Most people email me about the fear of leaving.
Whether it’s flying, selling the stuff they’ve spent years accumulating or ending a career they’ve worked hard for (and probably hate), they are afraid to give up the comfort and follow their passion. They doubt they have enough money, enough time or their relationships aren’t in the right place. Fear takes them over and they are afraid to risk in order to achieve what they really want.
I on the other hand, I have the opposite fear.
The fear of staying put.
I moved at a young age away from friends and family and was raised in Hawaii. Don’t get me wrong I fell in love with the Hawaiian culture and return every few years, but I knew it would never be my forever home. My family then moved to Indiana (I know, we went from the extreme exotic to extreme midwest) with enough time for me to finish junior high and high school, before I packed up and left for college. Once again, new friends, new experiences. College was 4 years of adventures. My wanderlust sparked during my study abroad in Maastricht, when we spent the summer traveling across Europe, running with the bulls, watching the Tour de France and eating endless amounts of gelato in Italy.
After college we did the 9-5 thing like we were “supposed to” in Chicago. I love that city, I had an awesome community of friends and support, but I also knew it wasn’t our forever home either. We enjoyed all that the city offered, and it is still one of my favorite cities in the U.S., but we wanted to see more.
That’s when we left to see the world.
We haven’t lived in any apartment for more than 2 years. We’ve never invested in expensive furniture and we’ve never become attached to any of our household things. We hadn’t (until very recently) owned a car since we left college, and a common question that comes up around our dinner table is “Where’s next”.
I’m always the one leaving.
I’m not saying this proud, or to prove a point, just something that when I look back over the years I realize about myself.
After quitting our jobs and leaving to travel we have been on the move constantly.
The idea of sleeping in a new bed every night doesn’t bother me, because I know outside of that room there are new adventures to be had.
The excitement of sitting on an airplane before take off doesn’t stress me out, it relaxes me.
Packing my carry-on takes me only a few minutes, because I know if I forget anything it’s ok, I can figure it out when I get there.
When we rent an apartment it’s for a month or two at a time because we need to sit and get work done before moving on.
My Fear of Staying Put
I always have to have my next trip planned. Even weeks away from having a baby, I already have our first post-baby beach vacation on the books.
I’m afraid once we stop making traveling a priority it will quickly be taken over by other priorities.
I fear looking out the same window every day and seeing the same view, instead of the ever-changing view that travel brings.
I don’t want my need for adventure to get buried under bills and a mortgage.
I’m afraid of accumulating stuff again and filling our apartment with non-necessities that we will later just get rid of.
I miss the constant newness that traveling holds, all of the new foods we get to taste on a daily basis, the new people we meet and the new landscapes we never dreamed we would be able to see.
I fear always wondering what if? What if we didn’t stay put, what adventures and excitement await us every day.
Fast Forward to Now…
We now have an apartment and a car and are staying put for a bit.
Remember when I told you we were expecting a third traveler in our family? We want to spend time enjoying the babe while they are still in the small squishy stage. We have small trips planned for baby’s first beach trip at 3 months and family visits, but we are mostly looking to stay put for awhile.
How long is awhile? Not sure. We are renting an apartment for a year here in Carmel, IN and will still travel from our homebase, but we aren’t putting a timeline or plan on it at this point.
We’ve had a lot of questions about how our travel schedule will change with Baby E, and what our plans are for the next year. Honestly, we have no idea and we feel good about that. We have never been ones to plan more than a few weeks out and don’t see any need for that to change anytime soon.
What we do know?
Being close to friends and family for the past few months has been incredible. After being away from your community for so long the comfort of a girls wine night, family dinner and a phone call in the same time zone can be comforting.
Sleeping in your own bed has its perks. Although we still don’t mind bed-hopping during our travels, there is something so comfortable about coming home to your own sheets and bed that we had been missing for awhile.
Babies grow up fast, and while we have lots of goals for getting our baby’s first passport and where we want to take them first, that first year is priceless. We don’t want to be moving too fast to miss any of it, and we want our family to be nearby to experience it too!
Our lives aren’t stopping with babies. We are excited to share our adventures, we know family travel isn’t always easy but from the families we have spoken with it is rewarding and worth it. Our travel lives will change, we’re ready and can’t wait to see where that change takes us.
I know that there are a lot of positives to staying in one place and everyone that has been living in one place can argue each of my fears I listed above, with a reason that staying put is a good thing. This is very similar to how I can take all of your fears about money, risk and jobs and argue why you are better off quitting your jobs and exploring. It’s always easy to argue for the side you are most comfortable with. It’s when we get outside of that comfort zone when the fear creeps in.
So in the next few months we will be making smaller trips, U.S. based adventures… and in a few months you will start to see a new face (boy or girl – Not sure yet!) and stick with us, as we overcome our biggest fear of staying put 🙂 When it all comes down to it, you don’t have to fear either, but embrace the current phase in your life and plan for the next!
Which fear are you dealing with? The fear of leaving or the fear of staying put?
I think you can do both – just in moderation. We went on about 10 trips before Lucas’ first birthday. Next week is our first trip with two kids – the traveling portion will be hectic but it will be worth it once we are on the beach!! Then we have 3 more trips planned by August!
Caroline Eaton says
You will have to send us all of your best traveling tips with baby!
Lauren Bassart says
We share your fear of staying put. 🙂 It’s terrifying really! Can’t wait to see you take the baby all over the world. Waiting (not so) patiently for photos of jet-setting baby.
Caroline Eaton says
🙂 Also can’t wait to have a jet setting baby in tow!
Annie of TravelShus says
i struggle with this issue everyday. Even when I know I should be in one place, I have a hard time doing it. I dont have babies in my life right now, but I do have a puppy. And while I love her, I often long for the days when I could go anywhere and not miss home.
She is my home now, and I miss her when Im gone. But then I miss the road when Im home.
Lance | Trips By Lance says
No one should be in one place, or constantly travel. I believe you do something and then move to the next. You’ve constantly been traveling, and now find yourself in one spot. In a way it’s just a continuation of your life of constant change. It doesn’t sound like you’re making a decision to live in one house for the next 30 years with the same job. You could have a baby and continue moving. Or you can have a baby and settle for just a bit before moving on again. I think both are correct.
Strangely enough I’m currently in limbo between staying put and leaving fears but I feel like I need a move back out into the world soon before routine catches up with me 🙂
You certainly sound like you have the balance right; small trips which enable you to appreciate the little one and the little things 🙂
The Runaway Guide says
I too have a fear of staying put, of getting stuck. There’s definitely a balance to be had though. When I’m at home I always need an escape plan and when I’m away I always need to have some idea about a sedentary future.