Around September every year, I spend the month pulling my hair out over what should be an easy decision- where to travel to over the summer (Australian summer, which is from December to February). I have been privileged enough to be able to travel overseas for an extended amount of time every summer for the past 3 years, so that over that three-month period, I have only really stayed at home for no more than 3 weeks! Yes, my routine for September has continued, but I’ve decided on something different this time. I’m actually going to stay at home! While I know I’m going to have many regrets about not chasing my dreams of taking a Spanish course + travelling in Ecuador, I’m excited for those upcoming months. Here’s why:
1) My career prospects aren’t looking good.
I’ve always been someone who’s dreamt of making travelling a full-time career. While I’m still a dreamer who’s dreaming of this career, I’d like to have a backup plan. It’s about time that I look for some jobs related to psychology if I’m hoping to make it a career. I’m excited- I’ve found some volunteer research assistant jobs at psychology laboratories and clinics already!
2) I can finally embrace my inner nerd and learn things I’ve always wanted to learn.
During uni semester, there’s never enough time. I’m always working or studying or going out. I’m excited to finally tick some things off my ‘Courses for Uni Break’ bucket-list (I know, I have a list for all sorts of things). Let it be mental first aid, sign language, TEFL. There are so many courses I want to do! Bring it on!
3) I can finally explore more of my own home.
The more I travel, the more I realise how blessed I am to be able to live in Australia. And because I’m always so wrapped up in life, I never really get a chance to properly explore my home. Sure, I might take a hike occasionally, but I’m always so bounded by time, so they have always been short and close to home. I want to be able to take proper road trips, discover more off-the-beaten-path destinations without the guilt about not studying or working.
4) I can spend more time with friends and family.
There are people’s birthdays that I miss out on every year. There are festivals that I miss out on every year. There are the long summer days that I miss out on every year. I’d love to spend the upcoming summer to really catch up with people, without the time pressure or academic or work commitments. Summer will be a season for the dear ones, and I can’t wait for it.
5) I can finally catch up on my blog.
Confession: I currently have 15 draft blogs. Some of them, I’ve just created with the intention of continuing. Some of them, I had a spur of the moment, and just wrote the title. Some of them, I just haven’t had time. I can’t wait to finally try and achieve this ‘work-life’ balance by volunteering/working during the day, and just catching up on lots of writing at night without feeling guilty about it.
6) I might actually watch a TV show or a movie!
I haven’t watched a whole season of a TV show in 5 years, can you believe it? I always just say: “Oh, I don’t have time for TV shows.” And with movies, for the past 3 years or so all my movie-watching has been done on long-haul flights. Now, I will have no excuses. I can’t wait to be a couch potato and binge watch something with a massive bag of popcorn. I can’t wait to catch a flick at the cinemas like the good old times. I can’t wait to finally understand those Game of Thrones memes on Facebook, or be able to contribute to a heated argument on the new Star Wars movie.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby