So if I’m interviewing other travellers, I guess I better give you my story. I’ll split it up into sections for different blog posts to come, so I don’t information overload you. It’s gritty and gory, but here goes:
Saddled with debt you could say I had a harder decision than most to quit my steady job, so what had happened to get me there?
At the age of 28 I living in the UK, stuck in a unhappy marriage, my mortgage like a noose around my neck, over £20,000 of credit card debt (with mostly
nothing to show but a heap of clothes and a wedding certificate), negative equity of the house from a previous Northern Rock mortgage (you know, those dreadful ones where they gave you 125% mortgage that started the UK economic crisis). In addition, paying for a new kitchen and ensuite for the family home I was trying to renovate, it too much extra debt just to even consider a holiday. Both of us stuck in debt because of our overspending, my marriage was falling apart – constant arguing, I felt overworked and stressed out, between my job and furthering my studies. I dreamt about running off, escaping and exploring the world, but other than going bankrupt and/or committing credit card fraud it was never going to happen, but I dreamt often enough.
But it got even worse?
Early 2012, my marriage finally collapsed, which saw my ex-husband bailing on the financial commitments we had made together, left me to pay for mortgage and the bills while he skipped off to another country. I was lost, in a deepward downward spiral of debt, IVA and bankruptcy was suggested. I’d started a new relationship and his stories of travel inspired me, wishing I had travelled myself, wondering why I hadn’t when I was young. But 10 years of being in debt, since my bank had thrown me my first overdraft and credit card at the age of 18, I’d been trying and failing to get out of debt ever since. Alongside there were other friends who had quit their jobs and run off to explore the unknown. I was jealous of their adventures, how I deeply longed to do the same, their photos willing me so. 2012 was full of my darkest days, whilst my ex-husband refused contact to reason with, prolonging signing the divorce papers and making it difficult to sell the house, I stood by as my new boyfriend’s ex persisted with relentless contact, despite her instigating their split.
To my relief, after two solicitors who’d said they couldn’t help me, I found a solicitor who said she could help me, of course for a cost. Late 2012 saw me faced
with a legal battle, my ex-husband shirking all financial responsibility and trying leaving me with an additional £10,000 plus of debt we had took on together but was stupidly in my sole name due to his poor credit rating. Majorly pissed off at my exs lies about how the money had been spent, the anger inside me drove me – I was prepared to lose it all in a court battle rather let him have ill gotten gains at my expense. I still left the relationship with an additional £6,000 of debt – left with full responsibility of costs of the divorce and negative equity, and forever indebted to my parents who had saved me from bankruptcy and using their savings to assist me to help pay the mortgage, until I could finally sell the house at a fraction of what we paid for it, despite to renovations.
Want to find out what happened next? Stay tuned for the next instalment.