Have we told anyone yet? What are their thoughts on our year-long trip? Well, I can’t really help you with that.. we haven’t told many people. Less than six months to our trip and only a handful of people know.
Ryan started telling his work colleagues back in the tail end of last year. Working as a Field Scientist, the job attracts people who aren’t afraid of a little wind and rain, the outdoorsy type, people who would find hiking and bike rides normal parts of their life. His co-workers were supportive and encouraging of him. They’d share their experiences of travelling, taking a career break and generally, providing him with the acceptance that this trip would be the adventure of a lifetime. Ryan has also told a few of his close friends about the trip, who again thought it was really great and they were excited for him.
So cut to me. Who have I told? Well, up to today a grand total of four people. The first people I mentioned it to were two Midwives in work, on our break, this was way back in Summer ’18. Maybe I didn’t explain it in much detail or maybe I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it but needless to say there was a bit of a look of confusion on their faces. Now I get it, it is a bit weird isn’t? A one-way plane ticket, travelling around the world on two wheels, camping in an unknown location every night, it doesn’t exactly seem thought out or well planned? But we’ve done our research (or at least Ryan has, I’m just here for the ride), we’ve made our decision, and we’re going
Since that encounter I’ll admit I’ve been apprehensive to tell anyone. It would be difficult to tell anyone at work as I work in a department that employs hundreds of people, there is a grapevine and word spreads VERY fast on it. The last thing I want is a manager to find out from someone else before I’ve gone to speak to them.
But, TODAY, I told my two closest friends. A week or so ago I’d arranged a lunch date with them at the end of the month, I was going to tell them then. However, we were messaging on our WhatsApp and I thought, now’s the time to tell them. So I did. They were so kind and encouraging, they obviously asked the normal questions and had some apprehension and nerves but otherwise, they were wholeheartedly excited for me. My closest friends are now in on my biggest secret.
As for family, now this one is slightly more tricky. We moved from Manchester to North Wales three and a half years ago. We moved for university commitments and have stayed because we love it. Our rent is cheap, our home is detached and private, and we have the countryside on our doorstep. I think both Ryan and mine’s family expected us to move back to Manchester once our studies were over and there was a tangible disappointment that we didn’t. We’ve toyed with the idea but the rental prices and what you’d get for your money have meant we’ve dug our feet into the ground here at Accar Wen. Prior to our move here, Ryan lived in Australia for a year, again for university, whilst I stayed in the UK. It always appeared that our families didn’t understand why he would move away but we knew it was only temporary, he gain so much from it and he’d be back home before we knew it. Alongside all of this, we have played with the idea of emigration to Australia, now I know for my family specifically my mum this is a very difficult notion to accept.
With all of this in mind, the prospect of telling our families about our trip has been very difficult. It’s hard to know what they will say about it or how they will feel. Within both of our families, no one has ever really travelled that far away, for any great length of time. We’d be bucking the trend, starting something new, but this is what us millennial’s do isn’t it? We’re anxious about their response; will they be excited or upset about our leaving? It’s only going to be for a year. Yeah, we’ll miss birthdays and Christmas but this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime if we don’t do this now when will we do it? This is something we’re really passionate about, something Ryan’s dreamed of since he was a teenager, and has since become my own aspiration.
Telling family is going to be hard and leaving them even harder. But the months are flying by and the date is drawing closer. Not telling them is making me feel like I’m lying to them, keeping a massive part of my life from them, which in a way I suppose I am doing. I have a date set in my head for when I tell them, next week when we’re all together at my sister’s house warming party (I hope she doesn’t think we’re stealing her light). AS for Ryan’s family, I’m not sure when were going to tell them, that’s his territory to navigate.
Also coming next week, I’ll be going to speak to my manager about taking a career break come next September, so wish me luck for that one. Telling the work girls will also be coming soon but again ideally I’d like to tell them all together, or at least as much together as possible. I suppose I could do it over WhatsApp again but we’ll save that worry for another day.
All in all, we’re getting to the point now where not telling people is causing me more anxiety than the thought of telling them. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and everyone will be accepting and supportive of our journey to cycle the world. Only time will tell.