Travel journal: part 2

So, as it turns out, I actually have a lot to say about travel. I think the reason is that I love new experiences and what I can learn from them. It’s an opportunity for reflection, and what better way to reflect than to write? What I do have to learn is how to actually use this information to not make the same mistakes again. I’m still struggling with that part. Aside from my habit of having unrealistic expectations (as I went through in part 1), travel also becomes hard when you are overly sentimental. If you are travelling alone, meeting new people is important (even as an introvert) to avoid feeling lonely and to build your confidence. But when you spend a lot of time with amazing people, you can get attached to them. Welcome to my travel journal (part 2).


While leaving London was bittersweet, I was so unbelievably excited getting on that plane to Budapest. My first day in any city is spent walking around and finding my feet. It almost always ends with me at a cafe. On my second day in Budapest, I remember feeling bored and lonely – I hadn’t met anyone at my hostel and I was getting FOMO from hearing the loud music play all night at the rooftop bar but being too scared to go out and talk to anyone. I called my parents and told them I wanted to come home early. On the third day, I made an effort to reach out to other people. I met three other girls who were also solo travelling (from other hostels), and two guys at the hostel bar. Three rounds of Jägerbombs deep, I asked the boys to join us at the ruin bar we were going to. After that night, we spent 2 whole days together, acted like kids, and made fun of each other constantly. I had the best time.


I travelled to Vienna on my fifth day. After leaving my friends in Budapest, I was experiencing an emotional hangover. The first 3 days were hard – I realised that making meaningful connections while travelling is so bittersweet – you become very close in a short period of time and miss them so much when they’re gone. When I got to Salzburg, I reached out to new people again. I met two Americans who were addicting to be around. We took an hour bus ride to a lake the day after we met. They somehow convinced me to swim despite it being overcast and about 5˚C outside. My first cold plunge. When we got to the train station, one of them asked me to write a piece of advice in his journal. As they went to leave, his eyes started to fill with tears and my heart hurt. It was happening again.

Being sentimental

Once again, I have fallen victim to becoming overly attached and sentimental. Whether that’s to a place, or to people, it happens to me all the time. What I’ve often experienced when travelling is a feeling of being split in two: half of my heart is in the moment of the place I’m in, in awe of everything that I’m seeing and experiencing; the other half aching for my home and the people I love that I’ve left behind. I remember going on my first trip in summer of 2023 and thinking how strange it was that when I booked my flight home, it was into London and not Perth. Strange that for this time being, it’s normal for me to fly to Amsterdam for the weekend, while my parents are still watching the footy on a Friday night on the same couch that I’m so used to sharing with them.

When I’ve thought about leaving London when the time comes, I’ve been scared that I will miss so much about this city. The convenience of the tube, the fall of amber-coloured leaves during October, crowded pubs on every corner, people spilling out onto the street in the summer. Don’t even mention the cute boys with their cute accents in their cute quarter-zips. But having not been in London the last month, I’ve realised one thing: if you think you’ll miss the place you’re in right now, you will. But over time (and it will surprise you at how much little time it takes), you will forget those things that you once loved. Because now, in place of those things are new things. New things that you love, but just in a different way. And once that happens, you stop missing.

Travel playlist highlights

I want to share some songs that have been constantly replaying in my head over the last few weeks. They’re the type of songs that you play when you’re driving late at night with the windows down – the type that make you feel like you’re in a movie.

  • ocean eyes: Billie Eilish
  • American Teenager: Ethel Cain
  • Feel Something: Clairo
  • I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes): The 1975
  • Wintering: The 1975
  • It’s Been a Long Day: Spacey Jane
  • Haircut: Spacey Jane
  • Stick Season: Noah Kahan
  • People Watching: Conan Gray
  • Wouldn’t Come Back: Trousdale
  • What A Life: Ruel, DMA’s
  • The Wind: The Fray
  • Second Child, Restless Child: The Oh Hellos

While I want you to be mindful and realistic about long-term travel, it really is an amazing experience. It opens your eyes to new ways of living and gives you a chance to create some unforgettable memories. Put your headphones on, play The 1975 on repeat and take in everything that’s beautiful (and even everything that’s not). Enjoy.


Kait x

Cover photo by Lisa Fotios