Every time I come back to New Zealand, it gets harder to settle into ‘normal’ life. The travel bug is no joke. It sinks into your bones and plagues your mind every time you hear, smell, taste, see or catch yourself talking about that time when…. It becomes a part of you, and whilst I genuinely believe that I live in one of the most incredible places in the world, there is still a constant yearning for a life that currently remains unknown.
When I’m at home, I’m focused on climbing the career ladder and passing my uni papers. Since my last trip, I got a promotion at work that lets me travel within NZ regularly which is fantastic. I’m proud of my job, and the job title that comes with it. I feel like I’m doing life right, every day that I clock into my day at the office. And being able to travel domestically for work means that I still get a regular dose of travel. But it leaves a strange taste in my mouth, like that time you were on a budget and opted for the no name budget coffee instead of L’Affarre. It just doesn’t quite cut it. It’ll do for now, but it doesn’t have to be like this…
So, there is a balance. When I’m away, I have to balance the yearning for home, familiarity, ‘normalcy’, my friends and family, marmite and everything that makes New Zealand paradise, with the new environment that I’m in. When I’m home, I have to balance this constant overwhelming yearning for the strange, new, challenging, mind bending opportunites that present themselves when you’re abroad. Travelling solo puts you in a position of huge vulnerability and a constant challenge. ‘Comfortable’ doesn’t really exist, and it’s awesome. When I’m home, I miss those feelings. When I’m away, I miss familiarity. But, whether I’m home or away, I do my best to balance both sides of the yearning. How? Through music.
I’m one of those people that listens to a particular song on repeat until I can’t take it anymore and move on. There are songs that remind me of home, and songs that remind me of being away. And it’s that music that helps balance the frustration of never travelling enough.
Yawa Dey – Burna Boy… I came across this song not long before I left NZ on my last trip in December. It reminds me of a certain someone I was seeing at the time. It was casual between us, but there was meaning to it nonetheless. I remember showing him the video clip to this song and he said woah you shouldn’t dance like that sister. The moment itself is of no real significance, but when I was in Dubai and there’s friggen sand everywhere, men running with mats at the sound of the athan I had that song on repeat as the sun rose on my birthday, as I looked out over Sharjah. Again as I explored the Burj Khalifa. Again when I was on the metro, heading back to my hotel and got chatting to some Nigerian guys about Nigerian music. This song was the perfect balance between the hours before I left New Zealand, and the hours I spent in Dubai chasing my dreams.
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line feat Nelly… The few days leading up to my trip to south east asia with no return ticket (a couple of years ago now), I spent the couple of days leading up to it with my ex husband. We’d been separated for a couple of years at that stage, but we’ve remained friends. Anyhoo, somehow I came across Florida Georgia Line during those days and purchased their first album. I had Cruise and Dayum, Baby, Dayum on repeat for those few days and it drove my ex crazy, reminding him of all the times during our relationship when I’d listen to the same song on repeat for days at a time. I was trying so hard not freak as he drove me to the airport to leave, I apologised and put my headphones on and listened to these 2 songs on repeat until we arrived so that I wouldn’t turn psycho. I listened to this album a little when I arrived in Thailand, but promptly forgot about it a couple of days into this trip. 2 months later I was standing in a 7/11 in Krabi (south of Thailand) buying something, and Cruise is playing on the radio. I start smiling like an idiot and immediately I’m transported in my mind back to New Zealand, to the people that love me and protect me regardless of our past.
My old boss told me that travel is one of those things that you do in your life that you genuinely never regret. Even if it goes pear shaped, you still wont regret it. He also said that having these memories of travel, colour in the boring bits through life, and he was totally right. I can’t imagine my life without these memories and experiences.
One of my staff referred to me as being worldly this week. I suppose I am really. Though the curse of the travel bug as that one can never be worldly enough.
32 more sleeps and I’m off on my next adventure. 8 days into my promotion, and I’m already counting down the days til my next trip. Jaiye ori mi 🙂