I'm currently sat in an airport lounge in Kiev, Ukraine. I've been here for around six hours, alternating between sleeping, eating and working, and I thought, hey, isn't it about time I checked in with you and told you what exactly is going on right now?
Because today is the start of something I'm really looking forward to right now.
In fact, it's kind of the opposite.
Midnight plane to Georgia
As I opened this page to begin to write, the first thing my eyes jumped to was the font selection. Georgia.
Yesterday's plane reading taught me how anchors - basically the context in which you hear or read something - can trigger thoughts more quickly, and it seems Georgia is already firmly on my mind. (Yes, I like reading books about psychology. And economics. And anthropology. And sometimes even tax.)
I left Gatwick as the clock approached midnight last night. And in approximately 56 minutes, I'm going to be completing the journey and boarding a plane to Tbilisi, where I'll be spending the rest of July. That's three whole weeks of sleeping in the same bed, washing in the same shower and opening the same fridge when I get the late night munchies.
THREE WHOLE WEEKS.
It sure doesn't sound like a lot, but it's the longest I've done that in... well, since I started doing this full-time travel thing.
And I've never been more excited to sit (relatively) still.
The last couple of months have been a lot of fun gallivanting around my home corner of the world, finding the best food in Europe and finally frolicking in the mountains on a solo trip to Saalbach. I've been to a lot of new places, found some new hobbies (hello, paragliding!) and I'm incredibly grateful to have travelled with some amazing people.
And then I got to head home for three weeks. I say home... but actually I've been all over the place. I've been in Kent, my actual home, and London, my last full-time home, but I've also spent time away from city life in the Devon and Cornwall countryside.
I've still been working, but I've also been taking it fairly easy and having some downtime away from the cameras.
It's usually pretty hard for me to switch off, whether I want to or not, and it's been nice to finally do so. I've had three weeks without filming or taking more than a handful of 'just in case' photos. I've organised all the content I had to date and caught up on the cloud of content that's been snapping at my heels for the last few months. And yes, it feels amazing.
It was a much-needed escape after a crazy couple of months and I'm now leaving the UK feeling fully recharged and ready to take on the world (slowly).
What happens next...
I'm not ready to 'settle' in the UK - and have a feeling I never will be - but I'm excited to travel at a slower pace from now on. I'll be spending at least one month in most places, and I can't wait to immerse myself in the culture, learn a little of the language and meet more of the locals. And I also can't wait for a little more normalcy - a gym membership, a regular co-working office and maybe even a favourite lunch spot.
Yes, I've been on some big adventures in the last 8 months, but I sure miss those little things.
Over the next few months, I'll be heading to:
Georgia - The shortest stay, but a nice way to ease into the slower pace. I arrive today and will be there until early August - just over 3 weeks in total. To most people, I realise three weeks just sounds like an extended holiday. A temporary break from routine. But for me, right now, it's the start of a life with a little more normalcy, a little more routine and who knows what else.
Crete - I've always wanted to go to Greece. Escaping to an island for nearly 2 months sounds pretty heavenly, don't you think? I'll be based in Crete from early August until late September.
Venice/Slovenia - Late September is going to get a little crazy again. Breaking up the longer stints, I have a press trip to Slovenia and I'm going to travel there via Venice for a little birthday trip. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go and the flights from Crete were cheap... so why not?
Belfast/Aberdeen - Yes, I'll be back in the UK! I was planning to spend a week or two at home after Slovenia, where I'm taking my mum as my plus one, but something came up. Doesn't it always? Instead of heading back to London and Kent, I'll be flying to Belfast for a couple of days and then Aberdeen. I'll be there for a conference and press trip called Social Travel Summit, which is sponsored and hosted by Visit Britain this year. And I couldn't turn down the chance to collaborate with my own country's tourism board, could I?
South Africa - After the slight relapse into crazy European travel, I'll be heading to South Africa for my longest stint yet. I'll be based there for two and a half months, with a short trip to Namibia in October and a short escape to Botswana if I can fit it in.
Considering I've spent the last two months hopping between eight different countries, I'm excited to only be visiting 6 countries in total for the rest of the year.
Of course, I'll be keeping you updated along the way!
I'm not quitting travel blogging or vlogging. If anything, I'll be able to focus more and clear some of the backlog I've built up over the years.
I'll be sharing my usual two blog posts per week and two videos over on my YouTube channel. I even bought a shiny new vlogging camera to step up my YouTube game. And if you don't already follow me on Instagram, I also share daily updates, behind the scenes stories and may even make a few life decision via polls over there, so come and say hi.
As always, thanks for following the journey so far (or if you're new around here, hi!). I'll be sending out extra updates - and hopefully a couple of exciting announcements - to my newsletter list every fortnight, so make sure you sign up below to get those. And if you have any tips for the countries I'm heading to, please send them my way! Apart from the UK, they're all brand new to me.
This post contains affiliate links. This means I’ll get a (very!) small commission for any sales from this page, at no extra cost to you.