They say travel is about more than just seeing the sights and experiencing new things. It’s about growing as a person and discovering who you are. As I take a rest day here in Andong I am reflecting on my first three weeks in Korea and the first six months since ending the life I used to live.
Some things haven’t changed. I still can’t handle stress or pressure. I am still filled with self-doubt and when things go awry I tend to fret. That’s just a part of my make up. Anxiety is a problem I struggle with on an almost daily basis but I just have to work through it.
Other good things haven’t changed either. I love having adventures in the outdoors. I love cycling long distances to see what’s around the next corner. I enjoy hiking through the woods. I love pitching my tent in a beautiful location to listen to the night close in. And I love the smell of nature, even when the smell isn’t so great.
I have discovered that I like having a place to call home and that I miss the familiarity of the place I have lived my whole life. When I left I thought I was looking for a new place to settle but already I know that Brisbane is my home town and it’s the place I will return to. I may live elsewhere for months or even years at various points in the future but I am no expat. Expats seem to all have something I don’t. It’s not necessarily better or worse. It’s just different from me. It’s an ability to call somewhere new home and adapt.
I have also discovered that I don’t quite fit in with the long-term travelers I meet in hostels and campgrounds. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps time will make me one of them but I doubt it. Truth be told, I am not a big fan of the hostel scene. I like that it’s cheap accommodation and don’t mind sharing a room to save on costs. I enjoy a few nights out on the town with random strangers from time to time but only as something different, not the rule.
I want to see the world but on my own terms. I think that will be a month of travel followed by a month at home. Sometimes I will go overseas with my bicycle or to hike. Sometimes I will travel with my friend when we’ll explore new places together. And other times still I will use this flexible lifestyle I am creating to do some of the long walks and cycle tours in Australia and New Zealand that I have been eyeing off for years.
Oh and I have learned that clip in pedals are a nightmare. Much better to have a pair of hiking boots and flat pedals on my bike. That’s what I will save up for …