This is a travel blog. That is because I like to travel – in fact I love to travel.
So why did I just burst into tears when I was informed I would have to travel?
I found out today that within a week, I will be starting my new, three month work placement. I knew this. What I didn’t know is that I will be working almost two hours away from where I live. Where I pay rent. Where I pay bills. Where I work three jobs to help fund my traveling (the traveling I choose to d0). Where I finally, after a whole year, feel comfortable and settled and like I have a support network of friends. And now I have to leave. Well, maybe not leave, but commute four hours a day and pay for it all even though the commute will actually be preventing me from working and earning money to pay for said commute.
What makes it worse is that I have been waiting weeks for this news. I should have known my location seven weeks ago, meaning I’ve spent the last seven weeks refreshing my email 976434 times a day, making phone calls and office calls and genuinely hounding down this information. What didn’t help either was a rumor I was told of provisionally being placed a 20 minute walk from my house. So then the news today – that I will have to travel four hours every day, adding up to almost £700 by the end of this placement – wasn’t exactly the sound of angels strumming harps and distributing glitter and doughnuts to my ears. In fact, it was a lot more like the sound of Donald Trump being elected president and outlawing both glitter and doughnuts, oh yeah and probably tacos too because, y’know, #makeamericagreatagain.
Dramatic, I apologize, and I know y’all in London have much more expensive commutes, but the thing is I don’t get paid.
So yeah, cue me sobbing on my bed, a couple angry emails prompted by phone calls to righteous friends and family, regret about said emails, some tea with a lot of milk and sugar (I literally never drink this) in the vague hope of comfort, some googling of what the actual workplace was (I hadn’t even looked yet), and then…..a blog post.
The thing is, I’m freaking excited about my placement. I love getting out there and being creative and hands on. The only thing I don’t like is spending £700 I don’t own and wasting four hours a day on a train when I could be earning back that same money, or better yet saving it up to visit Berlin or Amsterdam or I don’t even know, Bristol. I also don’t like being surprised – I would’ve handled this much better if I knew seven weeks ago to log in some extra hours at work and find a sub-letter.
I have to travel where they’ve told me, and when, and I have to pay, and that’s it. I, the girl who won’t shut up about how much she loves traveling, has to travel, and is writing a blog post to complain about it.
Here’s how I’m trying to think about it: £700 is a crap ton of money. But I’ve spent £700 on travel before. Granted, £700 hard earned and saved up with an exotic destination in mind, but still £700. And I loved my first placement – it was inspiring and I learned so much about the world, which tbh are also the things I love about traveling. So why get so huffy about spending £700 if it’s still travel that’s going to make me learn and get out of my comfort zone and meet new people and new ways of doing things??
I could get bogged down in all the reasons it’s terrible – or I could just figure out a way to solve the problem. With half the problem just being the way I’m thinking about it. If I stop calling it a problem, maybe, slowly, it will stop being one. So from now on, commute = travel = something I love so much I created an entire website about it.
Have you ever had to travel somewhere you didn’t want to? How do you cope with travel you don’t enjoy, or can’t afford? How do you cope with commutes???
P.S. Those questions are not rhetorical help me!!