Are we nearly there yet?

travel13 regret

I’m on the home stretch now, and whilst work is still being a bitch to get through (instead of the easy wind down we’d hoped for), the light’s there, I can see it at the end of this bloody tunnel I’ve been crawling through.

I’ve tried to explain to friends that I feel quite embarrassed now about having known that I’ve been setting off for for longer an I’m actually going away for. Also, the reason I shouted so loud about travel was to make me FOLLOW THROUGH…it’s the only way I actually get myself to DO ANYTHING that’s out of my comfort zone…a bit like the time I threw myself off a mountain on a pair of skis with a  parachute (and a frenchman) strapped to my back, although admittedly a sturdy Val d’Isere hangover and a lame aversion to piste map reading also played a part in my quest for the quickest way down. The point is, I did it because it TERRIFIED me (and, as per above, because I’d told my ski-buddies I was going to), and aside from the hyperventilation and yelp-whimpering, I was EUPHORIC and proud to have pushed myself to do it.

My friends tell me I DO SO MUCH, but sometimes I feel I don’t really do ANYTHING. I feel like I’ve let life pass me by, and everything’s changed for almost everyone but me. I need to push myself more, and I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m perhaps a bit(/lot?) stronger than I give myself credit for. I have high hopes for 2013 and am hoping for some big changes. I hope I’m not expecting too much.

The next few weeks are going to fly by, and I’ve got some really special times to look forward to with friends and family over Christmas and the New Year.

Regrets, well: it’s safe to say I’VE HAD A FEW (and big thanks go to those who’ve helped me through them), but it’s now time to EMBRACE THE FUTURE.

I’m happy, and I’m looking forward to venturing in to the unknown and testing my resolve, patience, strength and fears.

xx katieschaafs


Fear of the Unknown, and other ramblings

…so we’re getting close to the wire now, and this isn’t really about the travel anymore; I’m starting to lose some sleep lately, I think, worrying about finishing up at work.


I graduated in 1998 and have worked pretty much straight through since then. That’s a lot of desk time right there. 14 years in fact (I know, you can do the maths too..). How did those all those hours, days, months and years slip by so quickly? I have a lot in my life to be thankful for, but on this front I feel I’ve let myself down, by sticking at something that makes me unhappy.

So now that I’m stepping off the brain drain train, I’m wondering how I’ll cope without the routine of working life, and the everyday banter and familiarity that comes with the job. I sort of feel like I’ve decided to travel almost immediato to avoid making any other Important Life Decisions just yet, but I’m hoping the decisions will come easier after a break from the old routine (also, I suck at even the smallest of decisions). COP-OUT, but I still think it’s the right thing to do, as otherwise I run the risk of overthinking everything and getting my knickers in a right twist, and nobody needs to deal with THAT.

travel2 overthinking

Next year, I’m concerned about the culture shock, being completely out-of-my-comfort-zone, the ‘will I make friends?’ issue, the ‘how many scrapes am I gonna get into?’ concern, and mostly of being horribly homesick for my family. Having boarded as an expat kid and gone months on end without seeing my family, you’d think I’d have hardened up to this, but I’ve almost gone the other way…I totally need to (wo)MAN UP next year!

xx katieschaafs



I’m getting slightly fed up with people asking me about my trip, or ‘holiday’ as it is oft referred as. I suppose that whilst it is a holiday, I feel better calling it a ‘trip’; ‘trip’ has less connotations of self indulgence – since I struggle with … Continue reading


I’ve just calculated that I’ve only 77 sleeps before I leave the UK for the unknown. HOLY COW! I’ve not been away from home for longer than 2 weeks in about 15 years, and the thought somehow terrifies me. Leaving my lovely flat, friends and family and the routine of LIFE is frightening for me, not least because I’ll have finished up at work (that one’s a 61 day countdown!) and won’t know where my next pennies are coming from. Booking the ticket was the biggest hurdle of all though, and I’ll admit to having a 3 second sob on the street after I’d done it; prior to this I’d spent weeks lying awake wondering whether I’m crazy to leave the comfort of my superking for dank hostels, mosquito nets and washing my pants in the sink (hopefully it won’t be this bad, but I’ve yet to gage the exact budget vs comfort level that I’ll be angling for: I guess this is something I’ll work out as I go along).  But HELLO, no tube, NO MORE TIGHTS, HALLELUJAH! and no sitting at this GODFORSAKEN desk, hating it and bored out of my skull and wondering if I’ll ever feel more excited about life (readers: I will!)

I’m VERY excited (not to mention LUCKY) to be going to visit good friends (the VERY BEST ones, in fact) at the start and end points of my trip, and am not actually going to be away for that long — I’m hoping I’m so gung-ho about what I see and do that it will be a GIVEN that I’ll extend my trip – but who knows, I’ll maybe have had enough and miss everyone too much to stay away; plus, I’m leaving mere weeks ahead of my sister’s first born’s due date, something that’s been tearing me up since she told me she was expecting, and I’m worried about how I’ll feel not being around for the occaision, given how stoked I was when my brother’s little poppet arrived on the scene earlier this year. Thankfully my sister has been amazing at encouraging me to go, and reassuring me that I’ll be sure to get my share of babysitting once I’m back! I am BLESSED to have amazing and supportive siblings and parents. It will be weird and upsetting not having them all on my doorstep > how do you cuddle a newborn on Skype? 😦

For now though, fun times ahead to loosely plan the barebones of my trip.  I totally lucked out with a good friend helping me out with much of the kit I’ll need – Hannah (and James), you superstar: you’ve saved me a fortune and also given me a whole lot of encouragement to FREEFALL (I promise I’ll try!). The next pressing issues are jabs (OUCH – both financially and physically..) and technology requirement decisions (camera, phone/tablet) to aid me on my way and snap me up some happy memories.

xx katieschaafs

SIDE NOTE : Stop the press, WordPress! : I’m still trying to work out what I’m doing in this blogosphere: do I really want to shout about everything I’m up to or is this sort of thing best left shared in person with my nearest and dearest? I’ve not yet told friends or family this site name, and for now I’m just testing my own waters, since I currently never write anything that isn’t WORK or admin (or thank-you letters! such good manners!) – in short, my creativity is shot to pieces, and I’m working out if I’m any good at this and whether it’s something I enjoy. I read a lot of blogs, many of them American (so many inspirational women blogging out there!), so one thing I’m wary about is their influence on how I’ll write. Hopefully it’ll just come across as ME.

First Post

I’ve never written anything that’s been publicly read before, so this is somewhat daunting, to say the least; I’m hoping this will be a space where I can (b)log some new adventures after I fall out of the rat race (counting the days!).

I hanker after the familiar, and find comfort and safety in the cushion of friendships and family – and yet, I yearn to seek out new experiences, memories, adventures, and re-kindle the creativity that has so long been buried amongst spreadsheets and fear of failure – so this will be a whole new challenge for me.

I hope you enjoy sharing the journey with me. I’m starting to miss you all already.

xx katieschaafs