It is a strange feeling returning to Perth. We have only been gone for 6 or 7 months, and our return will only be a few weeks long at most, but it still has a feeling of finality. Almost like coming back from a short holiday and preparing to go back to work (ugh). I suppose it is a preconditioned feeling born of 15 years of doing exactly that, working for 11 months, and then having one off to try and cram as much in as possible.
The return is necessary, taxes have to be calculated and paid (double ugh), unresolved money issues need to be sorted, and we are heading through Australia anyway on our journey to South America (or are we? Stay tuned). Even though we have been gone for so long, the admin that came with our previous life cannot be escaped. I have had to reactivate bank accounts (because using a bank card overseas has deactivated said accounts), try and get a sim card which will be recognized internationally (for banking again), pick up mail from old addresses, and as mentioned, head to the accountant to give the government all my money.
I cannot deny that a part of me thinks, “oh yeah, it wasn’t that bad living here”. Then the more realistic part punches me hard between the eyes and says “Yes it was! You hated being tied into a job, a mortgage, a city”. That part of me is sooo right, I can understand people wanting that life, I am just more aware now than ever before, that I don’t. Give me that lost, “I don’t know what I’m doing” feeling any day of the week. It can be tiring, but it sure is fun.
In it’s favor, Australia is a beautiful country, the weather is amazing at the moment, we get to catch up with friends and family, and generally just take a breather from exotic locales and faraway lands (boohoo). Another benefit of this is that it has given me a renewed drive to get on the road again. After being in Perth for a few days, I can feel that I will shortly be craving the cultural diversity that is lacking in a young nation like this one (especially if you have lived there and sucked all you could out of it already). Staying with Sarah’s mum means we get looked after for a few weeks. She has even been kind enough to lend us a car so that we will be able to get around (neccessary in Perth where almost nothing is within walking distance).
I have also made some headway into setting up a few potential earning opportunities, mainly selling my artwork online (have a look), but also starting work on an app for travelers, it has a long way to go, but when done, Sarah and I think it will be a great coo for those on the road. Then there is the planning as to where to head next. We have been settled for some time on going to South America, first Chile then Argentina, but having the freedom to do so, we changed our minds, and it looks like we will now be heading to Mexico!
We wanted to focus for a few months on developing an income, and that is difficult when your traveling around trying to see the sites. So we will more than likely end up in Mexico for 2 or 3 months, and soak up the culture in more or less one spot. I am really excited about seeing the place, having an explore, and weirdly, I am excited about doing some work! The only rational explanation I can come up with for this, is that I have enjoyed a life of travel so much, it has made me want to ensure that I can maintain it for as long as possible. Also, not having to work, making my own hours, and doing the things I want, means I don’t mind it as much, in fact, it doesn’t really even feel like work, more like a holiday from holidaying.
So we have made a few inquiries into where and how, who and what, and thanks to the marvelously helpful travel aficionado Wandering Earl, we have a contact in Playa del Carmen, who will hopefully be able to find us some cheap digs, so that we can make the most of the next few months.
Some times I pinch myself, which is neither here nor there, but interesting nonetheless. More relevant is that I often question the reality of this lifestyle, how is it possible? Is it possible? It seems like a fantasy, like the sort of thing you read about other people doing on the internet (that’s you by the way). But it is my life now, and once the decision was made, it was easier to obtain, and is easier to maintain, than I ever would have thought possible. It just takes a little work.