You’ve just finished up at your job and have emptied your room ready to leave for you trip so now what? That final period of limbo between ending work and departure date is going to be all goodbyes and relaxing right?
Weeks went by where I imagined I’d be sleeping in till lunch time, having my Mum cook me all my favorite meals and chilling out on the coat tail of summer with a cold beer or two. Finally unemployment came and I was set to live out my restful time before that one way ticket to Paris came due.
See where this is going yet? No… well just 3 days into my life as an unemployed backpacker and I’ve so far accomplished none of my planned activities. Instead I seem to have rolled back the clock some 15 years and turned into my Dad’s little helper.
To most of you my last 3 days activities would probably seem a little strange but to me its all just another day back home. I didn’t grow up in a big city where you fight traffic and people to get around or have a yard the size of a Subway sandwich store, I grew up in Casterton. A little country town where farmers rule the land and I learn’t at a young age what a day’s work is all about.
So when my Dad said we were going to be concreting one of the shed floors this week I didn’t think anything of it. I’d helped him do it millions of times before both at home and at work. It just meant I’d need to roll up my sleeves, grab hold of the wheelbarrow and be prepared to sweat a little.
Again when I woke up Tuesday morning and found a big old trailer load of sheep poo and straw destined for the garden I just picked up the shovel and went with it. Sure its tedious work and half our front yard now smells like a sheep yard but its not a once of occurrence. Working in the garden has been a right of passage over the years in my family. The ride on lawn mower for example was always a source of fun not work.
While I may not be enjoying that longed for time of relaxation and refuge I waited for, or getting those final trip documents in order. I’m gaining something even better, time with my family. The best part of all is that it trumps anything I could have ever dreamt of all those weeks ago.
Oh and call me crazy but a few days hard labour is actually fun. Its great to see your hard work materialise into something useful. It also keeps me honest and to really value the work others perform.
So that’s what I’ve been doing to kill time before my departure date. What do you do in those final weeks or days before heading off on a trip into the unknown, I’d love to know.
Perfect way to spend that limbo period. Family is so important – I’d probably do the same.
.-= Keith´s last blog ..E-Book Review: The Underground Guide to International Volunteering =-.
Totally agree Keith. I’m loving being at home right now.
I’m experiencing the same thing: being at home means I’m back working for the family business! It’s not glamorous, but it’s something to do and I know my family appreciates it. Between running errands, prepping for my departure and finding time to blog/tweet, these two weeks are flying by!
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Oh, the places you’ll go! =-.
Tell me about it Christine. I had all this spare time, now I have none. Don’t get me wrong though I love being home and helping out. It’s actually been relaxing and I didn’t even notice.
So you are a sheep poo flinger?
I agree with Keith, it’s good to see you spend it with family. I’m sure this post will give you something to reflect on when you’re gone.
.-= Cornelius Aesop´s last blog ..New Brew Tuesday: Moon River Brewing Co. =-.
Cornellus mate I hadn’t thought of it like that but your right. This post will remind me of home in so many ways.
Oh and I did my fair share of sheep poo flinging that day, more to come tomorrow I’ve been told.
I find hard work very rewarding and makes those in-between times go by much faster. I don’t really have any rituals around before I move somewhere else though – I try and just keep to my regular routines I do no matter where I am. They’re boring but help keep me grounded.
.-= Anil´s last blog ..The Changing Face Of Berlin’s Immigrant District, Kreuzberg =-.
Hey Anil. I grew up knowing what hard work was. When you live in a small country town and your dad is very much a hands on guy I sure earned my stripes 🙂
You don’t need rituals, what with all the trips you’ve had lately. Hope I can find some time to meet you and have a chat over a beer in Europe.
I was with my family for seven weeks before I left for Oz. I hadn’t lived with them since I was 20.
I made it a point, like you, to help out a bit and eat dinner with them and hang with my mom a lot of nights. I tried to just take things easy mentally as far as not stressing out too much about the move. I finalized my plans and got my stuff together–insurance, converters, emailing potential roommates, etc,–in small steps so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.
Best of luck to you kid–D-Day will be here before you know it.
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..The Only People for Me Are The Mad Ones =-.
Hey Lauren. It’s been great at home, will miss this the most while abroad. I know my mum appreciates me being here as she will worry to no end while I’m gone.
I spent my last night moving and then helping someone else move. It’s always crazy at the end.
.-= ayngelina´s last blog ..Sugar and spice and everything nice =-.
haha Ayngelina. That’s one crazy last night in town. My last night will be spent in a hotel near the airport.
When I came home I had some grand ambitions: researching for a book I want to write, writing a technical paper on health care, doing a survey of baked goods, planning a taco crawl in Philadelphia….the list was endless. What did I do the first month? Work for my Mom in her gift store and for my Dad out in the field (he’s a land surveyor). Would I have changed it? No! I lived for 4 years on the other side of the country, and it was valuable time with my parents. All those other things…meh!
.-= Lindsay´s last blog ..The Wheels on the Scam Bus Go Round and Round =-.
Wow Lindsay you sure had some grand plans, all I wanted was a sleep in 🙂
I seriously love being home with my Mum and Dad. There is something about being at home that just leaves you at peace. At times I’ve taken this for granted but right now I’m soaking it all up.
Sounds like a great way to spend the day. Life is a series of journeys, each different and special in their own way. What lesson are they teaching us?
Sounds like the limbo period offers a good dose of simplicity and reflection. With a bit of poo.
.-= Andy Hayes | Sharing Travel Experiences´s last blog ..What to do when you want to see on vacation is closed? =-.
Hey Andy thanks for stopping to comment. There is a hell of a lot of poo haha.
I couldn’t wish for a better limbo period. Funny how the simple things are just what you need.
Yes, physical work along side family can be a rewarding experience. But more, it’s time to clear the head and prepare for what’s next.
.-= Janice´s last blog ..Solo Travel: a ticket to freedom at any age. =-.
Hey Janice your so right. Every time I come home, I leave feeling happy and refreshed. It doesn’t matter that I have worked my ass off helping out. There is something about doing some good honest work to make you feel good.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
It’s so great – you never know where travel will take you. After all, you are kind of already on your trip, in my eyes. You’ve done all the pre-travel hard work and now are living through the unexpected in your journey’s pre-take-off days. It sounds like a really nice two weeks to me!
.-= Sabina´s last blog ..Your Part of the World – What’s Different When You Travel Domestically? =-.
That’s very true Sabina. I’ve finished work and am treading water so to speak before travelling. This past week almost has been great and really been what I need.
I’m going to be gone so long that I will miss my parents dearly so anytime I can get with them is precious.