I can remember sitting with the lovely Emma at The Terror of Knowing 2 years ago, watching the TV, cooking chocolate orange flapjack and fajitos, and thinking about the future. We had finished uni, everyone had separate plans and were going in different directions, and I was planning on spending the summer at home before taking off on a year abroad.
So much has happened in the last 2 years.
I’ve graduated. I completed my degree, my education, and I spent the last day as a student with some of the best friends I’ve ever had. And what a day for it, sun out, boot (for the broken foot) off, and the classic caps throwing photo. Such good times! It does not feel like 2 years since this sunny, happy, momentous day!
I’ve explored Asia. And when I say explored, I mean traveled from rainforests to beaches, cities to caves. I’ve experienced deluges in Ho Chi Minh, been cooked in Angkor Wat, dived in Nah Trang. I’ve watched lady boys in Bangkok, jumped from Trees in Laos, zip-wired through Chiang Mai rainforests. I met lots of amazing people, and traveled with them until we had worn our selves out.
To take a break, I tackled teaching, and quickly realised it was less a break, and more a once in a life-time, unbelievable experience. Jade and I may have been based in different schools, may have taken a while to warm to the job, and may have had no-one who spoke English in our schools, but I don’t think either of us would have traded it for the world. We met some awesome people (again) and they showed us the ropes, the city, and were amazing friends while we were there, making the experience unforgettable and making it feel like our little Thai home! It was so odd spending birthdays, Christmas, and New Year in a different continent.
As if we hadn’t seen enough of Asia, we tackled deep diving, we watched the F1 Malaysian GP, and explored more places than I thought were possible. As if working for months, and travelling before was not enough, we decided to keep going with the aim to make it to Australia to Marc and Helen without collapsing, suffocating, running out of money. Eating scorpions, walking the Bridge of the River Kwai, chilling with tigers, even being bitten by a crazy earring stealing monkey were just another day on the crazy adventure.
Ahh, a break, a real genuine time to stop and chill. Time to re-group, see friends and family, and time to sort ourselves out. Not that we stopped entirely, going body boarding, beer drinking, cricket watching, kangaroo feeding, and wine tasting. Our days in Margaret River was some of my favourite of the entire year!!!
And then we collected Draco and explored the beaches, cities, and everything in between from Cairns to Adelaide. We made friends with Koalas, we dived with turtles and sharks, and we drove, and drove, and drove for thousands of kilometres. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Sydney Harbour bridge, we explored Summer Bay and Erinsborough, we watched AFL at the MCG and watched Lion King at the theatre. I loved it. Even when it got cold, even when it snowed, even when our van broke down, I loved it.
If there was one thing I could change about the past 2 years, it would be the amount of time we spent in New Zealand. I loved it there. Really, truly, loved it. I bumped into a friend, I walked miles across a country *literally coast to coast) climbed volcanoes, and explored Middle Earth. What more can a book loving, travelling, Geography graduate want from a place eh? A week, not even that, was not nearly enough!
And then America. I don’t know where to being with the US. I went to places i had been and rediscovered them as an adult. I re-visited old places and saw new things while I was there. We visited prisons, and stood on the canyon edge, and crossed the country in buses and trains. It was nuts seeing so many cities, and states in so few weeks. We timed it right so many times, we were in San Francisco during a festival, in Chicago for the Black Hawks Parade, and in Washington for July 4th. America, you out did yourself, even if you did break my foot!!
I’ve reunited with my family in one of my favourite places. Florida. I swam with dolphins, walked down Diagon Alley, and headed back to my youth in Disney. It was amazing, and a brilliant way to cap off the first year out of education. I had such a good time, and it does not feel like nearly a year since I stepped foot back in England, unprepared for moving back in with my parents and tackling a real-life and adulthood.
And then when I got back, it was down to real life. I (sorry Mum) struggled a little living at home, and battled with the hateful activity of finding a job. i was reunited with my friends, slowly but surely, and realised how important having things like a mobile phone, and a debit card were (somehow, I had learnt to live without so many things that you needed in everyday life). I began a new job, in Alder Hey children’s hospital as I started to plan things like a career job, moving out, and getting a car. I chopped all my hair off.
And things really picked up. I got a job, a proper job. People often say they fall into a job, and I never believed them, until I did,.I began working for British Airways and Avios, and realised how stupid it was that I had never thought about a career in travel. I made lots of new, awesome friends, I started and settled in a job I enjoyed and could see myself staying in for the foreseeable future, I bought a new car (Fitz), and then I moved out into my own place!
Some things did stay the same. I still go to the match, and have continued my love of football. I still read, a lot, and have continued to blog about it. I still marathon TV shows at a stupidly quick (and I think impressive) rate, collect panini football stickers, see my friends for drinks, and got to the pub every Thursday to win the pub quiz.
I really have had a busy couple of years, and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
What have you been up to since you started your blog? Have you had a busy week, month, year, decade? Why don’t you have a little looksie down memory lane………