Amazingly it’s been 50 days since we landed back in England. Longer than anywhere we stayed during our 16 month trip. Yet it’s felt so quick.
We arrived home on the morning of 26th May. Sadly we didn’t get that moment we all want – friends and family waiting for you at the airport, since we landed at London Gatwick at the height of rush hour, meaning no-one really fancied coming to collect us. Instead we got the train to our respective family homes, and finally saw our parents and siblings.
It wasn’t until a week later we saw the majority of our friends, at a party my parents organised. It was great to see everyone, and it took all of about 5 minutes to pick up where we left off with our friends.
The next few weeks were spent sorting through our remaining possessions and getting used to the comforts of home. It was great to spend time with my parents, the month I spent there was the longest I had seen them in nearly 5 years! I also got to meet the new family cat, Cleo.
We splashed out and bought some new clothes, since we felt we deserved it. That said, I still find myself wearing the clothes I brought home quite often!
I got to spend a family birthday with my family for once, my sister’s 2 days after we got home, and we also had Katy’s aunts wedding a few days after, which was nice.
Finding A Home
After a week and a half settling in, it was time to find somewhere to live. Which meant several trips to London, and around 10 flat viewings. However we found and secured somewhere 3 days in!
Two weeks later we moved in and now we call Shepherd’s Bush, in west London, home. It’s a totally different part of London to where we lived before, so we’ve had so much to explore – that part is a bit like travelling again!
Back To Work
I was incredibly lucky – my job had been kept open for me and I confirmed I would be returning while still in South America. So after a few visits to say hello and sort out details, I started at the end of June.
Katy however had to start job hunting. But after her very first interview she was offered a job! Don’t believe anyone who says travelling harms your career – if you go in with the right attitude and treat it as a positive experience (which it most definitely is) the majority of companies will see it as such too.
Looking back, it was incredible that we managed to sort the 2 things that were worrying us – a flat and a job for Katy – in just 3 days.
I’d read all about the travel blues. People come home from a long trip, having seen so much, and become disillusioned that little had changed at home.
I’ll be honest, it hasn’t really happened to us. Not yet anyway. Obviously there is a certain amount of sadness at going back to real life, but we knew it had to happen sometimes. And I think the change thing is overstated – what would you really expect to change? If it had been the other way round and a friend had gone away, I doubt much would have changed with us either. People get married, have babies, change jobs, move house. That’s about it, and that’s life.
I do sometimes find myself staring wistfully at photos, and longing to be back in a certain place though. Also it’s hard to believe it all happened, the memories are there but they feel like a dream.
Yes, so after keeping a budget for 16 months, I had to see how it compared to living in the UK so far. This is a really basic budget, and doesn’t include going out, since we can’t afford to do much of that yet! But it more or less equates to living costs in London. Costs are calculated since we moved into our flat, because we didn’t spend much with our parents!
All costs per day for 2 people
Rent – £41.43
Electric/Gas Bill – £2.53
Council Tax – £2.53
Other Bills (TV, Broadband, Water) – £2.62
Transport – £3.80
Groceries – £7.72
Total – £60.63
Surprising eh? It’s far from our £44 a day budget but how many times did we stick to that? It’s equivalent more or less to travelling in Japan, Europe or the US, which I guess isn’t actually that much of a surprise at all.
We haven’t had ‘sticker shock’ too much, we paid such a variety of prices for things around the world, it’s not like everything is expensive in the UK. Of course some things are, but some things are cheaper too, like chocolate!