Why I Chose to Come Home from Travelling Early?

So when I was travelling I originally set out to be in Australia for 6 months – instead I came home after 3. And yes that meant that I had purchased the ‘one in a lifetime’ working holiday visa which I did not use. 

After a few weeks away from my family and friends I began to feel a bit overwhelmed – as is expected – and the fear and anxiety began to kick in. This IS NOT the reason I cut my trip short – tbh I hung a lot of hopes on the trip and imagined that being in Australia would turn me into this perfect, social-queen of a person who would just love to get stuck into everything!

I stuck it out and those niggles began to fade! I did get stuck in – I realised I’d saved enough money to last me a while and so decided to worry about working when I needed to. I travelled down, made some great friends and had the most amazing time. 

By the time I got to Byron Bay, I’m not gonna lie, I got a bit fed up. I’m a bit of an introvert and a right home-bird so the past few months of travelling had been a big step for me – and don’t get me wrong I loved it and it has done me the world of good – but at that point I think I wanted something else. I missed routine and my own bed as well as my family and friends and felt like I needed something a bit different.

At around the same time, my best friend joined me for 2 weeks which was exactly what I needed! That little bit of home and comfort but still ready to take on more fun and adventures. We had the best time in Byron Bay and then moved onto Sydney, and by the end of it I was reminded of what an incredible opportunity it was to be out there and that I should power on a bit longer or I’d regret it. There was nothing I was missing back home.

So I spent a bit longer, travelling round Melbourne, meeting new and old friends and then decided to head to New Zealand (best decision of my life and ngl I wish I had longer there!) before finally spending my last legs in Sydney and then returning back home.

Sorry for the ramble – as usual – but basically there’s a few reasons I decided to come home…

  • I had done what I wanted to do – at the end of the day my main objective was to travel the East Coast of Australia and see New Zealand and meet some incredible people, and I did that and had the time of my life. And if I’m honest I was more in love with the travel than the country itself – backpacking really opened my eyes to all the places I’m still yet to see (including my own country) and it’s made me even more excited to pursue these!
  • Putting my health first – Though my mental health greatly improved due to the trip and I’ve found my road to recovery has come a huge way since the trip and being back, my weight had dropped and my physical health wasn’t loving the lack of routine, the expensive food and the carelessness. I think I chose well to return and have been able to truly put my health first.
  • Wanting a career and a routine – I thought all I wanted when travelling was a routine. But the more I thought about it, I preferred the idea of starting a career and when I was applying for ‘backpacker’ jobs out there, the only ones I could get were not-so-fun retail or admin jobs. Don’t get me wrong they paid fantastic compared to England – I see why people love it – but I knew that wouldn’t fulfill me for long (and tbh I’d done all those jobs back in England). 

If I’m totally honest, after endless debating whether to stay or go, coming home after 3 months was absolutely the right decision for me. And although this decision isn’t the most popular among travellers – which made me feel a bit lost and wrong – it’s my decision and it’s what’s right for me. And it’s taken me until now to understand that. 

I won’t babble on about how that mini epiphany has impacted the rest of my life, but I wanted to emphasise its importance and each little time I realise it, it sinks in that little deeper.

So that’s today’s little smidgen of advice – What’s right for you won’t be the same as someone else’s so 

Do You!


  1. The North Left
    March 11, 2018 / 1:23 am

    Honestly this is me down to the ground. It's crazy, like these words could have come from my own brain! I'm travelling NZ at the moment and it is the biggest struggle being such an anxious introvert who thrives on routine, and needs her family! I 100% respect your decision to go home earlier than you'd planned. You'll have taken loads from the experience you did have and it's super brave of you to do in the first place! http://www.thenorthleft.co.uk

    • Josie Brownlee
      March 11, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Wow Thank You so much for this comment! I remember feeling so alone in my idea of that when I was out there and thought I was the only one! Admittedly I'm jealous of you travelling NZ – that was my absolute favourite bit and wish I had planned to spend longer there instead! I hope you're having the best time and I'm glad you can relate to what I've written!Just to be out there doing it – you're doing amazingly! Just the experience of going out there was incredible for me and I don't regret going out there or coming home early – it taught me so much and you'll be so proud of yourself for just going out there and seeing probs the most beautiful country in the world!

  2. Lisa Autumn
    March 11, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Girl you always have to do what feels right to YOU! and that's what you did 🙂 That's all that counts.. xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    • Josie Brownlee
      March 11, 2018 / 10:27 am

      Thanks Lisa! I felt so alone in my thoughts to come back but you're right it was what was best for me and I don't regret that!

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