunge?

Giving it all up and getting out there, but so many doubts and questions going solo..how do you push past it?
11 years ago, December 28th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #149475  
B Posts: 130
So its been a year since i left for my SEA trip. I got back in March this year and itchy feet and the travel bug has got me big time. Im just not happy being in the UK anymore, despite meeting the most wonderful, perfect guy who has asked me to move in with him, i cant get excited about it, all i can think of is getting a TEFL qualification and getting back to Asia.

The problem is; the last time i went, i was with someone, who cared about me ALOT and we would both look out for each other.

Now if i were to go, id be going solo, to live somewhere I've never visited before and although its all i can think about, i know id buy my ticket quite happily, but stepping off that plane, not knowing much of the language etc etc...

So, to you guys who are out there, or have done it, how did you make the break, forget the doubts and get on to enjoying life out there working? How did you find it? were you the only english speaking person? was/is it lonely? how do you get around the cultural differences? Reply to this

11 years ago, December 29th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #149505  
Hello Abi 😊

Giving it all up and getting out there, but so many doubts and questions going solo..how do you push past it?

To put it simply, you just take the plunge. Others have, and very few regret it, from what I have seen posted on travel forums.

There have been times, when I wondered if I should have done less travelling and concentrated on more financial serurity, when going through a bad patch that others were not going through, but then when things started looking up again, I soon forgot my doubts, and started making the travel plans again.

Though, I still maintain that balance is important. 'Living the dream' as some call long term travelling is not everything. I would always have plans in other directions too. Travelling has to lose some of its appeal, when overdone like anything else.

Im just not happy being in the UK anymore...

Dont run away from things. You will just end up finding what you ran away from in other places, after the initial distraction and exoticness wears off. Find yourself in the UK, and then broaden that out to other places. Find out how to be happy and balanced in the UK, and take that balance everywhere with you.

Now if i were to go, id be going solo, to live somewhere I've never visited before and although its all i can think about, i know id buy my ticket quite happily, but stepping off that plane, not knowing much of the language etc etc...

There will always be doubts like this, and for sure you will be lonely and uncertain at times, but the experience will be more than these things.

I am currenly living as an expat in Germany. I do have my boyfriend and daughter with me, but I also get quite lonely, because the south of Germany is a very conservative place, and there are not many people here I could become friends with. It may still be Europe, but I am surrounded by a horrible housewifes brigade, that place top priority on things like clean houses, religion... So, basically there are always problems to be at least ignored. 😉
As for language, I speak Germany, but the dialect here is so difficult to understand, it is more like another language. Burocracy is another thing. It is always difficult to understand this, in another country, without somebody to guide you.

Overall, you have to do what you really want. I think, not doing what one wants is one of the biggest sources of unhappiness there are.


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11 years ago, December 29th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #149517  

You've written a post that asks all the right questions. My recommendation is to sit quietly in a place that you feel comfortable and safe and answer these questions for yourself. Learning to listen to your inner self-- it will guide you well.

Many years ago I had an opportunity to work in Antarctica for 5 months and travel a month by myself in New Zealand, a week in Raratonga and a couple of weeks in California visiting friends. I was leaving the world I knew. That trip was the best decision. I always knew I was strong and independent but that trip cemented those qualities in me. Don't get me wrong....I was not alone on this trip for long... I made many new friends, just as you will.

Remember the word FEAR means false evidence appearing real. Please do not let fears run your life.

From reading your post, I have made two opinions --
When you have quiet times and your mind is still wanting, needing, desiring the travel then I would say it is not time to settle down with Mr. Right. More than likely he will not be waiting when you return but that is ok because you will be different in some ways and he might not be Mr. Right any longer. Possibly he will remain a good friend.

It sounds like you have an adventurous spirit and desires that need to be met. Allow yourself to be who you are. Take that step.

I agree with Mell

Overall, you have to do what you really want. I think, not doing what one wants is one of the biggest sources of unhappiness there are.

As for doing this alone. You will learn many things about yourself that will be with you for the rest of your life.

You won't be alone for long as you will make new friends in Japan or South Korea

All of this may seem daunting for now but once you get on that airplane you will be fine. Life is meant to be an adventure.

Please let us know what you decide and if we can provide emotional support. There are many on this site who have done what you are talking about and I'm sure you will hear from them on this issue soon.

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11 years ago, December 29th 2011 No: 4 Msg: #149521  
Mell and Merry Jo have positioned themselves perfectly on your left shoulder as the voices of reason and I must say that I couldn't agree more with most of what they both say. However, I'm going to position myself on your right shoulder and try to help you think from an alternative although hopefully, just as valid perspective.

I have two sayings: the first, 'Life is too short' and the second, 'You only get one shot at life' are both relevant where decisions like this are concerned. Maybe you are 'due' for a little 'me' time and you shouldn't feel guilty about this in any way. It is after all, YOUR life we are talking about here 😊

I can relate to you in two ways. I'm British and I can't stand living in the UK either. I have become totally detached from the place of my birth and I can understand your frustrations, having to work so hard and then watch as a huge proportion of your earnings are more or less swallowed up by bills and taxes. It also pains me deeply to see our country falling apart both morally and socially.

I teach EFL in Asia as well and yes, it is the most wonderful and rewarding of experiences, not to mention that Asia is one of the most fantastic places I have ever had the fortune of living in.

As mentioned above, while travelling alone can be a rather daunting prospect, you will soon hook up with like minded people who share the same interests and passion for life that you do.

As Mell said, most of us just dive in and do it. I left home at 19 and have more or less been living abroad since then, I am now 42. I never tire of travelling and I find living in a foreign country among people of another culture both fascinating and exhilarating. Nothing will broaden your horizons more. You will learn more about yourself than you can possibly imagine and have the chance to learn a new language too if you so desire!

So many people spend their lives talking about what they are going to do and yet in the cold light of day, they actually achieve very little. You are one of the lucky ones, who seems to have a lust for life and the will to make a difference where your own life is concerned.

Throw off those doubts, book that ticket and don't look back. I promise Abi, you won't regret it 😊
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11 years ago, January 11th 2012 No: 5 Msg: #150133  

In response to: Msg #149475 Hi!
Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents (or 2 pence if you're from the UK)! Traveling alone or living overseas alone is not for everyone. But if you've done it, even with a partner, you know a little of what to expect....

I've been traveling alone for more than 20 years and living overseas alone for more than 10 years. All your concerns are real: language is always an issue (unless you are awesome at learning them quickly or go somewhere where English is common), loneliness can be an issue, general comfort level can be an issue. But, the rewards are more: great friendships with people who are like minded, great adventures, learning tons of new things, and when you are alone - you do what you want when you want and you don't have to discuss it with anyone 😊 The experience is definitely different than when you are with someone, but both are nice.

Japan can be great because it is very, very safe, clean and people are very helpful - even if they don't speak English. However, Japanese is hard to learn and if you are outside of Tokyo or a major tourist center, you will either have to learn it or spend a lot of time alone. Although, alone time can be good too....

One thing I would do is think carefully about WHERE you go. Some places are a lot harder to live than others, but this is completely personal. It depends on what you value in day-to-day life.

I agree - throw off those doubts! Think of it this way - if you don't like it, get on the next plane and go home. But, you might find it changes your life.
Good Luck

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11 years ago, January 11th 2012 No: 6 Msg: #150140  
D Posts: 6
there are many tips for plunge:
* Bring a robe – great for wearing while waiting to go in and great to slip on as you dry off.
* Keep your feet covered until the last possible moment and consider wearing water shoes or something on your feet into the water.
* Bring extra towels or a blanket to stand on – remember, the sand is like ice!
* Wear layers and loose-fitting clothes, which are easier to get into when your fingers are cold.
* Plunge with a friend - use the buddy system.
* DO NOT dive into or enter the water head first.

[Edited: 2012 Jan 11 10:31 - The Travel Camel:11053 - No dropping commerical links on the forums, especially those of no relevance to the topic.]
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11 years ago, May 13th 2012 No: 7 Msg: #156133  
B Posts: 130
Hey guys, Just wanted to thankyou all so,so much for your posts.
Im sorry i hadnt replied, but i did read each one at great length over and over.
Its always nice to have some closure on a thread, and so, i thought id let you guys know whats happened since i last posted....

I talked through all my worries with my boyfriend, and we made a list of pros+cons of going and staying. Needless to stay going was of far less cons! He was incredibly supportive and we worked out a way it could still work if i went away. and it was decided i would go.

But then a few days later after this had been decided, I realized i really didnt want to do it alone- and perhaps all i needed was for him to be really supportive of me going for me to realize that.

SO, he asked me to move in with him again, i said with great excitement YES! and the agreement is as after he finishes university, 2 years time, we will pack up, move out to Korea/Thailand and travel.

I have applied to go back to university, im trading in my degree and training to become a proper teacher, doing a PGCE in Primary with Art and last week i heard ive been accepted onto the course!! :D :D :D

Its 2 years too, which is pretty well -completely planned- timed. So we'll finish at the same time, both with qualifications that are completely transferable to whereever we go and whatever we decide to do.

After having loads of advice from you guys over TEFL qualifications etc i figured teaching is what i really want to do, i may aswell train and have something to fall back on.

Just wanted to say thankyou to you all, you never let me down, and the support i always receive on here is incredible ,so thankyou, so so much :D :D Reply to this

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