“I want everything AND I don’t know what I want.”
I’ve been ‘back’ more than eight years now from my ‘round the world trip and for awhile, I still didn’t know exactly what I was doing. Sometimes I think that traveling has forever made it harder for me to be comfy in everyday life. I still travel of course, but I really do not want to travel that long again because I did feel some “travel burnout.” But traveling for a week here and there, isn’t the same either. I have said that now I want to go away to one place for a month at a time, but lately I’ve not even been doing that either, as my personal life and work life has gotten in the way of that (and mostly my cat, which I love and hate to leave).
I seem to be going to a lot of places, but it’s all somewhat quick and sporadic. It’s a choice I’ve made, but my heart and soul doesn’t always jive with it.
The reason for my uneasiness? Real, everyday life will never compare to the exhilaration of full-time travel. That doesn’t mean I am not enjoying my home life now, I am. I am not a perpetual vagabond. I like having a home, a garden, my sweet, adorable cat, and wonderful boyfriend and best friend, and planting some roots for all of that. But then there’s that “grass is always greener” syndrome and the fact that I will probably just never feel “right.” I blame my travels. I will NEVER EVER regret them and they changed my life in so many ways big and small, but now they are this incomparable barometer by which I subconsciously compare everything.
Here are some reasons life can suck after travel:
- Traveling is not boring.
Traveling solo long term gave me extreme highs and lows. There was more adrenaline pumping through my body as I took risks, and just constantly put myself in new situations. It made the mundane everyday life even more blah. You are challenging yourself. You are so out of your comfort zone…and as they say, that’s where the magic happens. So true.
- Traveling = New People.
Travel introduced me to so many interesting, vibrant people. So now, when I meet new people, I subconsciously hold them up to that ideal and they often disappoint as they blabber on about traffic, weather, and mundane BS.
- Traveling means constantly learning.
When you are traveling and immersing in new cultures, you are learning new things every single day: new languages, dealing with new currency, new signs, new transport. It can be exhausting, but for me, it’s thrilling to be using much more of my brain and always be alert.
- Travel can actually mean fewer decisions.
This seems counterintuitive, but besides figuring out where to stay and how to get there, life is simpler. I didn’t have to think about what to wear every day when I only had a few outfit choices anyway. I didn’t worry about my hair or makeup. I didn’t have to go to Target and be bombarded by a million products in my face. I went to the local, small store for toothpaste and had 2 choices. I loved that!
- Traveling is Cheap!
Yes, I’ve said it before, and I will continue to. Traveling longer term is cheaper than you think. When traveling long term, it’s not a vacation, it’s life. I had no bills back “home;” no rent, no cell phone bill, no utilities. I paid only for my daily life on the road. So that meant lodging and food and transport. And when traveling slowly and long term and often in cheaper countries, that meant I was always spending less to “live” than I would have if I was back home in the U.S. I didn’t have much of an income, but lived off of savings and did eventually start to work so I could just break even…and sort of live off the grid. It was totally freeing!