Well, it’s finally happening. Over two years since I first promised that I’d return to Europe, I’ve finally found the guts to pack my life up again and delay being a responsible adult for a little while longer. I’m off to teach English in Istanbul, via an extended trip around all the bits of Europe I didn’t make it to the first time around – primarily the Balkans and the Baltics.
But before the real fun begins, I’ve been spending the last remaining days of my time in Australia with family on the Sunshine Coast. I’m writing this post from the confines of the tiny bedroom I grew up in, surrounded by boxes, suitcases and an embarrassing visual reminder of my development from a curly-haired two year-old to a pimply teenager on the wall above my single bed. As much as I complain about coming back to the coast, it’s nice to spend some time here when I don’t know how long it’ll be until I see my family again.
Without any idea of if/when I’ll return to Brisbane (something I’ve written pretty extensively about already), I’ve managed to rid myself of almost all my belongings. The photo above is the grand total of my worldly possessions. While more than a few people have baulked at the lack of things to my name, I’ve found it extremely cathartic. Knowing that I only have some CDs, books and a few clothes to my name means I don’t have to worry about shipping much when I eventually decide to settle somewhere, and that the stuff I do have isn’t just crap I’ve inadvertently collected over the years. It’s really opened my eyes to the things that you really need to survive.
So, where to from here? I leave for Singapore on Saturday, where I’m catching up with some friends who live there. After that I’m off to London for the same, and then it’s on to Serbia where the real adventure begins. My favourite thing about telling people I’m going to Serbia is watching their reactions – if they’re over 30 generally it’s met with horror and disbelief, while anyone younger is immediately jealous. It’s funny how quickly perceptions of countries can change.
I don’t need to be in Istanbul to start my year of teaching English until September, so I’ve got a good couple of months to explore Eastern Europe until then. I’ve also just been accepted to volunteer at a festival in Sweden, which is exciting. So keep checking back here for updates, and if you’re in the northern hemisphere anytime soon give me a shout – I may just be heading your way.