Travel involves sacrifice. Especially when you up and leave, heading to the other side of the world for an indefinite amount of time by yourself: there are certain sacrifices that are unavoidable. A lot of travel stories focus around the amazing adventures travellers have, but rarely do you see a travel influencer post a photo about their teary conversation with their mum at two in the morning about how lonely they are. How lonely I was.

I’ve been overseas for more than two months now, and I’ve had some incredible adventures that have been completely balanced by periods of boredom, doubt and loneliness. I’ve reached literal peaks and metaphorical lows. I’ve climbed mountains and been down in the dumps. I’ve learnt many valuable lessons and I’ve made even more valuable mistakes.

After reflecting on the past two months, I’ve realised I’ve made some incredible sacrifices to be where I am.

I’ve sacrificed quick phone calls with loved ones. Catching up with my family and my friends has become difficult because totally different time zones do that to you, eh? What used to be a quick call to Mum has to be planned in advanced; calculated to the perfect time for both of us. They’re less frequent. I can’t even talk to my Dad because international calls are expensive, I’m poor and Dad doesn’t have a smartphone.

I’ve sacrificed shit-talking on a daily basis with my bestie. We used to work together and send each other gifs and jokes during the day. I’d murder the Spanish language with the aid of Google Translate and she would check the way she phrased sentences with me before she sent an email. We’d reassure each other and make each other go home on time and take lunch breaks. But now I’m awake while she’s asleep and vice versa.

I’ve sacrificed ice cream dates with my pseudo little brother. To be fair, the amount of ice cream that I was eating was probably unhealthy and the smells I made after it have convinced me I have an issue with digesting lactose or some other ingredient in ice cream, but it was everything else that went along with it. Me forcing him to walk a kilometre to find somewhere I wanted to sit. Looking at the nighties for old women in the pharmacy next to the ice cream shop and deciding which was the best. Talking about life. Talking about farts.

I’ve sacrificed quick banter with mates, being in a place where people understand what I’m saying (and I understand them), hugs from loved ones and friends when I’m sad and being around people who know who I am at my core. I met someone just before I left Australia. I sacrificed that potential.

I’ve sacrificed cuddles from my fur babies. Mikey and Tabby, while being looked after by my Mum and her husband and utterly loved and adored, were my responsibility, my joy, and my loves. Mikey was my shadow and I find myself here without one (and not just because there is minimal sun lololol). It’s certainly an adjustment. I can definitely do without Tabby’s bites… but I still miss her too.

I’ve sacrificed having a schedule that keeps me on track and keeps me fulfilled. Sometimes I wake up and I think, “What the actual fuck am I doing?” I have no purpose. No reason to get out of bed. Nothing to actually do with my life. Just an open calendar in front of me. To me, that’s kinda terrifying.


But sacrifices are made for a reason. You sacrifice something in order to gain something else.

I’ve sacrificed my comfort zone, but I’ve gained confidence in myself and experienced situations that have helped me grow and helped me understand people and the world better.

I’ve sacrificed giving a shit about what people think about me and I’ve noticed that the symptoms of my anxiety disorder and my depression reduce significantly.

I’ve sacrificed an “escape career” I’d fantasised about, but I’ve gained the understanding that I don’t particularly want to be a digital nomad; I don’t want to be a travel influencer. I’ve sacrificed that need for validation and realised I want genuine adventures without feeling the need to brag about my “perfect” travel life, my “unlimited” sense of adventure or my “genuine” partnership with travel brands.

I’ve sacrificed always knowing where I’m going to sleep the next night, but I’ve stumbled upon small towns and little hostels. I’ve met people of all ages from several different countries. I’ve worked out that almost every Australian who travels is from bloody Melbourne. I’ve allowed myself to accept my friends’ hospitality in ways that I would never have done back home. I’ve realised people travel for different reasons, but those who do travel are generally good people. I’ve been offered raw ginger and turmeric to ease my sickness from a Portuguese lady who lives in Plymouth that I met in Vienna. I’ve made friends with a Greek girl who just finished a computer science degree but whose passion is in film. I’ve watched a quantum physicist and a brain scientist play chess in the common room of a hostel. I’ve enjoyed The Sound of Music with Koreans in Salzburg; asked to join a group of Finnish people in a bar and chatted for 20 minutes; heard stories of a northern English man’s childhood growing up in York. I’ve realised I love meeting new people; love being over here.


When I left Australia, I had convinced myself that I was going to be back within three months. Whether that came from needing an escape option, a yearning for my relationships, my love for my pets, or a deep-seated idea that I just couldn’t make it over here by myself, I don’t know. But now I am happy here – even with the weather, I’m starting a job soon that will help me further my career, and I’m making friends.

No, it’s not always easy. I’m sometimes lonely and I miss the shit out of my friends, family and pets back in Australia, but it sure as hell is worth it.

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  • It's been a long time between posts. I've honestly not felt the need to post anything because I think I was being motivated by the wrong things: trying to achieve the whole travel influencer/digital nomad lifestyle while bragging about my adventures in some sort of need for validation. (My own motivation, not all influencers'.) But now I'm back and I'll be posting. Not to achieve validation, but to share pride in myself and my growth as a person. To share the sacrifices and gains. To just be me. New blog up with more about those sacrifices: link in bio.
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #expat #solotravel #sacrifice #travellife #instatravel #alifesheloves #femaletraveller #femalesolotraveller #travelgirl #travelgram #thehappynow
  • Those misty, green woods in Winter 🌲🍃
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I love love LOVE the English woods. Not pictured: one food-crazy dog that I'm pet-sitting 🐶
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #housesitters #petsitters #nature_brilliance #EarthVisuals #artofvisuals #welivetoexplore #natureaddict #naturediversity #ourplanetdaily #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #nature_prefection #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain  #focalmarked
  • When I was heading to London two years ago, my colleague at the time @merranbowedesignlust gave me a list of things to do. I didn't manage to tick off all the things on the list, but this time around I made sure I did one of her highly recommended activities: walking along the canal from Camden Markets to Regents Park. My goodness. It's now on my highly recommended list! It's beautiful, peaceful and goes past the zoo! Sure I saw some hyenas ripping another animal apart but that was all part of the experience... Thanks Merran 💕
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expat #digitalnomad #travelblogger #urbex #streetshared #aov #weekly_feature #createexploretakeover #shotzdelight #mkexplore #gearednomad #rsa_streetview #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #londoncollective #unboxyourphone #instaandroid
  • Today I walked through the woods. Words fail me, even now. It is like the landscape is from my dreams; from my imagination. I remember growing up wishing that we had beautiful woods like this near us. The Australian bush is beautiful, don't get me wrong. But English woods are so full of life in a totally different way. They are full of deep greens, vines, moisture! The birds sang around me as I walked. I felt my breath being taken away by the beauty. And I will see it again in my dreams tonight 🍃
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblogger #expat #southdowns #southdownsway #naturephoto #main_vision #landscape_captures #awesome_earthpix #natureaddict #awesomeearth #nature_wizards #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism #unboxyourphone #instaandroid #androidcommunity #teamandroid
  • Welcome to Steyning, an old village in the south of England where the woods are a-plenty (and so was the fog today). I’m house sitting and looking after Lucky the beagle. Here’s what we saw on today’s walk (warning: will give you forest envy)
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #travelblog #travelblogger #aussieblog #aussieblogger #housesitters #petsitters #naturevideo #main_vision #landscape_captures #natureaddict #allnatureshots #dogsofinstagram #beaglesofinstagram #travelog #sheisnotlost #theglobewanderer #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #sussex #englandtrip #englandtourism #expatlife
  • Another view of Canterbury Cathedral. Seriously, this architecture is so stunning. I know the locals walk past it every day and don't take it in because it's the norm, so it takes me an extra 20 minutes to walk anywhere because I just want to stop and stare!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #digitalnomad #expatlife  #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #excellent_structure #arquitecturamx #diagonal_symmetry #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip
  • Welcome to Canterbury! It's my first stop in the UK and boy is it cold... for someone who has just been in an Australian heatwave, anyway. I've been walking around seeing the aights, sitting in cafes, making friends, visiting friends, hiking in Dover, and slowly settling in. It's hard, but I'm trying. I'm loving the architecture here so much!
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #expatlife #icu_architecture #jj_architecture #creative_architecture #arkiromantix #tv_architectural #archimasters #lookingup_architecture #unlimitedcities #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #lovegreatbritain #visitengland #photosofengland #englandtrip #photosofbritain #englandtourism
  • I stand on the rocks at one of my favourite beaches in Newcastle with my trusty best friend (Mikey the border collie) by my side.
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With only days left in Newcastle before I move overseas, my anxiety is building. I keep thinking of all the things that I am leaving behind, and it's making me question why I'm doing this at all.
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But, as my good friend Alex told me, there are so many "hellos" in the future. Hello to new people. Hello to new experiences. Hello again to all those I'm "leaving behind".
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So, this picture is a bit of a metaphor, as well as a stunning sunset. There are so many sunsets to look forward to. There will be rocks, tumultuous seas, and calm waters on the way to those beautiful experiences. One day at a time.
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #mynewcastle #goodbyes #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #skyporn #sunsetsniper #skylovers #sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets #sunset_hub #sunsetlovers #instasunsets #all_sunsets #sunsethunter #sunset_madness #sunset_stream
  • When a friend recently invited me up to Valla Beach to camp with his family, I jumped at the opportunity (after finding a way to make the 3.5 hour drive when I'd just sold my car...). I've got limited time left in Australia before my big adventure and I've never actually been properly camping! So, thank you @danmurphy31. I'm so happy to have had some time at such a beautiful beach/river and to have had my first family camping experience where the whole aim is to live slow ⛺☀️🌊
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#theunpreparedtraveller #rowtrip #aussieblog #aussieblogger #travelblog #travelblogger #vallabeach #midnorthcoast #roamtheplanet #travelphotography #visualoflife #beachlife #dametraveler #artofvisuals #islandhopping #flashesofdelight #thecreative #ig_masterpiece #beachvibes #mytinyatlas #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #campinassp #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #travelon

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Mate, who am i?

(I ask myself the same thing)

Travelling can be really hard when you never feel like you're prepared. But, the more I do it the more I realise that being unprepared is the best way to travel. I’m Rowena. I live with depression and an anxiety disorder, which inspires a lot of my writing. My first reaction is to over-pack, over-worry, freak out, and give myself a headache. I’m consciously rebelling against that.

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