Josh and I toyed with the life of full-time travelers.
We were gone long enough to get a taste of what that freedom felt like. We were kid-less, job-less and without plans past exploring new countries. We flew to Easter Island, hiked through the Amazon and snorkeled in the Galapagos Islands. We walked down streets we could never have imagined and stood overlooking nature in complete awe.
So, why don’t I miss that?
When we moved back home people asked:
“Why after traveling the world, did you move back to Indiana?”
“Are you still going to keep traveling as often?”
“Aren’t you going to get bored?”
“You’re never going to be able to stay in one place again!”
My life isn’t as glamorous, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds and watch from my couch as friends and family jet set to destinations I’ve either been to and long to return, or new locations that fill my bucket list. Their photos reignite my wanderlust. They send my head spinning into travel planning mode and my fingers typing across all websites in search of flights, new hotels and travel deals. There is a part of me that is built for leaving. I’m a traveler at my core and my addiction takes over when I hear stories, see photos and smell foods that remind me of my travels.
We haven’t left the country in two years. (but who’s counting…?)
I have been either pregnant or with a tiny baby that requires constant feedings and naps over the past two years. When we go out and see the world again (and we will!) I want to be able to enjoy it. These last two years have been focused on family. They have been focused on building that bond you can’t replace with your baby and catching up on the birthdays, weddings and babies that we missed while we were on the road. We’ve taken smaller weekend and week-long trips as a family, but not a big gallivanting trip through the unknown.
I’m not tasting delicious street food, diving in new waters or experiencing any world wonders, but I am falling in love more and more every day. I’m not falling in love with new cultures and countries, but my own baby girl. I’m packing my diaper bag every day instead of packing my travel pack. Instead of camping in the middle of Botswana, I’m covered in spit up and peanut butter in central Indiana…and I wouldn’t trade any of it.
My happiness comes from waking up and hearing the sounds of my baby girl in the next room. Every time she smiles my entire body melts into the ground. We aren’t experiencing new adventures, but every day is a new adventure for her. The first time we go apple picking is a mind-blowing experience for Lottie. We get to be on the opposite end. We get to watch her discover everything new. She is getting to taste new flavors for the first time, build her first snowman, and run into the ocean. Being able to introduce all of these firsts to her, is exhilarating for us as parents.
There is a time to travel, and there is a time to focus on the relationships that hold you up.
No one gets to where they are alone. Perpetual travel can leave you lonely. I longed to be back surrounded by my people. Those people who you belong to, and they belong to you. With them you can do no wrong, you don’t have to try, you can be yourself. These are the people I moved back for. These are the people I traded my luxurious life of travel for and these people are worth it.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity
But of balance, order, rhythm & harmony.
– Thomas Merton
When I was traveling I was living from intense moment to intense moment, with no breaks in between. It was exhilarating, an experience like none other that was exactly what I needed during that stage of my life. I needed to get it out of my system. Before I could wrap my head around being a parent, Josh and I wanted to escape and explore with just the two of us.
Now, I don’t have the intense moments taking over my days, but I live in balance, rhythm and harmony. We balance our travel with our moments we spend at home. There is a rhythm to our days that feels right. We see the value and importance of both and cherish sleeping in our own bed equally as we do boarding our next plane.
I Don’t Miss Full-time Travel
I welcome the next stage’s adventures and look forward to seeing where it takes me. I embrace this time im spending with my friends and family and the relationships I’m building. I still dream big and make plans. The grass isn’t always greener. We have our next trips planned out and until then I’m going to enjoy catching up on Scandal and SVU with popcorn in hand, cuddled up on my couch.