Finishing Work and Leaving Cyprus (53 days until we start the journey)

A post by Adam

The last few months have been eventful for us both. After handing our notices months ago, we have finally finished work. Lucia had her last day as a primary school teacher in Cyprus. It’s always difficult to say goodbye but it was nice that she finished the school year with her class before they broke up for the summer. The excitement of the upcoming trip has helped us both to leave but it is always difficult to say farewell to the friends we have made, especially when you know it is unlikely we will see them again.

The vast amount of gifts and thank you cards for Lucia on her last day at school.

I’ve now handed my uniform in and finished work with the Army. For the next few months, I am on resettlement leave. Most people spend this time doing courses, perfecting their CV’s and applying for jobs. I will be spending this time on the first two months of our cycle tour. The benefit to this is that I will still be getting paid as we start the tour but I will lose the opportunity to do the courses that the Army would pay for. This decision may be short-sighted but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Having spent the last 12 years in the Army, it becomes more than just a job. There were very few areas of my life that were not affected by being in the Army. From where I live, the people I spend time with and even the clothes I wear. It’s a strange feeling to leave. To go from having a clear routine and purpose to effectively being a free agent. One day you’re in the club, the next day you’re out. I’ll always have military connections but rather than being “Captain Adam Hugill in the Yorkshire Regiment”, I am now just “Adam Hugill”.

A workmate asked me a question last week that got me thinking deeply about the future. The question was simple.

He asked, “who is Adam Hugill?”

One of the hardest parts of leaving the military is losing the identity that has become ingrained into who you are from basic training and throughout your career.

My job has been a large part of my identity but I’ve never felt that it has defined who I am. We often associate who we are with our careers and professions. It’s an easy way to attach a label to ourselves and others. Over the last 2 years, my interests, outlook on life and values have continually changed and developed. I’ve focused more time on going on adventures, spending time in nature and spending less time partying like I did in my early 20’s. I find myself embracing minimalism, prioritising travel and spending more time with Lucia than ever before. 

By leaving the Army, I am now free to do anything I choose. This is both daunting and exciting in equal measures. I have loved my time in the Military and will always be proud to have served alongside some top quality people. My decision to leave is not based on not enjoying my job or feeling unfulfilled. I’ve left the military to pursue new opportunities, to have more freedom and explore the world on my own terms.

Leaving Cyprus

We have thoroughly enjoyed living in Cyprus for the last 12 months. Waking up to sea views and warm weather every day makes me happy. We now have just over 50 days in the UK before we start our journey. Over this period we are going to be visiting friends and family as we haven’t been in the UK this year and will be away for up to two years. We will miss weddings, friend’s children being born and other life events with our friends and family. This is one of the sacrifices we are making to live our dream of travelling by bike for over a year. 

Once we have finished the journey our plan is to return to the UK and establish a home in the North of England. One of the common difficulties for long-term travellers returning from being away from their home country is the post-tour blues. To go from having excitement, uncertainty and being independent to going back to routine and familiarity can be difficult. I imagine it a similar feeling to returning back after being away on a military deployment. We can reduce this by having a loose plan for our return and having money set aside to help us settle back into life in the UK.

For now, our attention is going to be focused on making the most of the next 8 weeks in the UK before we leave. I can not wait to be back in the UK and make the most of the time I have with friends and family.

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