Traveling has been a bit of a hot topic in my mind. But in all honesty, it always is. I love traveling, I love seeing new places, I love meeting new people, and I love the excitement travel generates within me. Yet I currently feel a different, more peaceful energy towards traveling than I used to. While I still adore all the excitement and encounters that traveling brings, I’ve personally transitioned into a place where I don’t need travel to feel that excitement. Nor do I any longer need travel to feel like I’m connected with myself and living life by my own design.
This was always somewhat of a internal struggle for me. Going out and exploring the world is very important to me. I like to learn about other people, cultures, places – that no matter where you go you can always find ways to connect with strangers. Yet now, since having so much time to spend on myself, with myself, and in one place with just me (and my lovely family), I’ve found that I’ve given myself the space to work through the confrontation and challenges that this brings: to live my life according to my own ways, even when I’m around others – especially when I am arround others who know me as the ‘me’ I have always been until now. Yet I’m finding my way to be more true to myself and to do the things I enjoy, through which I’m noticing that my family is even more accepting than my mind sometimes allows me to think. My mom always tells me that I can choose differentkly in any moment, that it doesn’t matter what I did or chose before – I can always choose something new. I finally realised that all my family wants for me is to be happy and be myself – how I fill this in isn’t of any importance. As long as what I am doing is something that truly what makes me happy and is not a time- or void-filling activity.
(The void being the empty hole inside that demands to be fed by things that don’t actually make us happy but that we do anyways because we think we have to or need to.)
And so in the past few months of self-reflection, self-work, and a lot of self-progress, I’ve started to look at traveling a bit different too. Yes I still really want to go visit New Zealand, and walk the Camino de Santiago again, but there’s a different energy towards it now. I’m no longer going in search of parts of myself in other places or people; nor am I going because I’m running away from being confronted with myself, which often happens when I stay at home for a long period of time and am confronted with all the things I don’t enjoy about my life. I’ve worked, and am continuing to work, through this and I feel like I would now be traveling with a whole new me – someone who is curious about life and what it shows me, but no longer as someone who is searching for herself in the world around me.
Because of this, and an interesting conversation I had with Rowena on Friday, I’ve also come to the conclusion that changing up my way of travel, from what I had originally planned, also isn’t ‘bad’ or ‘incorrect’. I’ve talked to some people about how I wanted to travel to New Zealand by train and boat instead of taking the plane. To take the trans-siberian express all the way across Russia, Mongolia, and China, to then hop on a boat heading towards New Zealand. And it’s a legitimate trip too. There are people who have done it, and after already doing some research about it, the trip looked feasible. But I also realise that the way the world will emerge from the pandemic, regarding travel, might be completely different from what it was before. This is something that we can’t predict. There is the uncertainty of what country will have what rules regarding travelers and vaccines and such. Yet having already talked to people about my ‘train-and-boat-travel’ idea/plan, I initially had some “old” thoughts pop up: what would these people, whom I had already told about trip idea, think of me changing up my plan? Yet then it dawned on me that iwhat they thought didn’t truly matter and that by giving their thoughts and opinions about me value, was only giving away my power and own self-value. Their opnion didn’t truly matter – it doesn’t matter in regards of something that I am doing for myself. Why would I change or not change my ideas on how I want to experience a trip based on what other people would think? This all just felt so silly. This is my life, my travel adventures, and as long as I know that I’m choosing things and experiences from a place of love, then the rest doesn’t matter so much.
While I haven’t decided on whether I’ll actually be taking the train or plane or what not, (also because booking a ticket to anywhere right now doesn’t feel very strategic), I’m instead just day dreaming about all the travels I do want to do in the upcoming period of my life, and saving up for some specific trips (like the Camino part II and New Zealand). The traveling will come when things open up and while I have cool ideas such as living in a location for three months or so before moving to the next location, as I currently have the luxury of only needing realiable wifi and a good table for work and creative projects, I’m currently all set where I am.
I did realise that all this day dreaming about future adventures and travels can also distract from the here and now and so I’ve made it a point to focus more on being present where I am, and currently where I am is a beautiful place that provides me with all that I currently want: a lot of ‘me time’, a lot of family time, a space to work, create, and remain active. I’ve started to feel much more as a local on the island, as if I’ve mentally, finally, settled in, and I feel like I’ve found a way to spend my days and weeks that works best for me (most of the time). I decided to save money and time by going out less for coffee breaks in Gustavia, and realising I don’t need to spend my time and energy outside of the house when it doesn’t fully serve me. Yet I think what has impacted me the most is that I’ve finally decided to make myself the most important person in my life.
That sounds a little funny. Or maybe it doesn’t. Yet it feels a little funny to write down. Probably because by writing it down and putting it out into the world it means I’m making it my truth. And, when coming from a place where I haven’t always made myself the most important person in my life, it feels a little intimidating. Exciting too.
Choosing to finally move in this direction, which was a long overdue choice, I already feel the shifts in my way of life on a daily basis. Somehow my days seem longer, I feel more productive, I feel more motivated, and I feel like I’m truly creating my life from a place of love within myself, for myself. And because of these shifts, because of finding ways to create a daily life in one location that is just as exciting as creating daily life in different locations; because of choosing to confront my shadows, negative thoughts, and self-doubt head on, and thereby creating a life that doesn’t have space for these negative energies, I’ve found myself to truly light up in everything I’ve been putting my mind, heart, and soul in. Inlcuding in my work, my book writing, and this blog (among other things!!).
So while travel is actively in my mind, and I still day dream about being able to see more of the world soon, I am no longer plagued by the idea that I’m ‘stuck in one place’ or that I feel like this is the intermission of my life. Rather, I’ve found ways to be more in touch with myself and who I am. I feel like I have finally decided to cover grand dsitances within myself rather than outside of myself. I know now that when I will get to travel again, that I’ll have a great, more in-tune, travel companion within myself than ever before.
I look forward to what life holds, all pieces of the rest of my life.
But for now, I’m going to enjoy the present.