Just over a week ago, we decided that we were going to bring our nomadic life to an end. The plan that we had was vague, but the gist of it was this: head to Cyprus and try to make a life for ourselves there. A life that would include a lot of travel, but a life that would also include a flat where we could house more than just a backpack each, a place where I could finally ditch the Kindle and continue to grow my book collection, and a cozy corner to call our own.
Over the last three months, we’ve had a lot of time to think about everything from our careers to what we want in the future – both near and far. We disappeared from the blog as our thoughts quickly curdled like bad milk, and chose to put our heads in the sand. We then remerged and explained our absence, and how we had been thinking hard about what we wanted to do with our lives.
Sleepless in Saigon
I’ve been feeling for a while now that my whole career needs a lick of new paint, while Ankit was getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to build up a photographer client base like he would if he were stationed in one place. We had come to Saigon to make money, but we quickly grew despondent with our situation. Soon enough, we found ourselves staying up late and then sleeping in until 11am, and snapping at each other because of how frustrated we were.
This thankfully changed when I started waking up at 6am to write my book and when Ankit started getting up at the same time. We began to feel positive again, but the question still remained the same: what were we going to do after Saigon?
When we first decided this was it, we were going home, I felt relieved. Perhaps it was because we had been toying with so many different ideas for weeks that it had become exhausting – any decision was better than none. Perhaps it was because I regularly long for the day when I can see my family for months on end instead of the usual two weeks a year. Perhaps it was because I’m a homebody at heart, and I was looking forward to finally having a closet with some nice clothes hanging inside it, a corner to house all my books, and a comfy sofa to snuggle up on at night.
A Slight U-Turn
But the next morning when I thought about our decision, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Anxiety. I realised I didn’t want to end the trip on a negative. We sacrificed a lot to do this, so the least we can do is go out on a high. Something just felt wrong with heading straight home right now.
We sold all our things and left Dubai in August to hit the road indefinitely while trying to make money on the road. Even now when I sit and type that we’ve been away for eight months, I still cannot believe it’s been that long. While there have been negatives along the way, the positives have far outweighed them. Ankit and I are the closest we’ve ever been, which I attribute to the fact that we’ve spent every living moment together (it’s definitely a make or break type scenario – thankfully in ours it was ‘make’). We’ve seen so many incredible things, we’ve eaten mouthwatering food, and we’ve watched the best sunsets of our lives. It is only fitting that we end this part of our journey together on a high.
“Let’s go to Bali before we go home,” I said to Ankit without thinking too much about the destination. I’ve wanted to visit Bali for years. As someone who loves all things new age-y like yoga, meditation and vegetarian/vegan food (just for the record, I absolutely hated Eat, Pray, Love, so don’t go getting any preconceived ideas now!), it is actually a dream destination. I’m surprised that I haven’t been there yet, as the more I read about it the more it sounds like the kind of place that I’ll fall in love with and never want to leave.
“Maybe I’ll do a yoga retreat or something,” I continued, dreaming of morning sun salutations overlooking rice paddies followed by avocado-green smoothies.
“That’s a great idea, Billy,” he said. “You’ve wanted to do that for ages.”
Yes, I had. In fact it was Ankit who always pointed out that I should perhaps go even further and do a teachers training course.
I let him consider my suggestion overnight, and when he woke up the next morning the first thing he said was: “Book the tickets to Bali.”
And so that’s how we decided to head to Ubud in just under a week. As I booked the tickets I got ridiculously giddy and I realised that we were doing the right thing. We’re going to go out on a high. I’m a firm believer of doing what feels right at any given time (which is also why I always feel that no decision should be regretted if you did what you felt was best) and going to Bali feels so right.
If only all endings were as beautiful as this.