I originally wrote this post with notebook and pen after spending a night on Isla de Sol, Lake Titicaca to decide my next steps travelling.
Every traveller talks about the ups and downs you feel on the road. The ups are easy – travelling with great people, seeing amazing sights and feeling comfortable in your surroundings. The downs are often described as being alone (when you don’t necessarily want to be), ill health or unfortunate situations.
Over the last month, an urge to head home had been brewing. Everyone knows, these urges come and go. Until then, I had just naturally, quietly quelled the thoughts and carried on full steam ahead.
It wasn’t until last week, when I actually consciously realised and took notice. One night, whilst I was happily asleep in La Senda Verde wildlife reserve, I dreamt I was back home in my apartment. It felt so good in my home, my space. It was such a strong positive feeling on a very simple situation. I felt I couldn’t ignore it.
My dreams have been an important part of my journey as I travelled – I learned lots about myself keeping a dream diary whilst I was in China. What I understood from this particular dream was the urge to head home was in my subconscious thoughts, but my conscious desire to keep moving, travelling and maximising my time away was masking something important. The dream was like a massive “listen” sign.
When I thought about why I would have such a strong urge to head home, I couldn’t find a single clearcut reason why. When I looked at my situation right now, I’ve recently seen the unbelievable salt flats, lived in a wildlife reserve and had the benefit of all of that with great company. I had all the good things travelling brings.
To head home would change some pretty big plans. Peru was the final country I intended to visit on my South American journey. Until this point, it was going to fill the next seven weeks. I had planned to volunteer at an orphanage, trek through the hills to Machu Pichu, sandboard the tallest sand dunes in South America and more. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m normally not the kind of person to dwell on decisions. This must be important, I thought.
When decisions do come up, I find the best way to decide is to put yourself in each of the options/situation you can choose from and listen to my gut feeling. When I leant towards leaving after my trip to the jungle of Rurrenabaque (the first reasonable date), my mind went into overdrive thinking ahead about my life back at home, who I’d want to catch up with first, stuff I’d do to my home, what it would feel like walking back into my old office. It all felt so natural – like I wouldn’t have a problem at all just hitting the ground running as soon as I got back.
I’m not one to suffer from insomnia (in fact, it’s normally an ability of mine to sleep at will) but the excitement of my thoughts being home kept me up all night but it assured me it was the right thing to do. Even if I did force myself and heading to Peru for Machu Pichu, if my mind wasn’t in the right place, I didn’t think I would appreciate Machu Pichu for the wonder that it is.
I was more excited about everything back home, than I was about seeing Machu Pichu. It was time to head home.