I've decided that at the age of 23 it might be time to have some ambitions. Or rather, some ambitions that I can actually control and realise. For a few years now I've had vague thoughts along the lines of, "It would be nice to go travelling one day", and "I'd love to go to Australia and New Zealand", but I've never seriously considered doing anything about them. Now I've decided that I do really want to do this, and if necessary I'll do it on my own - actually I'm quite excited about this prospect, because I know that for the first time in my life I have the confidence to do it. I'm going to make a plan with savings goals and definite deadlines, and then in either 2009 or 2010 I'm going to Australasia for 9 months of living the dream and experiencing two of the most beautiful countries on earth. I was looking at the NZ tourist board website today and getting really excited about all the gorgeous places there are to see - I know this sounds like one of my random whims (of which I have many) but I really think I mean this one.
I'm not sure yet exactly how I'm going to do this - I don't know if I'll be able to save enough to be able to manage without working out there, so I might do some stop-offs in a few countries on the way, then work for a few months in Oz when I arrive and then travel round the rest of Oz and NZ after that. I've calculated that I pretty much can't afford to keep my flat while I'm away, so I'll move all my stuff back home (my mum will be thrilled to be hosting all my rubbish for a year I'm sure!) and then come back to Leam afterwards and find a new place to live. I think if I take a whole year out I should have time to find somewhere between getting back and going back to work. The plan does rather hinge around work letting me take a career break, but a colleague had already been allowed one before she went for a promotion instead so they should let me - I'll have been there for a long time by then and I reckon I'll deserve it after 4 years of open days! My aim is to get a promotion after I've been there a couple of years so I'll be earning more money, but if the opportunity doesn't arise I may have to move elsewhere in pursuit of this work-related ambition that also seems to be surfacing, so hopefully they'll also let me go if I do a good enough job for them in the few years that I'm there.
This all sounds highly vague for someone who's supposedly being organised! In truth, having only decided this yesterday I'm still working out the basic concepts. However, I'm pretty determined to actually see this through - it'll be the achievement of my life and an amazing thing to do. I do have one request of everyone: once I've decided when I'm definitely going, please give me plenty of notice if you're planning to get married, and I'll factor in the cost of the flights home! I'm not missing anyone's wedding for anything. :o) (You can tell which aspects of this I've considered most carefully here...) Also, please don't laugh at me when the whole thing goes wrong and I give up - although I seriously hope that won't happen, this is me we're talking about here.
Oh, and watch this space tomorrow for an over-long and highly sentimental rambling through the past year. Those of you with a particularly cynical disposition might want to avoid this one...