The emotional stages after booking a one way flight

So after a few years of excuses, bad timing and daily mental disputes with myself over how much longer I can realistically use the YOLO excuse for, I finally grew a pair and booked a one way flight outta here. Byee bipolar British weather! Traa rush hour! And good bloody riddance 9-5! Hello freedom!

Our adventure will start in the bustling capital of Thailand, before making our way around Southeast Asia and then down under to Australia, like every Tom, Dick and Harry these days. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more excited, but.. no one warns you about the emotional rollercoaster that rocks up right after your confirmation email. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but mine went a little something like this..


Stage 1. Cloud Nine

It took me and my mate three attempts to actually book the flight, off to a flying start (oh the irony), but we did it! Booked! In a few months we’ll be off to see the world. I was on such a high it felt like the adrenaline and butterflies were just kicking shit out of each other in my stomach! I went to sleep with the biggest smile on my face that night!


Stage 2. Nausea

The next morning I woke up and start getting flashbacks. I checked my emails for the confirmation just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, just like you check your phone for evidence after a heavy one and see the sickening time you actually got home or the dodgy Snapchats in your camera roll, and then you see it.. ‘Thank you for your booking’. Cue the nausea!

WTF have I done? My mums going to kill me! What if I quit my job then change my mind? What if I can’t get a job when I get back? What if I catch Malaria? What if I get kidnapped and forced to traffick drugs to Peru? The elaborate questions continued, so on so forth.


Stage 3: Guilt

After I’d mentally been through every bad scenario I could think of, I started to think about everything and everyone I would be leaving behind. My mum contributed nicely to this, shoutout to the hun. Realistically though, I could be gone for a whole year, a lot can happen in a year! My little sister, who’s 8 going on 80, could be all grown up by the time I get back. Or my mates could have replaced me with some bitch off Huggle. I think not!


Stage 3. Acceptance

I spoke to my nearest and dearests who assured me I was doing the right and that I needed to go and live my life while I still could. Not me mum though, she was totally mature about the whole situation and just made passive-aggressive comments every time I brought it up. Just @ me next time hun! Either way, I knew it came from the heart and she just didn’t want me to leave so I’ll let her off. Regardless, I caught the lift straight back up to the top.


Stage 4. Productive

Now that I’d become more mentally stable after getting the blessing of (the majority of) people around me, I decided to get the ball rolling. I handed in my notice in to work. I felt like throwing up afterwards as this was it, no backing out now. We then made a start on our game plan. We decided that we wouldn’t over plan, just decide on a general route and kind of wing it as lot of people had recommended, but I started flapping and made a spreadsheet. So now we have a tab for each country we want to visit which is broken down into cities and listed with all the activities we want to do and the info we need to know. Too much?


Stage 5. Self-Doubt

After taking a number of backpacks for a walk around the shops, I began to wonder how I was supposed to fit my life into 70L? Like when you go on holiday you’re allowed around 20kg if that and even that’s scrimping, even though I always over pack and come home with a suitcase that’s 85% clean and unworn. I asked Google what he reckoned as I do on daily basis to seek life’s answers, or how to get abs in 7 days, and found some simple instructions,

“Get everything out you think you need to take and half it”.

HALF? LOL! LMAO! ROFL! PMSL!.. Fuck this I’m not going!


Stage 6. Early midlife

Cue the ridiculous, and not so ridiculous questions again..

How am I supposed to live out of a backpack for a year? What if I just layer up and wear most of my clothes to the airport? What if I get a dodgy magic mushroom and end up on Bang Up Abroad? What if I accidentally insult the King and everyone’s still in mourning. What about my maintenance? Do they do curly blows in Southeast Asia? And bikini waxes? How long does a scouse brow last when you take the girl out of Liverpool? Cheryl Cole survived Malaria right?

My mate also pushed me over the edge by saying she wasn’t getting her injections. Like wtf girl do you want to die?


Stage 7. YOLO

Somewhere between picturing myself on a national TV programme in a low security prison, and my dramatic prin behaviour, I realised I sounded rather ludicrous. There’s just as much chance of something bad happening at home as there is anywhere in the world. Maybe the minimalism will make me appreciate the smaller things in life. Plus, I get to see the world I stalk on the Instagram explore page.


After all, we’re here for a good time not a long time!

Watch this space..

Natalie is the Commissioning Editor and a Features Writer for The Daily Struggle. She’s also a full time digital marketer, soon to be travel blogger as she prepares to set off around South East Asia and Australia.

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