Sometimes I feel like I am the only travel blogger who has never been backpacking and to be honest, it used to make me feel inadequate.
How could I possibly know anything about travel if I have not spent 6 months backpacking South East Asia or spent longer than a two weeks in South Africa?
For a long term I dealt with the imposter syndrome when writing about far flung places, advising people to go places, even though I had only spent a few weeks there. How could I be a voice of authority when I had not truly “travelled”?
I started to feel bad about myself every time I went onto social media and saw backpackers who were day after day posting photos of themselves bright blue waters or posing on the edge of lush paddy fields. Photos I was looking while on my break at work while I was sitting there in my scrubs.
But over the past year I have accepted that being a backpacker is not who I am and it not someone I think I ever will ever be.
I know in my heart of hearts that if I had truly wanted to go backpacking I would have done it by now. I am wonderfully (or potentially idiotically) headstrong when I want something, I make it happen. If I truly wanted to go backpacking for a few months or even a year, I would have made it happen at some point over the past 10 years.
I do not know why it is not me. Part of me thinks it is do to with my anxious nature, I am not spontaneous by any means. Even in everyday life I like to know plans, I feel secure in knowing my next step. The thought of potentially not knowing where what place I will be sleeping in a week from now, or even what country I will be in does not sit well with me.
I have wonderful friends who are off travelling the world and living the digital nomad lifestyle. It is incredible what they have created and I am so proud of them for living their dream, but that is what it is – their dream, not mine, and it is okay for people to have different dreams.
I now know it is okay for my dream to be living in London and taking short trips to see the world. It doesn’t mean I am less passionate about travel or know less, I just know a different type.
I adore the life I have built at home.
As much as I moan about my career on daily basis, it is actually pretty amazing. Yes, clients can be hard work and the nights are long and tiring but I get to help animals – which is all I ever wanted from a young age. I left my permanent role to become a locum for various reasons, one being so I could travel more. I have travelled more, I have travelled more in the past 4 years than I have over my entire life, they have been compact trips with curated itineraries but I like that and that is okay. Furthermore, I actually enjoy the challenge of seeing how many travel days we can manage with my DJ’s annual leave.
Don’t get me wrong I would love to go back to Indonesia and Vietnam to spend longer than two weeks seeing different areas and one day I do plan on spending a month exploring Central America.
But backpacking, flash packing, long term travel, which ever name you want to call – it just is not for me.
I enjoy knowing I can afford to spend a bit more on a hotel or on some nice meals when away because I know I am not using that money to budget across a long term trip.
I still get excited counting down to my next trip away.
I like my home comforts.
And I love nothing more than coming home to my weird but adorable cat.
So how did I get over my imposter syndrome when travel writing?
I realised I was not the only one.
I noticed my most popular posts were two week itineraries to far off places and short city guides in Europe. I suddenly realised there were thousands of people out there who like me want to see the world but also have other priorities and dreams as well.
I suppose you could say that once again this blog has helped me, as it has done in many ways over the past few years.
Therefore, this is my acceptance that I will never think I will use the term backpacker when talking about myself.
So here is to me, the person who has big plans to see so much of the world, but also revels in coming back home to a cup of tea and a cuddle with her cat.