Being unemployed can do strange things to a person. Simple, everyday tasks and menial duties can turn into, quite possibly, one of the highlights of your week. Things like warm showers at 9am, rugbyworldcup.com daily videos and investigating the myriad of options available from the fridge for lunch become shining moments of awesomeness and events to, from the mere thought of, get overly excited about. It’s the boredom that does it. And the permeating half-thought that, unless you spend all of your waking day looking for the next step towards financial incomings (from which you can better plan complete world domination in the form of a weekend trip to Bruges), your day will be a complete waste of time and you’ll have to join the legion of trackpant-and-ugg-boot wearers that shuffle about the streets of outer London, reeking of unemployment-ness.
But it’s not all doom and gloom!
Despite all this travelling over the past four months, there have been a few personal drawbacks or “side-effects”. That’s not to say these drawbacks even BEGIN to make a dent in all the awesomeness that ensued as Amber and I jet-setted halfway around the world, it’s just that there are some little things you notice when the all the fun is over and you’ve dispersed your belongings from the chaotic confines of your pack to the various storage facilities of a new room. Not that you hadn’t noticed these “things” along your travels, but it’s only now you’re not traversing from hostel to hostel, frustratingly attempting to communicate with a Frenchman or rushing to catch yet-another 8am bus to your next destination, that you can sit back and take stock of the whole… situation.
First of all there’s the European Enlargement Effect (EEE). People will tell you that, in Europe, there is an exceptional amount of bread, pasta and similarly carbohydrate-laden foods readily available at affordable prices. These people are WRONG. There is FAR more than an “exceptional” amount available. In fact, you will struggle to escape the convenience of such food. Even if you’re Captain Carbohydrate himself, these foods will creep up on you and slowly but surely get… under your skin… literally. Needless to say I’d put on a few pounds and that, being now situated in a land of pub grub and countless fine ales, I was worried things wouldn’t get any better.
Next up is the Dwindling Intelligence Effect (DIE). Yes, travel broadens your horizons, develops your sense of the world and your place in it, fosters friendly relationships with like-minded people and creates a whole heap of facebook-envy-inducing photographic moments, but… it makes you dumb. So much so that as I scribbled the third answer in a clearly-labelled “easy” Sudoku puzzle after half an hour of head-scratching and swearing, I was starting to think I’d never be worthy of any of the jobs advertised in even the “graduate” section of the UK employment websites.
You’ll be stoked to know that both of these disorders have been almost overcome by good breakfasts, morning walks and a cover-to-cover reading of “Life for Dummies”. My fellow job-hunter mate Jeremy has definitely experienced similar travel-related effects (he is living in Angel and was disappointed I didn’t mention him in my previous blog so… there you go J) and would probably agree with me when I wind this all up by saying it’s a small price to pay. Also, Amber has a job and started yesterday – woohoo!