The desire to travel vs staying put

Now and then, I want to get away. Sometimes temporarily, sometimes for good. And sometimes to another universe entirely. Running away from a job and overbearing manager springs to mind, when I got the train to an internet cafe one morning, and sent an email saying I wasn’t coming in.

There’s something about location-independence that appeals to me, something about the nomads and travellers I’ve read about, and even come across. I know part of me is distorting the reality here, in my classic dreamer-like way.

However, for whatever reason, the idea of being able to earn, and live, and travel, whilst being anywhere in the world, appeals to me. Heck, I might even want to travel with the future kids around the world (if I have them). Freedom to roam. Again, the idealist in me possibly.

The world is a big place, and whilst I’ve been fortunate to do my fair share of travelling, there’s still so much left to see. Last year, I did 3 weeks of solo travel, and the year before a week on my own, to go to an awesome conference in Portland, Oregon. (Ah, I want to go back to Portland and explore more of the Pacific Northwest. I really loved how Portland was a friendly city, with access to nature, waterfalls and mountains. I didn’t see enough of it). Solo-travel had been something I’d wanted to experience, and I did so in a fairly low-risk manner – they were all cities with infrastructure, and weren’t so remote/“dangerous”.

My mental health was recovering still last year and, despite some low mood and thoughts beginning to creep in whilst away, I survived.

Will I do it again? I might well, in some capacity. Will I live abroad? Maybe. It’s strange. I went through this phase of yearning to get away and be somewhere else. Partly, I reckon, I feel this was for an escape from the unhappy reality I have experienced. And partly, on some level, I feel that moving away will expose me to new things, and force me to have new experiences, gain greater independence and autonomy – and, crucially, feel like an adult.

Whilst being away, even for the short time I was, I realised just how much I missed “home”. Home comforts, the security of my family there. I surprised myself a bit. I felt liked I ‘needed’ my family more than I thought I would. (At time of publishing – I’m halfway through the film Brooklyn, which I’d highly recommend, and I can somewhat empathise with the main character’s – played by Saiorse Ronan – coping with moving away from Ireland to New York).

Perhaps this will change. Or perhaps I will move away for a while.  For a long time. Whether alone, or with a significant other.

Who on earth knows what the future will hold? I’m learning to let go of some of these dreams and fantasies I have, as obsession with them can lead to despair at ‘not being there’. I am trying not to pin my happiness on just one thing – e.g. moving away, or based on future plans.

Whilst there are things that I like the idea of, I must remember to put them in perspective (for example, working abroad will not be like going on holiday), whilst accepting my life as it is right now, and being often to what opportunities might come my way, and the path I find myself taking.

I have faith.

✏ Written: Sunday, 25th February 2018 @ 1.17am

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What about you? 🌍
Are you a homebody or a traveller? Or perhaps somewhere in between? I’d love to hear your perspective on all this.

31 thoughts on “The desire to travel vs staying put

  1. Great post my friend! My advice? For me I left home at 15, (mostly because my father was a COMPLETE totalitarian and drunk abuser), but after being out there for more than 20 years, I finally found myself back home with my parents and its AMAZING!!! (Me and my dad buried the hatchet long ago, he has mellowed out A LOT and we bond more now than ever!). What I realized that going out there while you’re young is the BEST thing you can do my friend. GO OUT AND DO IT!!!!! Then, when you reached a certain age, and you’ve SEEN and DONE everything there is to do, (I totally lived the CRAP outta live and traveled EVERYWHERE), then you can come home and take care of your parents. It’s a MUST. I refuse to let my parents end up in an Old Folk’s Home, truly, and now that my sister has pretty much flown the coop, its MY responsibility to step in and take care of them now that they are approaching old age. So GO OUT there, DO IT!!! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello! Yes, I remember reading this about you somewhere else – moving out and then back. Thanks for adding more detail, and *so pleased* that you’ve come full circle and now get on really well with your parents. And really admirable that you’re taking such care of them. Not everyone does… hopefully you’re looking after yourself, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah – it’s amazing to think my grandparents left India – and their families behind, so young. Many others have done it too. I’d miss my family and the comfort of home.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad it resonated. I know – it’s a real conflict I think. When I had a full-time job I didn’t have time it seemed to even think about travelling. Now that I have the free time, I feel guilty! Inner conflict isn’t nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m actually meeting a friend today to discuss a potential mini-trip, to see another friend, in Europe. Last year, we went on Skyscanner and searched locations that were like £30 return on there or less – narrowed down to a few options… and picked one out of a hat! We went to Oslo, Norway for a couple of days – it was great!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m in England too – London, so Heathrow/Gatwick/Stansted. Stansted can be a pain to get to to say the least, but can be a bit cheaper to fly from. Thanks! I’m going to Norway on a fjords cruise with the family in the Summer, and another *big family* trip to Nice in September. Want to get some sort of mini-break with friends booked, too. Need some Sun!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post! I think many people flit between the desire to travel and the need to stay home – even I feel like that and I am very much a homebody, though that could be due to severe anxiety.

    I did move out at 18 and stayed in the county I’d been born in. However last year we did make the choice to make a change and move out of England over to Northern Ireland. It was a massive move for me and yet while it was stressful, it was definitely something I needed to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmm, yeah perhaps my anxiety does come into the equation, too.

      Wow, I’ve not been to Northern Ireland (or the Republic) but I want to visit. What inspired the move? Are you settling in there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My partner is from NI and so we decided to relocate there so he could be closer to his family. Yes, slowly but surely I am settling.

        Will be better once we have our own place as we are staying with relatives at the moment.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for following-up. Well I hope it goes smoothly. I bet it’ll make a big difference when it’s just the two of you, as *ahem* wonderful as relatives are!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with this: “And partly, on some level, I feel that moving away will expose me to new things, and force me to have new experiences, gain greater independence and autonomy – and, crucially, feel like an adult.”

    Travel helps us to see things in perspective and broadens the mind. It’s a cliche but it’s so true. Living in the UK at age 19 to 21 was the making of me. It was possibly the single best thing I have ever done. Yes so much more to see of the world, and my advice is to do it while you can, especially before life gets too complicated with kids or employment or owning a property. (If that’s ever an option any more for Millennials).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also sometimes get an overwhelming desire to leave my hometown or home country and go somewhere else. One of my old dreams is to visit Europe just once in my lifetime at least. There is just something so appealing about museums and old buildings and old architecture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sure you’ll manage to get over here! A good way to do it is to take a couple of months out and hop between places. So much of the world to see…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. SOOOO relatable. We just saved up enough to leave our jobs and prepay our bills for 3 months to take a journey through Costa Rica and Western Europe… this is a daily battle for us.. it sucks. Our goal is to create an Ecommerce and work from ANYWHERE in the world..I think you would love our instagram, all our descriptions cover our thoughts and feelings right up this alley!( @pamelandean) We learned EXPERIENCE is way more valuable than knowledge you can open up a book and learn knowledge sitting behind a desk but experience will take you anywhere..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds awesome, I wish you the best of luck! Costa Rica is on my list for sure. I would *love* to be able to work from anywhere, through my writing (or, in some other way that the universe intends for me!). You’re right there – it’s all about doing, learning and getting that experience. Thanks for reading + commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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