About 2 years ago me and my bearded beau took a jolly little jaunt to Malta. If you’ve ever yearned for a time machine to teleport you back to the 1980s then I highly recommend taking a trip to Malta.
There are some beautiful old buildings in Malta and A LOT of pizza/pasta restaurants. We had a whale of a time attempting to sunbathe on a very rocky beach in the chilly winter sunshine… but nothing worthy of more than this paragraph.
On our final day we had one of those ‘check out at 11am – flight at 11pm’ situations, so had a lot of time to kill trying to make cups of tea last for hours in bizarre Maltese cafes… a particular favourite being the rather worryingly themed ‘Princess Diana Bar’.
It was here, whilst contemplating returning to work the following day, that we decided it was time to find out if there was more to life than the 9-5 and rushed mini-breaks back to the 80s.
Penned on a napkin, we did a rough calculation of how much it would cost vs. how long it would take us to save up vs. whether we were willing to veto the grown up protocol of trying to buy house in order to escape real life for 12 months of getting lost in Central and South America.
Whatever the calculation was, it looked possible. And so began the long countdown to making some very reckless life decisions.
We were both beyond gap year age and meant to be focussed on things like careers and ISAs. I had a job in Fashion Marketing which I loved, working with lovely people. I was sharing the cutest flat in London with two of the most ridiculous and wonderful women on the planet. But I was also waking up at 5.00am every morning to squeeze as much yoga into my day as possible and dreaming about trying out new superfood recipes all day. It was time to pursue passions rather than protocol.
A plan was hatched to start in Costa Rica, a country whose motto is ‘Pura Vida’ (literally meaning Pure Life, something we thought we could get into) and travel down to Argentina. Just like fate I stumbled across a yoga teacher training course in Costa Rica to coincide with the start our trip… little did I realise then how much this was transform my life.
To extend our trip for as long as possible we also decided to ‘volunteer’ at various farms, hostels, theatres and guest houses along the way – where we would work in return for accommodation and sometimes food, too.
If slave labour in return for travel on the cheap sounds like something you’re interesting then I highly recommend you check out Work Away – it can be very hit and miss but with about 6 Work Away’s under our belts now the best advice I have is to read the reviews, make sure work hours are specified and if you don’t like it – LEAVE. The beauty of travel is freedom, there’s no point travelling to the other side of the planet just to wind up as over worked and unhappy as you were before.
Quitting regular life to travel was the best decision I have ever made. I have learnt more over the past few months than I managed to in the first 27 years of my life. The luxuries of freedom and time are two of the most beautiful, priceless things on earth and they are seriously helpful tools in helping you figure out what actually matters in our very short lives.