I REALLY DON’T WANT TO TRAVEL.

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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.


But here are the facts: I have to travel.

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???

 

Sarah xx

P.S. Those questions are not rhetorical help me!!

 

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6 Responses

  1. YOU CAN DO THIS. My annual commute is about £4,500 and is 3 hours a day, so I feel your pain! It is travelling that I definitely don’t want to do, but I’ve been doing it for 3 years, so MIGHT be able to help, just a little bit!

    1) Look into your options. I have the option to buy an annual season ticket from where I live to London and then use my oyster card to travel around London. It actually works out cheaper to buy a return ticket directly from where I live to Holborn DAILY with a 16-25 railcard (the railcard cost me £30 for the year and gives you 1/3 off fares but not season tickets). It saves me about £600 a year. It might not be that much over your placement (not sure how long it is) or be worth much because I’m really making the saving in London – but it’s worth a shot! The 1/3 off fares then applies to any train tickets you use to actually travel the UK! There are a few different railcards available – http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/46540.aspx

    2) See the 4 hours spent on the train as a productive time. Take your laptop/your phone/a notepad, brainstorm blog ideas, write, research travel (can be a dangerous one, I end up getting to work with a bad case of wanderlust), I’m a bit rubbish at this one because my laptop is so bulky and old – I need to invest in a nice new skinny shiny one so that I can blog on the train!

    3) You can still travel, but might need to limit yourself to the UK a bit more – look for deals on things like Groupon etc. And if you need a UK travel buddy…. *waves hand frantically*.

    4) I can feel your stress, get down to that yoga studio and relax girl! Everything happens for a reason and it will all work out just fine!

    Danielle

    x

    1. Awww you lovely wonderful person!!! I feel like you’ve become my therapist/commuting coach ? Thanks so much for all the tips…like you said I think I need to look at it like productive time! Also I bought a 16-25 rail card (my last one expired and I’ve been avoiding trains since then lol) and think I’m going to earn back that money through discounts in the first week alone!! Thanks for all the tips 😀

  2. Commutes can suck, but there are also some upsides. I used to love the time to myself and time to sit and read without being distracted. If you spend the four hours in a way that seems productive to you – working on your blog, reading, even sleeping – then it won’t seem so bad in the end! Maybe you could even look for a PT job online and put in two hours a day during your commute to earn a bit extra money.

  3. I can totally relate to finally being settled and then having everything changes. Just when you think you’ve got it down, just when you feel at home and settled and your budget makes sense…. life comes along and decides that you need some new challenges. 4 hours on the train is a lot. But can you bring your books/laptop? Maybe you can get some sponsored posts or freelance gigs that you can work on during the train ride to make up for the money lost. It probably seems unmanageable right now but once you get in the swing of things it will be a lot better and you will learn so much in your new placement! Good luck and can’t wait to hear more about it.

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Oh hey! I’m Sarah, the writer behind Endless Distances. When I’m not here, spilling all my gluten free travel and wellness travel tips, you can… find me on the floor at parties petting the dog.

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