Ten months ago I was aware that I hadn’t been on holiday for almost three years. Now in the grand scheme of things that really doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in my mind, there were so many places that I hadn’t seen and since the age of about 14 I had known that I wanted to travel. What had I been doing all this time? I’m sure it was some kind of bordering 30 crisis but I started to get this creeping feeling that time was running out!
Sounds dramatic, but I think this was the added push that I needed as I then began to get the distinct feeling that it was ‘now or never’. This was enforced by the fact that many ‘working holiday’ experiences and visas are allocated to 18-30 year olds only, so in this sense, it really was now or never!
I decided to re-apply for European Voluntary Service, which I had looked at doing previously but had managed to hold myself back from. This is a really positive scheme, whereby 90% of your travel costs and all of your accommodation, food and basic ‘pocket money’ are covered, in return for you offering to work voluntarily with a participating organisation. The work can cover many areas, including Conservation, Arts, Health and Social Work. For anyone who is interested in doing this, you will need to find a sending organisation, who will assist you. I registered with Concordia and it is completely free of cost.
It was also around this time that my friend Jess came back from Canada. Jess had been in Canada for a year and the desire to travel had definitely been confirmed for her. We happily started planning a trip to Paris and for me this marked the beginning of a new chapter: one where I began to turn thoughts into actions, and one in which I now find myself on the other side of the world.