I’ve been a bit M.I.A. on the blog front over the past few weeks… not that I haven’t been going on adventures and seeing beautiful sites in Ireland… more for the reason that I’ve been having to chip away at the “travel wall” I recently hit.
I had read so many travel blogs and knew that there would come a time and day when I hit this imaginary wall… but with so many amazing memories made and countless breathtaking landscapes I took in, I kept thinking to myself that it would NEVER happen.
For the sake of not being all WAH WAH and going into details about why I hit a wall… I’ll keep it brief and say that moving on to a new country and place will surely help. I’m finding that staying in one place for more than a month is just a bit too long for what I want to be doing. However, the logistics of finding a placement (somewhere to stay) and the financial requirement involved to keep moving play a huge role in how I travel (as well as travel visa rules).
This has been such a learning adventure for me. When pursuing my dreams of a life of travel, I had a vision and idea of what I thought I would want… however, now that I’m actually DOING IT, each place I visit brings with it a plethora of new experiences, exciting moments, challenges, and lessons.
Six months ago I had no IDEA what it meant to live a life of travel. Armed with bountiful energy and excitement to head out into the beautiful world, the only thing I was 100% about was that I would keep an open mind and open heart to the many opportunities and experiences I knew were headed my way.
So as I sit here in Ireland (six months after boarding my first plane to London) and reflect on my travels so far… I will do my best to share a few things I’ve learned.
1. Travel is always a GREAT choice – It’s a wonderful gift you give yourself. For years I made excuses that I didn’t have enough ______ (time, money, etc…) to take a trip longer than a standard week vacation. Now I realize that that is simply not true. For example, I just booked my ticket from Ireland to Portugal and it cost me only $30 on RyanAir!! To experience another country, culture, customs, cuisine, and community is something that you will NEVER forget. That weekend trip to the beach with my friends where I boozed it up and spent way too much money on food and drinks — no offense, but I probably won’t remember it 20 years from now. That time when I watched the sunset above the clouds with a volcano in the background with a guy from Spain and a girl from Brazil — now there is a memory I will treasure forever!!
2. Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone will be a daily “THING” – To me, it’s become normal to go places, not know anyone, not know really where I am, and just “figure it out”. It wasn’t until I was Skyping with one of my best friends recently when she said “I don’t know how you do it!” <– referring to me showing up in a new country and not having a CLUE! It made me stop and think (and kind of feel proud of myself). It's a part of my daily activities to stumble upon something "new" and unfamiliar. For example, I totally forgot that the Irish drive on the left side of the road! It wasn't until I was in the car with my host family that I realized it… therefore, I had to quickly learn how to drive manual with my left hand and not crash the car in traffic given I would be driving the kids to and from school (luckily I learn quickly!).
3. It’s still LIFE. You will have your ups and downs – Yes, travel is thrilling! BUT, when you are living a life of travel not everyday will be a grand adventure. I’ve had more downtime than ever in my life now that I’ve started traveling. I don’t have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn and head to an office… I don’t have post work obligations to attend to… hell I don’t even have to grocery shop most weeks! I went from not enough time in the USA to almost TOO MUCH time in Europe. I’m working on finding my balance as I tend to get anxious with too much time on my hands. I’ve had moments where every cell in my body feels blissfully happy. I can vividly remember riding my bike down a dark street in Tenerife, Spain after a day of hiking and then celebratory wine with friends… no one else was on the street but me and I couldn’t help but smile (I felt so blessed, grateful, and happy in that moment). BUUUUT we live in a world of duality so I’ve also had my days where I feel totally freaking alone and bored. I miss my family, friends, and familiarity. I haven’t been homesick persay and have not had any feelings of wanting to return home (YET) — it’s just sometimes you want those comforts of “home” (like pumpkin coffee with vanilla creamer in the Autumn).