Surviving week one of travel – Is this what a nervous breakdown feels like?

“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all” – Meg Cabot.

It’s odd. We wanted to travel, right? So why do we feel so emotional?

On this blog we seek to give an honest account of what the nomadic life is really like. When we were doing our own research prior to embarking on the nomadic life we sought comfort from other blogs showcasing all the good things about being on the road. We wanted to see that everything was great. Reading a post about how amazing Vietnam is was like receiving a big cuddle from the other side of the world and an affirmation that we were doing the right thing.

But it was rare to see anybody talking about the tidal wave of emotions that you ride when you make the transition from the normal to the nomadic and because of this, we were hugely unprepared for the emotional smack upside the head that we got the first week we left home.

To make things worse, it should have been easy for us. During week one we were still in our home country. We used the same currency, ate the same foods and had no huge culture shock to contend with – but still it was hard to see beyond the sadness, regrets, mourning, fleeting excitement and gut wrenching fear that moved in and occupied every thought from the moment we handed the keys to our beautiful home over to the new owners and waved a heart wrenching goodbye to our sweet orange cat.

Spoilt cat is spoilt

Enjoying his Christmas gifts

Because shutting down your life as you know it is like attending your own funeral whilst you’re still alive. On our last two days in our house we watched family members arrive in time slots to take away all the furniture that we could no longer keep but that they wanted. They did this at our request. We wanted them to have all of the nice things we had worked so hard to buy – we didn’t need them anymore. We were happy for them to be taken but that didn’t make it any less difficult to watch.

We were keen to leave our house so that we could move into a trendy London pad for a couple of months and we had thought that saying goodbye would be easy – but when everybody had left and our house was completely empty – Glen and I found ourselves looking at each other with worried expressions and silently questioning what the heck we were doing.

Night one in the new pad should have been exciting but in reality we were exhausted, emotionally spent and then couldn’t sleep because of all the doubts circling our heads. It was like the dreams that had occupied our heads for the past year had packed their bags and jumped out of the left ear as soon as doubt crept in. Traitors.

But it gets easier. If you’ve read our about us page you’ll know that our lives pre-nomad were a blurred mess of commuting and working hard with little time for fun. By the middle of week one we started to shake off the dark cloak of doubt on our backs and began to embrace all of the good things about our new life. We spent hours every day working on our web design business and writing for our blogs. We bought a new camera to take on our travels and we walked the streets of beautiful London, exploring our home city in a new way – as tourists. We even had brunch!

By the end of the first week the excitement had resurfaced and our confidence in the decision we had made and our ability to survive month one, and even year one, grew.

Because after the mourning of your old life you can finally embrace your new longed for life. And now, we couldn’t be more excited.

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