My name is Sophie, I’m 26, and I started this blog to allow friends and family to follow me on my six month ‘gap year’ from life, the universe and everything. But just in case you don’t know much about me, here’s some info…
I’m a northerner at heart, having grown up in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, and then spent four years at Leeds University. Following this I spent 5 years living in London working as a Marketing Executive in the city, which definitely ‘southerned me up’ and my home friends now criticise me for my fancypants accent and the amount of avocados I eat.
Around September 2017 my boyfriend (Tom) and I decided that the hectic lifestyle and astronomical prices of London were all getting a bit much and we wanted to get out and re-locate somewhere new… and hopefully more affordable! We’d always talked about wanting to travel, as many of our friends had done gap years etc, and the timing seemed perfect. So the decision was made – quit our jobs, leave our rented flat, pack our things off to our parents’ houses and fly off to the other side of the world before responsibility and mortgages come a-knockin’.
On top of all this, a big contributing factor to our decision to leave London was the battle I’ve been experiencing with anxiety and panic attacks. In a time where mental health issues are becoming more widely discussed I’ve been lucky that I’ve always felt able to speak openly about my issues and my boyfriend, family, friends, and employer were all extremely supportive. My issues stem around confinement and terrorism, all triggered by a situation whereby I fainted on a busy tube carriage on my way to work. Following this, numerous terror attacks occurred in the UK and these fears manifested themselves in daily panic attacks when trying to go anywhere. Fast forward a year and I’m finally beginning to get control of my anxiety and (touch wood) I’ve had two clear months. That’s not to say I haven’t been without issue – there have certainly been days where my legs have started shaking when I’ve been pushed into a corner in a tube carriage, or my heart has been beating out of my chest and I thought I was going to pass out – but I’ve managed to control it and bring myself back down and that’s a huge achievement for me.
I’m not going to lie, going travelling scares the shit out of me. I don’t expect that I’ll run away from all of my problems, I’m fully prepared to have a breakdown on a busy train in Delhi, or to feel trapped in a heaving market in Hong Kong. But hey, I’m doing it… I’m saying ‘fuck it’ and giving it a whirl. So fingers crossed for me, I wish me the best of luck.
Besides, I’ve got bigger issues to worry about, like how flipping sunburnt I’m going to be 😐
See ya later, Sophie x