I always knew, after my last global trip, that I would most definitely be doing some more travelling in the near future. Every traveller knows that once you get the bug then that's it - IT TAKES HOLD and it NEVER lets go.
Those who have followed this blog since 2014 know that I visited South East Asia late that year, conjuring up air miles to Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore respectively. New Zealand followed SE Asia, Australia followed NZ and then I was home for Christmas so my Mum wouldn't have to spend her first Christmas without her baby girl. (She would have killed me.)
Following Christmas 2014 and the New Year celebrations, I jetted off again to America for 5 weeks with my partner in crime aka my big sis Nic. It was weird, wonderful and all kinds of epic...
Then the money ran out.
We were on such a high and then we had to come home, tails between our legs, and start applying for jobs. Reality brought us back to earth with a big THUD.
I was lucky in the sense that I didn't have to wait too long before I was employed again. I have previously worked in Fashion Marketing (utilising my degree in Fashion Marketing and Branding) but I was eager to try something a bit different in my industry. I would never veer off too far away from fashion as it's one of my BIGGEST passions; however, as I was very early on in my career, I thought it would be a good time to go down a different path that I had dabbled in previously to check that I wasn't missing out on anything - if that makes sense?
In my second summer at Uni, I did a four week placement at Tesco F&F on the Menswear Buying team. As I really enjoyed myself during that time, the opportunity came up to work in Product Development after my travels in 2015 and I went for it. WHY NOT, I thought.
That is exactly what I've been doing the past 13 months - working for a Menswear Tailoring supplier developing formalwear ranges with their customers for each season.
It's been CRACKING experience and I've learned so much - regarding both the product category and the field area. I am the girl who didn't have a clue what an inbreast jett was before I started the job. I didn't know much about how a factory works, how a garment is sewn together or the process of bulk production.
That's right - NOW I DO.
In my heart of hearts, I know Marketing is the area of Fashion for me. Where else would I be able to do what I love doing above anything else - write? Where else would I be able to combine my interests in PR and social media? Where else would I be able to express my creativity through Graphic Design?
But, MAN, am I glad I tried something new for a while. The knowledge that I have gained during that job is INVALUABLE. I would now say that I have a more well-rounded awareness of how a fashion company works, from both the supplier side and the retailer side, which I will be able to build upon for my next employer.
It wasn't an easy decision to leave - I was quite comfortable in the job. I rather enjoyed the routine of working from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and finishing at 4pm on a Friday, and having my weekends free. I enjoyed collecting my pay slip at the end of every month - a steady wage for doing reasonable hours with a decent amount of holiday.
But knowing I wasn't 100% content with the field I was working in, knowing I have so much more to give in Marketing and knowing I wanted to explore more of the world while I was still young - it all started to niggle away at me.
If I didn't make the jump now, I don't think I would for a long time - and that would be WRONG. I couldn't ignore my thoughts and feelings, I couldn't compromise my goals and I certainly couldn't go against my gut instinct which was telling me things weren't quite right.
It's scary to make such a big change and have it all be down to you - what if you make a mistake? What if it's the wrong decision? What if it all falls through? But, at the end of the day, it's all a part of life, of being an adult and you control your own destiny.
I always say that if you aren't happy, you should CHANGE it. Life's too short to be unhappy.
All this being said, I finished my job last Friday. I have a couple of weeks to finalise my travel plans and then I'm off again with my big sis on Monday 6th June.
We are starting in America as we feel we didn't cover enough of it off last time (!) - we will be there for 6 weeks in total. We then have to pop home at the end of July for our friend's wedding in Ireland before we jet off AGAIN to South East Asia. (Excited little dance!)
The plan is to start in Thailand and do more of it than I managed to do last time (when I only had 2 weeks) and then just see where the wind blows (and how long the money lasts)!
It's TERRIFYING but it's exciting - and for gods sake, I'm a 25 year old woman who needs to do these crazy things and get them out of her system while she's still young and physically able. Not to mention - do I have any commitments at the moment? No. Do I have a mortgage? No. Do I have rent to pay? No. Do I have a boyfriend? HELL NO.
Now is the time, my friends. I think I've been through enough in the last 8 months to deserve it.
(QUICK RECAP: a 'break', a break-UP, A&E on the verge of a severe Lower Respiratory Tract Infection, Tonsillitis three times and an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection to name a few traumas.)
I have saved my money, I have looked after my health and I have all the necessary plans in place for a safe and successful trip... So I better go off and get on with it, right?
(Keep following my blog for all my travel stories while I'm away. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your continuous support. I love you, guys! Katie-xo)