Thursday, 23 October 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I have big exciting news that I quite literally can't hold in any longer! If you can't deal with people abusing exclamation marks I'd just close this now and move on, I'm probably gonna be expressing my excitement via the medium of punctuation a whole lot...

In January I'm leaving Brighton and going travelling indefinitely!!! INDEFINITELY! Such a huge word needs caps lock. After months of talking this over with Nick, throwing around ideas and making plans, the reality of just how big a deal this is has only sunk in in the last week. It's been my dream to travel, and not just to go on holidays and sojourns away from home, but to really travel, since I was a teenager. And it's happening. Like, really seriously actually happening. Flights have been booked. Backpacks have been purchased. I'm spending more time than usual devouring travel blogs and guide books. I'm in possession of a head torch and I'm so ready to add some more pins to my map. Although there won't be a map because I won't have a pin board. Or walls.


The wheels are in motion and I'm having so many feelings about leaving Brighton. Aside from the missing my favourite people issue weighing on my heart I didn't think I'd be all that bothered about leaving Brighton. I've been here for ages and it's definitely time for a change but I am definitely bothered. I've lived here for over 12 years, I moved here when I was 19. I made best friends here. I removed toxic people from my life here. I met Nick here. I discovered feminism and veganism here. I grew up here. I became me here. Hell, the name of my blog says everything about how attached I am to this place! To me Brighton feels like a huge vegan friendly village and I adore that feeling. It also feels like my home...I guess it is my home, my roots are tangled all over the place.

There are so many amazing memories attached to Brighton and it's going to be hard to leave.

I've already put Operation Icing on an indefinite hiatus (which I totally feel guilty about btw - I hate disappointing people and I know that people love cupcakes!) because there's just so much to do before I can just up and leave. A whole lot of work needs to be done to make my house rentable, Nick and I are in the middle of it now hence the lack of blogging in the last week or two, painting and sanding and sorting and having builders and scaffolders in and out of the house the whole time is exhausting and dirty (I'm a total clean freak, I'm not ashamed to admit I cried about the amount of dust everywhere last week) and not conducive to creativity at all. Hence this blog post, I need to focus on why I'm doing this! I want to see the world. I want to step way outside my comfort zone. I want to experience new places and smells and tastes. I want to meet and engage with new people and spend time with friends who are scattered around the globe.

Where am I going? Bangkok to start with to take on SE Asia. I depart mid January (My SAD is very happy about the shorter winter!) and will be heading straight to Thailand's islands for some relaxing beach time. It seems like the perfect way to ease into this new lifestyle. A month later I'll be at Elephant Nature Park, somewhere I've wanted to volunteer at ever since I heard of it's existence. Next I'll be travelling around Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for sure, Indonesia, Malaysia and more if there's time.


I'm speaking at Vida Vegan Con in Austin (about travel of course!) in late May and to make the flights super worthwhile I'm going to be sticking around for five weeks before flying back to the UK to pick up a camper van (a teeny tiny camper van!) which I'll be living in and travelling around Europe in all summer...or until it gets too cold to be living in a van with no heating. Currently my plans look like this but I'm sure they'll morph into something a little different once we're on the road.


Then where? I'm not sure! Maybe back to Thailand for the Vegetarian Festival, Tesagan Gin Je, and to explore some of the parts of SE Asia that I didn't get to on the first trip. Maybe Australia and New Zealand. Maybe Central or South America. Hawaii? China? Fiji? The possibilities are endless and not knowing where I'll be this this time next year is part of the appeal.

I'll be doing all of this with Nick and I'm so excited that we're ready to embark on our next adventure. He's one of the main reasons that, to channel Chandler Bing, I couldn't be any more excited about this trip - I'm going to be spending every day having amazing adventures with my bff4lyfe and it's going to be so fucking rad! We both juggle anxieties (and I'm allergic to chilli!) so I don't for a second think that our journey is going to be easy or stress free but I want to be challenged, I need to do something new. Whether we're gone for one year or ten I'm ready.

Of course I'll still be eating all of the vegan food I can find and writing about it here. I'm working on some fun updates and tweaks to the blog but the name and site are staying the same, moving my real location is enough upheaval without moving my virtual locale as well! I'll always be Vegan in Brighton in my heart even if my physical self is elsewhere. 

64 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm super jealous! My longest stint of travelling was 6 weeks in Oz and New Zealand - you should deffo check out NZ on your travels BTW!

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  2. Wow sounds amazing! How exciting! If you're keen to check out more volunteering opportunities in Thailand then I can't recommend The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project enough! They're based in Phuket. I really struggled with the animal exploitation that I saw in Thailand, so visiting and donating to the GRP helped me feel I was making some kind of difference, however small!

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  3. how cool! i admire that you can travel! i get scared thinking about staying the night 90 minutes away from my house!

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  4. Wow! Big news! I can tell you're so excited for this and that being on the move and seeing lots of new places will definitely suit you. Good luck with all the preparations :D

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    1. I'm glad my excitement's coming across, I am very definitely excited :)

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  5. Hi Jojo!

    This is one of my dreams - to travel the world indefinitely, gosh I feel excited just reading your post about it! I'm so glad you'll keep the blog updated, I'd love to hear about how you get on.

    Besma (www.curiouslyconscious.com)

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    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures and that you get to have your own soon too.

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  6. I am so excited and happy for you, I know how much you love to travel! I can't wait to meet you in Austin next year! And maybe one day you will find yourself down my way in your adventures. ;)

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  7. How exciting for you! This sounds like something you've wanted and been heading towards for a long time.
    Looking very much forward to hearing about the travels.

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    1. Yay! Thank you! I always want to travel more, it never feels like enough so I can't wait for next year!

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  8. Amazing! Glad you'll keep blogging about so I can live vicariously through your adventures.

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  9. Take me with you!!!!! (abusing exclamation marks, no shame here!!!!!!!) This is like the storyline of "Eat Pray Love" on steroids...I'm jealous! Have such a wonderful time, I'll be looking forward to reading about it!
    ~ Samantha

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    1. Haha, I haven't read Eat Pray Love but I'm loving your excited exclamation marks!!!

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  10. Waaaaah! Is that why there was a toilet outside your house the other day? ;) when I saw u earlier I was really busy but now I just wanna hug u and high five u!! I'm sad I won't be able to be your infinity food mole anymore! But so happy for u to be going boldly before me and reporting back! Xxx

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  11. oh Jojo! It's so exciting! The big reveal is here at last. I am so happy for you and Nick - what an amazing adventure to embark upon together. You will truly be living your lives!! It's touching to read about your fondness for Brighton. It's fun to travel, but it's also fun to have a home base. But nothing is forever, and if and when you ever want to come back to Brighton - it will be there waiting for you. Also, so glad that our paths will cross in Austin. I'm hoping to come for a bit more time. Maybe a week? So hopefully we'll have plenty of time to hang out!

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    1. Eeeeek!! I'm so excited that we get to hang out again in Austin. We should go kayaking and eat tacos and it's gonna be so much fun!!

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  12. That's excellent news! I'm excited for you. My dream is to travel the world as well. I'm 20, live in Australia, and so far I've been all around my own country, to England twice, Jersey, Japan & Malaysia. But my thirst for travel is yet to be quenched! I hope you have a wonderful time and indulge in ridiculous amounts of vegan food :)

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    1. That's some pretty bad ass travelling to have done at 20! And you can bet I'll be indulging in silly amounts of food :)

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  13. JOJO! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to follow your travels around this beautiful planet. Also I will see you in Austin!!!

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  14. Wow! That is super exciting! I look forward to hearing about your amazing adventures.

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  15. Congrats Jojo! That sounds really amazing and I hope you have a lot of wonderful trips and great places to stay and discover.

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    1. Thanks Mihl! I just booked a beachfront cottage on Ko Yao Noi so I'm off to a great start!

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  16. Congrats!! That is so exciting, (I'm super jealous too!), you will have such a great time. Awesome news!! And I look forward to reading about it!

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  17. Brilliant! Can't wait to follow your travels and I really hope you can fit our little corner of Derbyshire into your European van travels xx

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    1. We would love to, I hope we can fit it in! I was just telling people the other night how much I miss Manchester and need to have another Northern adventure.

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  18. Brave and amazing! Have fun and find all the vegan places - then those of us on short travel jaunts can benefit from your intrepid efforts!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really hoping what I find on my travels will help others on theirs.

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  19. I'm excited for you but I won't lie... reading this made me tear up a bit. Gonna miss you so much. You massive bellend!! :-)

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    1. You're a massive bellend! I'm gonna miss you but I am excited to plan another summertime flungefest extravaganza!

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  20. This is so exciting, Jojo! I'm glad you're going to keep the blog running so we can all live vicariously through your travels. I hope you guys have lots of fun everywhere you go!

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  21. Amazing!!! I'm so happy for you!

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  22. hi - on your "about me" page you say "now I care about the environment too, a lot. We're totally killing the planet which isn't cool at all" - how does that sit with all the air miles you are clocking up? - jason

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    1. Hey Jason, that is definitely something I've thought about. I try to keep the air miles to a minimum by staying in each place for longer than most people would on a one or two week vacation. For example I only need to be in Austin for a weekend for the conference I'm speaking at but I'm planning to stay for five weeks. I also try to travel within the countries I'm visiting by bus or train rather than by air. I don't own a car at home so I guess I try to be extra kind to the environment whilst I'm home because to me not travelling isn't an option. I've also looked into carbon offsetting but I've found so much conflicting information that I have no idea which schemes actually help, if that's an area you know a lot about I'd love some advice.

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  23. Hi Jojo,
    All I want to say is....Welcome to Malaysia hope you will enjoy vegan/vegetarian food here!!

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  24. Wow, congratulations on that step, how exciting!!! I wish you guys the best of time. And maybe you should change your blog name to "Vegan in Brighton... and everywhere else" ;-)

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    1. Haha, maybe! There's going to be a fancy new header soon that I think nicely illustrates that idea!

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  25. This is so awesome!! Excited for you guys! And I like F on your Europe map.

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  26. That's so exciting! I hope you have an amazing time and I can't wait to read about all your travel & vegan food adventures on here.

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  27. https://www.facebook.com/VeganBakeryBangkok

    don't know if you've seen this or not but it looks amazing!! not a typical thai brekkie but so what. Should be easy to get to from most places since next to a station. I'm stoked I found out my hotel is 6 mins walk haha.

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    1. I hadn't seen it but it looks great! Thanks for the tip!

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  28. I don't think my comment published the other day. Hope you have the best time , such an inspirational move. Will be funny if I bump into you in some vegan joint in Thailand, I will be there from 14th Jan. Also if you make it to Melbourne I'd love to show you around.

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    1. Seriously?! I'm there from the 15th! I hope we bump into one another. I'm hoping to make it to Melbourne rather late next year or early 2015 & I would love to meet up there.

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    2. yeah you never know. have you heard from anyone what May Kaidee cooking school is like? was thinking of giving it a go. Obviously I read your blog so I guess Ill be kept up to date with your travel plans and if you do make it here (Melbs) Ill get in contact.

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  29. This is way fab, Jojo! The hubs and I did the very same thing last year. We are back now, and back to a more "normal" (boring?) existence, but I still think fondly about every day of our trip. And we will be traveling/living abroad again for sure in our lives. Check out the blog we kept while traveling for ideas/inspiration: Veganhop.com . We even spent one fun day in Brighton thanks to me reading your blog for years. Have a fabulous time planning and then an even more fabulous time on the trip!

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    1. I know your blog! So cool you just did this last year and that you loved it.

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  30. Ahh this is so exciting, I'm so happy for you! Let me know if you end up in Manchester when you're on your travels. Our spare room is always open for you if it's too cold for the van :) Can't wait to see all your posts!

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    1. Thanks friend! As I said to Caroline I was just telling a whole bunch of people how much I like Manchester and the people I know up there so I really hope we can fit it in.

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  31. Wow, what an amazing thing to do! I've always wanted to see the world too, so looking forward to your posts. I bet you'll have the best time ever :)

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