The next 6 months

It’s time again for another life musing! Maaah favourite.

I’ve been hinting at new adventures, so here it is: I’ll be spending the next 6 months in Phnom Penh, Cambodia! You might remember that my first visit to the city to visit my brother at the end of last year left me enamoured, and I knew that I would be back soon enough.

This move has been in the works for a little while, although the exact nature of the move was still being finalised up until a couple of months ago. See, it was either a case of going overseas with the hubby, or going on my own. Unfortunately, however,  he doesn’t have the same flexibility in terms of work as I do, so it’s come down to the latter option: I’ll be spending the last half of the year in South-East Asia, while he remains  based in Perth.

I’m not going to lie and say that this is my preferred decision. I would much rather be going away with the hubby, as distance is obviously going to be a challenge. However, as is so often true, relationships are about compromise, and I had to respect the fact that his line of work simply doesn’t work in the digital realm. (Also, I’m a huge advocate of solo travel while in a relationship.)

As grown-ups often need to do, we discussed the future and what lay ahead for the both of us, as a couple and as individuals. What we both envisioned in our future is a family, with the pitter-patter sound of tiny feet running around the house.

However, I had always wanted to go live overseas for a little while before having children, and, to be honest, I’m not quite sure I have reached the ripe old age of 30 without having done this. Although travel has always been a priority for me, this has mainly involved 3-week stints when I was working full-time, as well as my longest travel stint of 7 week before entering the freelance world. But an extended sojourn? Never.

Here’s the thing. Life can get in the way sometimes. It can creep up on you, distract you and before you know it, you are looking back and lamenting the long list of things that you didn’t quite manage to do. Life can be sneaky like that.

Here’s another thing. Goals/objectives/dreams don’t go away. Let’s just call them dreams for the sake of sounding romantic. Your dreams are still your own. Sometimes they can get tucked away into the deepest, darkest crevices of your heart. Sometimes, they are easy to forget. But they are still there calling, if only you’d just listen.

Travel has always been important to me and I’ve even pondered the reasons for this here. Travel enriches the mind, replenishes the body and cultivates the soul. It allows you to be a storyteller and broadens your mind. It makes you realise how strong you really are and how little you actually need. It encourages you to slow down and helps you build connections. Travel makes you thankful and gracious.

Travel has always been ingrained in me and it has shaped the person who I am today. Although I try not to set timeframes on when I should get things done, I’m realistic enough to know that travelling before children will be a completely different experience to travelling with children (I said to the hubby that I will be so disappointed if our kids don’t inherit the wanderlust gene—you can tell where my priorities lie!).

I could have stayed put and forgotten about my dream to live overseas before having children. I could have deemed it too hard a task. I could have told myself to let it go and ignored the calls coming from the crevices of my heart. But I chose not to.

Don’t get me wrong. I realise that what I’m doing isn’t anything drastic. I’m heading to Cambodia to crash on my brother’s couch for a mere 6 months. I’m essentially going to do the same thing I’m doing here in Perth, working remotely, but in a more humid location. The hubby will come to visit when he can. I’m not going against the grain, or stretching myself, by any means.

However, what I have done is questioned and listened to myself, which I think people seldom do because life has this way of drowning out that voice inside of you. You know the one I’m talking about—the one constantly asking: ‘is this what you really want?’ Sometimes it’s easier to choose to ignore this voice gnawing at you, yet in my own experience this doesn’t result in it going away. My first experience of this was a few years back. At that time, it was clear there was an incessant voice telling me that I needed a change in scenery: cue move to Perth. Now, the very same voice seems to be telling me to stay true to my original goals—sorry, I mean, dreams. (Or I could very well just be crazy. Voices are never a good sign, are they?)

Life is about compromise, relationships are about compromise, but there are some dreams that you shouldn’t compromise on.

So, as of next week, I’ll be off on the next chapter of my so-called life. I’ll be based in Phnom Penh for the most part, but planning on squeezing in as much travel around South-East Asia as possible. Please send through any recommendations or suggestions if you have them, or let me know if you’ll be in my neck of the woods. I’ll be posting my itinerary here.

For now, I’m going to enjoy having relatively frizz-free hair.

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