Currently sitting alone in Starbucks Kingston thinking about the last time I sat alone in Starbucks Kingston over a year ago for almost 3 hours deciding whether to book a 5 week tour around Europe.
I’d never have the memories that I have now and the beautiful photos that will stay with me for a lifetime and will constantly reappear every time I sit and scroll through Facebook on rainy, boring days at home. Or even on dull, dry days in coffee shops.
I’m not sure what it was about that day that made me so much more courageous than usual. But thank God there must have been something in the coffee that gave me the nudge I needed.
I yearned to have the independence of traveling on my own to countries I truly wanted to see. Everyone else my age was jetting off to Thailand with a group of uni pals. I didn’t go to uni so I didn’t have uni pals, I didn’t even have any pals who wanted to travel the way I did. So my two options were to continue waiting and yearning for an opportunity when I MIGHT find somebody who MIGHT want to do the things I want to do, or I just quit waiting around and go on my own.
I found STA Travel and sort of created my own trip by combining two and was super lucky that there were available dates that lined up perfectly so all I needed to do was book flights (on top of the £3.5k it cost for the two tours together).
It was after my visit to STA in Kingston that I ended up in Starbucks with my coffee and tablet, scrolling through their website and other related sites to all the places I wanted to go. I thought about all of the possible inevitabilities that could happen – that I would hate it, that I’d be awful at backpacking and hostel living, that I’d regret spending so much money and return home angry and resentful at myself.
What an idiot I was. What an idiot I would’ve/could’ve been if I never went. Then I’d really have something to resent myself for. It was a lot of money, but it was a lot of money well spent. It was all of the money I’d been saving and saving – and for what? It was for my dream trip. So what was I waiting for? It was worth spending every penny, even if it meant coming home and starting the fund all over again.
And to answer that question: what was I waiting for? Nothing. I was waiting for nothing, and I had nothing to lose. It’s all so clear to me now, looking back. At the time it was such a huge decision. My mind was doing that classic thing of over-thinking wayyyy too much. When I eventually stopped over-thinking and returned home that afternoon, I phoned up STA, gave over my card details, booked the trip, recieved a confirmation email and it was done.
All of that faffing and thinking was finally over. £3.5k poorer, I was suddenly nothing but excited. And 6 months down the line I had the time of my life traveling round Europe, just how I always wanted to do it.
I don’t know what took me so long.
Thanks to deep thoughts and coffee shops, I’ll know where to go next time I have a decision of a lifetime to make.