Sal

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Lost, If found please return to, UNKNOWN

The truth about the heart break of travel

Genuine, honest travel writing

I wrote this blog almost a year ago and have decided to re-publish it, as this is where Small Girl Big Adventure began.
 
Feeling swamped down with worries and decisions to make, I sea kayaked around an island for 10 days with a small group of awesome women, camping on beaches and cooking on fires whilst watching the sunset; and suddenly things began to make sense.
I’m writing this whilst sat in a window seat onboard a Mao to London flight, having just completed my first full circumnavigation of the island of Menorca by sea kayak. Worn out with sore, sea salted blistered hands, I feel a warm glow inside me from yet another incredible trip. More lasting memories, a close bond made with a small group of friends, new skills and experiences as well as a sense of achievement.
 
These are not the only things I am leaving with however. A certain feeling seems to creep up at the end of each big trip, and this one is as strong as ever.
 
Sadness that the fun has come to an end and the challenge is over. Heart ache that the people I became so close to and have become accustomed to spending day and night with, are now all heading their separate ways. Uncertainty about what I’m doing and where I’m heading with my future. Everyone seems to have it all worked out.
 
Yes, feeling lost is exactly how I would describe the way I feel right now; and it’s a feeling I know well.
 
Most of my trips are based around a small team travelling together, for anything from two weeks to two months. For this time, we as a team share everything- food, water, a tarp to sleep under, happy times, stressful situations, laughs and lasting memories. Kayaking by day and putting up camp and cooking a big communal pot of something warm and stodgy for tea by night. We’re always busy.
 
Then we go home. We say our goodbyes, get on our separate flights, buses, trains and make our way back to wherever it is we call home.
 
All of a sudden you’re not part of a team anymore and your reason to get up every morning has changed dramatically.
 
You’re back to that town that you always end up going back to. You have friends all over the world but few of them are near by and most your old friends here have moved on because you’re never around. Other than seeing your lovely family, you don’t feel like there’s much here for you and you’re not really sure why you come back to this particular place each time.
 
But at the same time you know it’s not this town that it’s really about, it wouldn’t really make much difference where you were because it would be the same there too. 
 
This instigates booking another trip and putting this feeling off for another time.
 
I had plans with someone else, admittedly a lot of them were in my head. But when the rug is pulled out from under you unexpectedly everything changes. I could have had all the maps in the world but still would have been hopelessly lost. And this wasn’t because of my poor navigation skills. 

|”Even Google Maps wouldn’t have told me where I was heading or in fact where I was meant to be right there and then.”

The more I travel however, the more apparent it is that it’s not just me feeling this way.
Nine days of kayaking around an island gives you a lot of time to think. It also gave me time to hang out with some of coolest, most adventurous girls I know.
 
I now know that this lost feeling is common amongst so many people but how to resolve it takes a bit of working out. It took most of the trip but I feel much closer to solving the puzzle now.
 
I was fooled in to thinking that settling in a location was the key to finding my ‘place’, but actually this wasn’t true.
 
For me, and probably many other people, I need to have a sense of purpose. It’s easy to loose this when a big expedition that you’ve been planning and working towards for several months is eventually over.

| Travel, expeditions, adventures come with massive highs, but the post-trip downs can be tough.

Plans, goals, challenges to work towards. These are what motivate me and my travels are where I find them. Combine this with my love of writing and there’s my purpose. My place as such.
 
Years of travel journals, tatty notebooks, serviettes are finally going to be used to share some of my travel stories. The highs and the lows.
 
I hope sharing my experiences will not only provide some entertainment (especially as I’m bound to make lots of mistakes along the way!), but also inspiration for your own adventures. Maybe we’ll learn a thing or two together.
 
Someone once told me if the prospect of something new scares you and excites you at the same time, then it’s probably worth doing.
 
I am not always brave and I definitely am not always tough but I have that nagging bug to explore more and challenge the path so many people have expected me to take.

The journey is both terrifying and exciting, and I’m going to make the most of it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Can you relate or had similar experiences? Please comment on one of the main site pages.

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