Familiarity: friend or foe? And why is there so much to do and so little time?

*quick note, it says 6 days because I wrote this last night. *

Spoons and forks rattle from within the kitchen downstairs. There is the intermittent sound of a hairdryer whirring and my sister’s voice upstairs. I have 6 days to go until travelling. It should be no big deal- dozens of people choose to see new places at some point (I’m sorry to say that I can’t reference that statistic accurately, but many people seem to know someone who has travelled 🙂 ). And sometimes familiarity feels suffocating, sometimes I can feel the tension in my upper back and the world seems confined to the four walls of my room. Sometimes my eyes are unable to look away from the To-Do list which I know will be sitting in the top left-hand corner of my desktop when I load up my laptop.

6 days.

But sometimes familiarity breeds comfort. Sometimes I want to be in the lounge, doubled over in hysterics over something my mum has said, or having a light-hearted discussion with my dad in the car on the way to the swimming pool. Sometimes I want to exchange that look with my sister whereby we feel like we’re the only two people in the world who at that moment have tuned into each other’s thoughts with perfect synchronicity.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is- I’m starting to feel nervous. Of course, I’ve been away from home before whilst studying, but that sort of felt like leaving one family and re-joining another.

And I think I owe an apology to the people reading this, who might be expecting or wanting more of the food reviews/attraction reviews/city descriptions etc… When I arrive in Hong Kong and travel onwards from there, I’ll move the blog more in this direction. But until I get there, I have lots of time to dwell and/or anticipate yet a minimal amount of time to do everything I need to do. And for this I blame my inherent procrastination trait 🙂

I need to pack. The problem here is my inability to pack light. Rummaging around in my handbag normally provides me with a multitude of surprises (that is once I’ve wrestled open the zip, which tends to be straining anyway due to the excessive contents of my bag). However, when travelling, the term “pack light” would be rather handy. Not to mention when faced with a baggage limit.

I need to figure out how to use my new camera. This is coming from a slight technophobe who has broken at least two of her digital cameras in the past (my dad refuses to let me forget that fact). My bank account also refuses to let me forget that fact. Consequently I anticipate that my cautious approach to handling the camera equipment combined with my desire to read all appropriate instructions at least three times might be somewhat time-consuming. And I need to pick up a good few more items from the shops. Time-consuming. Though part of me wonders whether I should really bother- after all, Hong Kong (alongside places like New York and Paris) seems to be held in great esteem by those who faithfully love shopping. What do you guys think? Better safe than sorry?

My hoarding (which, not bordering on compulsive according to my final year module but which I’d say is still pretty extreme) may make locating what I need in my bedroom to take travelling somewhat challenging.

Time-consuming.

I need to sort my CV. Because as much as I’d love to say I have the funds to enable me to continue to travel without finding a job in Australia, that is simply not true. So there is a bit of pressure there.

Time-consuming.

And even when I arrive in Hong Kong, there is still the small matter of obtaining my China tourist visa. This could have been done in the UK but to cut a long story short, circumstances were not on my side and getting it sorted out over here when I have to be in Hong Kong by the 1st October could be difficult.

So yeah…

Busy, busy, busy!

And during that whole period of time thinking about what I have to do and typing it into this blog post, I briefly forgot about familiarity. Without it, how will I feel? Homesick? Inspired? A combination of these feelings? Perhaps it won’t even be an issue during the Asia leg of my journey because I’m travelling with friends. But if I focus on the many places to go and things to see and try, maybe I will forget about the concept of familiarity entirely. And even in Australia, perhaps all that will really matter will be forming that new memory, experiencing that moment and being able to exist completely within it.

I’ll blog again once I arrive in Hong Kong. Thanks for reading!

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Welcome to my blog!

SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

That’s the question the majority of us confused graduates get asked when we finish our studies. For the minority that know, I am in awe of your focus and ability to discover what you want out of life. For the rest of us, we’re faced with a number of options… post-graduate study… job… graduate training schemes… volunteering… or…

Travel?

Yep, I didn’t think that would be my immediate decision either 🙂 But since it is, I’ve decided to write this blog in order to articulate my musings, share a photo or two, get ridiculously excited about food (I am besotted, thankfully so is my travel companion) and just generally describe where I am and what I’m doing.

So to the introductions- I’m Olivia and I’m a 21 year old British student who has just graduated from university.

YAY UNIVERSITY!!!

During my time at this glorious place, I was fortunate enough to meet a multitude of people who were both entertaining and inspiring (slushy but true). I stress this point because honestly, had you asked me a few years ago, never would I have considered taking some time out of education or the world of work to travel. But things change and having completed my degree, I decided that now was the right time to spread my wings a little and immerse myself in some different cultures. Since two of my close friends come from different parts of Asia (Hong Kong and South Korea respectively), I decided that travelling to learn more about where they’re from and other nearby countries could be a lot of fun!!!!

For the first part of my journey around Asia, I am travelling with a friend (soon to be long-suffering travel companion) and am going to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and China before returning to Hong Kong. After these 6 weeks, I have decided to go it alone and settle in Melbourne for a while… in spite of having absolutely nothing set in stone there. Which could represent foolishness or become a mark of successful spontaneity (hopefully the latter). I’ll keep you guys updated on that front.

Feel free to comment on any of my posts (all feedback would be hugely appreciated) since this is the first time I’ve ever blogged and if there is something I could be doing to make it better (from the reader’s perspective), I would really love to be able to make those improvements!

Hope you enjoy my blog!!!