Being home is hard. I knew it would be difficult, but it is really hard! Whenever I travel, it always takes me a bit of time to get into the groove of constant change and challenges, and living a very unconventional life. Once I get into that groove, I could stay there forever! Of course I miss being home, but coming home presents lots of questions and emotions that I always get hit hard with no matter how many times I travel and come home again. These questions are my biggest fears right now. I think by putting them out there and writing about them, it makes it easier. So here goes...
1. What am I going to do next?
THIS. Dang. Quitting your job and moving everything home (100 miles away) doesn't make your life exactly easy to pick back up again. Now that I am home, I have a blank canvas of how I want to spend my time. But the questions is how? Should I get a full time job? Part time? In what industry or field? Should I try to freelance? Should I teach yoga now? Should I pursue photography full time? Should I do everything? The possibilities are endless, which is amazing, but also quite frustrating. I am incredibly blessed to have a home to live in with my family who has welcomed me back with open arms. Now that I am rent free, I have a lot more flexibility with job searching and I will be able to find something that I love. I am trying to create a life and career that doesn't feel like work, but is driven by my passions. Again, it is easier said than done! I think the American culture makes us believe that working is how one ought to spend their life and work is our purpose. It is hard to have goals to travel instead of get settled in a 40 year career path in a culture that undermines this. I could live my life determined by how society thinks its "correct," but will that bring me happiness? Maybe. Maybe not.
2. How do I continue to be a worldly citizen?
Being a "citizen of the world" is easy while you are traveling. I am exposed to new cultures and I am so open to exploring and trying new things. Then I come home to America and I become spoiled with my hot water and air conditioning almost instantly, forgetting about being environmentally friendly, conscious of how I eat, how I spend my money, and how I treat other people. Being at home, I have loads of lovely conveniences like a car to drive, clean drinking water from the tap, and reliable electricity. I think one of the best things about living abroad for a period of time, especially in a 2nd or 3rd world country is you learn to live much more simply. You learn to live and make do with what you have, AND be happy about it. It is frustrating to return home and see how people live here with no appreciation. And then the even more saddening thing is when I forget and become spoiled and unappreciative again myself. Remembering the beautiful people of the countries I've visited and how they lived, helps me remember that I don't need much myself either. Being a world citizen means being mindful of how I live at home is not how the majority of the world lives. And being grateful for everything.
3. How do I reconnect with friends and family?
Explaining my experiences abroad to friends and family, who may have never travelled outside the country before is hard. People don't understand the appeal of going to a country that is poor or undeveloped. I try to paint a picture of what I saw and it just isn't the same. But that does not mean I don't stop trying and trying to communicate my passion for travel. Like I mentioned before, in our society people do not understand my passion for travel. They like their routined, comfortable lives how they are and traveling sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with that, but it just ins't for me. I would rather see every continent on the planet before settling down with a routine life. I try to explain this to my friends and family. I think having respect for different lifestyles and accepting them without judgement is the best approach. Of course nobody wants to only hear me talk about me relating experiences back to "when I was here" or "In Nicaragua it was like this," constantly, but I try to keep my memories alive and share with my friends and family as well as continue living my life in the present with my friends and family. Making new memories and connections constantly is how we truly live.
4. How do I leave again?
Now this is always the part that is kind of freaky. Planning the next trip always is a leap of faith and requires a ton of planning. I repeat, a ton of planning. For my next trip I am planning to go to South East Asia (Thailand, and Indonesia, probably some other countries in there too). It is a huge undertaking to go literally to the opposite side of the world. I think the frustrating part is that we bust our asses trying to find jobs to make money and settle in once come back from a trip abroad, so to leave again in just a few months seems crazy. Then when I get home from that trip, I will have to start at this whole process again. So yeah, it is a bit scary. I am still working out and trying to figure out how I can travel and make it sustainable on my wallet and how I can possibly work abroad. Luckily, there are a lot of resources out there to help make that dream a reality. I am really excited for Asia, and we are still in the planning stage, but I know it will happen. I am so excited for my life ahead.
For continued updates, I want to figure out how to add a button so that people can get email notifications when I post a new blog. If any squarespace geniuses are out there reading this, maybe you can help me figure out how to do that :)
Until next time,