A letter to my past self, from my present self.
Hello from Future You! There's no need to panic, everything is going swimmingly - you're still alive and so far no huntsmen!
I'm just here to congratulate you on surviving six months on the road (and five in Australia), it's the longest you've ever been away from home before - impressive, no? Anyway, I know you're probably busy packing and repacking your bag right now (don't bother taking your makeup, you won't use it) but I thought I'd just stop by to reassure you that everything is going to be alright.
In fact, it's going to be better than alright! Absolutely nothing will go to plan, but the universe works in mysterious ways and you've got a pretty good six months ahead of you. Let me start with India.
It'll be hot, so hot. Hotter than you could ever imagine and you'll sweat in places you didn't think were possible. On the plus side, you won't get diarrhoea. You'll meet some great people, see some amazing places, and never want to see a yellow lentil dhal ever again. Thailand won't go exactly to plan but that's okay because you'll go back there another time and, like you said earlier, the universe works in mysterious ways.
Whilst we're on the subject of the universe and its mysterious ways, "everything happens for a reason" will become your motto shortly after arriving in Australia. I don't want to put you off or freak you out, but it won't all be tim tams and goon. In fact, Australia was never meant to be like this. You know your worst fear about moving to Australia? That's what's going to happen. I know that you know - deep down - that it's only a matter of time, but it'll still come as a shock. Is this actually happening? For real? The first couple of weeks will be great - you'll get all the boring bits sorted, you'll get a job, and you'll hold a koala - but then 'something' will happen and it'll be awful. Really, really awful. You'll lose everything, be absolutely terrified, and you'll even consider going home. Honestly, mentally prepare yourself for some dark days.
But you're not a quitter and you know that success is the best revenge.
So don't panic when you find yourself homeless, you're forced to quit your dream job, and you've got no friends in this hemisphere - it's actually not the end of the world! Believe it or not, it'll be the best thing that's ever happened to you. That weird feeling in your heart that you can't quite place? It's relief. Keep calm and head down south to your Aussie mum - she'll look after you. She'll also provide a constant stream of champagne and G&Ts - a woman after your own heart.
The New Year will bring yet more adventures. Once again you'll meet some wonderful people and tick quite a few things off your bucket list. Don't plan anything too far in advance though, because a spontaneous stay on the Sunnie Coast in your dream beach house will make you realise that you'd actually quite like to live up here yourself. And you'll be introduced to mango sorbet bars, which - like tim tams - are another Aussie godsend. This country could make you very fat, but you've also befriended a vegan so now you eat salads and tofu.
I know you're also a bit worried about having to do farm work. The first place you try will be awful - bad mojo and all that. After a month or two you'll find somewhere else, in a much better location and although the work is worse you're much happier.
What else is there to say without giving it all away?
You've just survived your first cyclone - a very exciting event for you to look forward to - and last weekend you drunkenly agreed to buy Tom's ute . . . so perhaps it's time to start drinking less?
Anyway, safe travels and just remember: you got this!
Lots of love,