backpackerIt’s been a bit. Nearly five months to be exact. Way back in February I shared sad news that family illness had forced the early conclusion of a massive trip Lisa and I had only just started; we had been away for barely eight weeks of a planned 12 to 18 months. On one level it was terribly frustrating but on another (more important) level it was totally necessary and undoubtedly the right thing to do. From both of us, massive thanks to everyone who left comments and sent us kind messages via email. It hasn’t been the most awesome five months.

But right now there is excitement and anticipation in the air. A trip is brewing and departure is imminent. In a few weeks I’ll be boarding a zero-service budget flight headed north and spending a couple of months in places amazing. Right now I’m waiting for visa applications to process and want to keep my plans sekrit for just a few more days, so in the meantime I’d like to describe to you a moment in time.

About a week ago there was an instant where, the decision having been finalised to head off again, I was overcome with a sensational feeling of liberation and opportunity — I could go literally anywhere in the world I wanted. I had the time, I had the funds (unused budget from the original trip), and I had no restricting considerations or circumstances. It felt like I had floated up from the floor, my eyes had widened, and my horizons had dropped away. I was a child in a toy store who had just been told that he could have anything he wants. It was a pretty good feeling.

For the next couple of days I played with ideas, airline websites, travel guidebooks and budgets. I considered excerpts from the original plan, variations on excerpts from the original plan, and brand new combinations of countries and routes that have nothing to do with the original plan. The sheer scale of the opportunity made this task overwhelming but it was very much a positive, adrenaline-charged kind of overwhelming. The anticipation and excitement made me tingle all over, and those emotions haven’t subsided even though the plan is now planned, the applications are applicated, and the preparations proper have begun — tangible stuff like sorting out clothes, cleaning camera lenses, and stocking up on Imodium.

It’s not often in your life you get to experience such moments in time and periods of concentrated potential; most of the time they are merely the stuff of daydreams. So, to you, reader, a question and daydream challenge: if you were to find yourself in a similar situation tomorrow — two months of completely responsibility-free time and enough disposable income to travel — what would you do?