By the end of my road trip with Phil I was exhausted. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I was travel sick, plain and simple. In principle, I really wanted to explore Wales, more of Scotland and Ireland, but I would’ve just been going through the motions. I started toying with the idea of going home.
I decided to head back to London anyway and see my cousin Shanti since I wasn’t able to before I left London the first time. Phil dropped me off at the Glossop train station and after a big hug goodbye, I waited for the train to Manchester with a car’s worth of rambunctious school kids.
On the train to London I considered my options. Backpacking with the wrong attitude is a recipe for disaster. It sounds like a cliche, but you have to want it. Otherwise you walk like a zombie through the streets of ________, never really knowing what you’re seeing or even appreciating it. Backpacking is a drug. People get addicted to it. But knowing when to take a break is the key to enjoying it in the long term (I started down this “backpacking as an addiction” analogy and now it just sounds disturbing).
I contemplated going to Ireland and trying to find a job, but the prospect of conducting the search I performed in NZ, except this time in a big city, it seemed daunting. Especially when I had engineering jobs on the horizon; two years of being away from the software game made me start worrying about my future.