Disclaimer: this is written at the dribbling edge of tiredness – screaming at Churchill insurance, finishing off a last-minute feature, selling my car, dropping a barbell on my foot…that it’s not going to be my finest hour of journalism.
But as I’ll be travelling tomorrow and won’t have access to wi-fi for a wee while, here’s a brain dump of what I’ve learned thus far, after quitting my corporate job to become a wandering minstrel for a while.
Learn from my mistakes, people.
Do not move back in with your parents
Listen, they are lovely people. But there’s a reason why we used to die off young/buy our own houses/rent indefinitely rather than live with our parents in our 30s. It’s because there’s only so much you can scream into a pillow when they nag you – separately, so you get it in the ear twice – about doing things that you haven’t done yet, simply because you’re working to your own timeline.
That we are leaving on a flight together tomorrow morning and we haven’t murdered each other is a goddamn miracle. And trust me, we are all perfectly nice, normal people. We just fucked with the natural order of things. Rent a pop-up tent on your mate’s lawn if you have to but DON’T MOVE BACK IN.
Commit to not bringing in an income
I have made things unnecessarily hard for myself by taking a load of freelance work on before I was due to travel. This resulted in conducting some harrowing heroin addiction related interviews while I was in Italy, juggling transcribing when I haven’t even researched half of my travel and having to work in India to finish it all.
If I wanted to work like crazy and feel frazzled, I could’ve stayed in my old job. Lesson learned: just say no and stop buying shit from Space NK so you feel you have to earn money to pay for it. It’s madness.
You can’t wazz a load of cash
Manage your expenditures. Learn from me. Do not go to Hawksmoor for a farewell dinner because as lovely as fillet and Malbec is, you no longer have the cash for this kind of lifestyle.
Let’s face it, you’re back in BOGOF Pizza Express land and that’s fine, because you’re trading in work for fun.
Get up early
When I felt like a shiftless loser was when I started getting up late, bumbling to the local gym where everyone wears Umbro and looks like they last had a job when Gordon Brown was in power. It did not make me feel great about my life choices, also because I had no semblance of a structure about my day.
Days off are perfectly fine, but keep an eye or before you know it, you will ooze into the life of a slacker. Not someone who signed up for a life-changing experience.
Stop freaking out about your choices
And concentrate on your adventures. I was so focussed on what I had given up that I forgot what I had given it up FOR. Be aware of ruminating on the past. Life doesn’t look like it did because you made a major choice – this is a good thing. Now stop weeping about your regular income and carpe diem this muthafucka.