Morgane – French – 25 years old – 360 days in Australia

‘To start from the beginning, I studied in a communication school, I got the job I wanted but I understood after a while that the environment where I was working was not made for me. I was not even comfortable with the role of my job as a strategic planner deciding when, how and why people should buy and consume a product or use a service.

I always wanted to travel and I believe I constantly tried to find myself excuses to do not leave, like the majority of the people. I was thinking about the money, the time, my job, … and I was in a routine I appreciated because it was the way I always lived. But one day, a friend I knew for seven years, asked me why I never traveled despite the fact I always wanted to. So, I started to think again about this idea. Thinking again about my brother who went to Australia six years ago and how he came back different. I can tell he was not the same person. While he was at the other end of the planet, the distance strengthen our relationship. He came back more relaxed, more open minded, very enthusiastic, his face was radiant. He moved out from Paris to leave close to the ocean, where he belongs.

After thinking about all of this, my brother, my situation and my dreams, I decided to quit my job, save some money and leave. I took a flight to Australia in March 2015 with my friend. Two months later, I found an ad on Gumtree looking for six people to travel around New Zealand in an old bus. Five minutes after I saw the ad, I booked my flight ticket for Auckland and started a new adventure by myself. I traveled New Zealand for one month, and it has been the best trip I have ever done thanks to the people I met. I was surrounding by British, Kiwis, Dutch and Spanish and something incredible happened with this group. We felt like we knew each others for years. During the trip I met someone special for me who became my boyfriend. If you ask me why he was special, I won’t be able to give you an answer, it’s a feeling that I had and I can’t even explain it, it was obvious. I think people will understand what I mean. The environment where we staid was terrific and contributed to the fact that I spent magical moments with him. When you are traveling New Zealand you are surprised by the nature and the wildlife every two meters. So, the person himself, the place and the group combined all together created a perfect environment. 

There is one thing you understand when you meet and you travel with the right person is ‘Happiness is tangible only when shared’. Because sometimes you are alone in front of amazing places and beautiful moment, but you would like to share it with someone. When I first traveled alone I was happy and today I can say that I miss something or someone. Because if I compare the two situations, I don’t want to visit and explore things alone, I want to share. If I don’t share, I find it boring after a while. If you don’t share your emotions at the time you discover a beautiful place or live a special moment, you loose a part of the meaning of traveling. For me loneliness as limits I can’t break and especially if you meet someone who complete your life. Traveling increase the impact on your emotions and the way to live the present moment. There is nothing like traveling !

But, this trip was not meant to be an never ending journey. And came the time for me to go back to Australia, alone ! I arrived in Brisbane without my boyfriend, without money, without friends, and I was sleeping in a ‘backpack’ next to a night club. In a nutshell, it was a disaster ! But I pushed myself to get out of this hell quickly and finally ended with an amazing apartment and a great job in a café for three months. Just the time for me to save some money and prepare a trip with my parents.

I’m glad my parents came to visit me, we did a long trip from Sydney to Cairns, Darwin, Alice Spring, Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania. I can’t say the relation with my parents changed during that time but what was very important is that they discovered the way I was living in Australia as a backpacker. They realized that sometimes I was no eating as good as I wanted, I was sleeping in noisy dorms with ten or twelve people, I could struggle to go from a place to an other. And after one month on the road, they understood my new way of living, very far away from my previous life in Paris.  Today, when I talked to them on Skype they can easily imagine me in the situation I describe. I deeply see the difference between my parents and my friends for example. You know this feeling when sometimes you want to explain something and you are really excited about it but the person can’t understand unless he lived the same adventure before. I believe, for every backpacker there is a part of frustration regarding this gap that has been created with family and friends back home, little by little, month after month, when come the moment of telling and sharing the most incredible experience. Today, there are a lot of people to whom I’m not talking much anymore for the moment because our lives became too different, they don’t understand me moving every time and living with nothing, and I don’t understand them staying in their routine.

There is only one thing I can say to them is : Go ! Leave ! And Live ! 

Because for me, it was the best thing that could happened in my life, the best decision I’ve ever taken. Even if I struggled and I’m still struggling sometimes, I had a lot of hard time, even if I’m tired of not having a home and always live in a backpack, … I will do it again and I will do exactly the same things. Because every moment taught me something about the life or about myself. I believe everything happen for a reason. Every single negative point brought me something positive. I have been worried about money, I got scared of sleeping in the street, … but today I’m an other Morgane. Me one year ago and Me today, are two different person. The biggest difference is that I’m more opened than ever, I’m not the narrow superficial parisian girl with her group of friend who don’t need anything and anyone else in her life. This period is now long gone. 

Here, I learnt how to accept everyone the way they are, for who they are. I think in Paris I was in a bubble following a line that was already set based. Today, I only want to listen to myself and I think I am the true and the real Morgane. I feel very happy and beaming, I’m completely satisfied of my life now. If I look at my life before, I was sad and not alive. Today I’m ready to start something new, I’m ready to leave Australia even if I spent an exceptional year here, I won’t live in France, but I will live in Europe, Ireland or Wales maybe. I don’t have a home and I don’t belong to anywhere. I’m free!

My job was making me crazy, I was good at it, but it didn’t bring anything for me. I always said to myself, I needed a break but I didn’t know why exactly. It’s only since I started my trip that I realize more and more every day. I think there a question that everyone should ask to himself. Does what I am doing in my life has a sense ? A sense for yourself and a sense for others?

I don’t care of having heaps of money and a cool fancy job. What I want is waking up in the morning and know why I’m doing a job, with a goal and a meaning. And I think traveling give you the opportunity to understand that. You are taking your own decision and doing what you really want, no one will lead you.

Today I’m a different person in a different life and I will not start a new chapter of my life but a complete new book. It looks I had my life before, then, I went to Australia and when I will go back I will have everything to build again. A part of me is afraid because I want to settle in a new country, but I am calm and serene because it’s what I want and what I’m looking forward, so I know I will succeed. It won’t happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, I’m conscious of that. When I think to my future now, I know that what drives me and enriches me is writing. I started a new blog 100% in english and I want to write and have the freedom to work from home or anywhere I want. I am spontaneous so I want to be able to leave at anytime for a random place. I will never be able to go back to my parisian daily life anymore, never. I can’t picture myself anymore with a routine, waking up, go to work etc. I want my place where I can settle anytime, and I want to keep my freedom to move when I want. 

My trip has been full of surprises and unexpected. I’ve never been and never done what I planned. It is the very essence of the travel. During this trip I listen to myself deeply. I want to do something, I will do it. I didn’t travel thousands of kilometers to stop myself. Stop thinking and do it ! You think less and enjoy more. My travel was the trip of all possibilities.’

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