This post is originally from December 2015, but as other bloggers are sharing their stories of reducing travel, I want to re-share mine. It still holds true, years later.
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I’m not sure precisely when my travel mindset changed, but sometime over the summer, I started putting more effort into “real life” and settling at home. I realized I started to like Richmond (I swear, it’s improved over the 5+ years since I first moved). I worked hard to make new friends, put down roots, and find hobbies to distract me from travel daydreams all the time.
And sometime within all that, I realized I like being home. Travel blogs (mine included!) so often look at travel in a vacuum instead of looking at the entire story. There are a few bloggers who travel full-time and others who will teach you how to travel far more often. Gosh, it was never my intention, but I spent half of 2014 on the road. In 2015, it’s closer to 25%, which is still a ton.
I still love to travel and I will still travel in 2016 (did you hear? I already have trips to Cairo, Poland, and California booked for the first half of the year!), but my approach is changing. I only want to be gone for a week or two at a time so that I don’t miss out on events and relationships at home.
When you travel too much, you never get that feeling of living in a community at home and you start to lose that oh-so-wonderful anticipation of building up to the next trip.
Travel is not a commodity. It is an incredible, mind-opening, life-changing experience. It is a chance to tune into the greater world and simultaneously a chance to be introspective. It should never, ever lose that specialness.
I’m early for New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I want to antagonize over the little details of travel planning again to regain that sense of joy and excitement ahead of time.
At home, I’ve focused a ton of time and energy into creating an everyday life that brings me happiness. My four walls are no longer just a roof over my head and I’m not spending every penny I bring in on leaving town. I’ve done some crazy things in the past, but even though travel is important to me, it’s not everything to me.
If you’ve ever heard of a first world problem, it’s choosing between the routine of a stable, comfortable home and leaving for adventures around the world. I want both, and I’m learning to live a life of balance. Maybe I’m slow, since I’m just getting around to this now instead of earlier in life.
So anyone that’s looking for me in the near future, maybe you’ll find me on the road. I doubt I’ll ever stop traveling. But there’s a good chance you might find me at home instead. I’ll be the one covered in carrot peels from cooking in the kitchen or bending over backwards at yoga class with my friends.
I’ll be the one stopping to smell the roses, whether I’m in Paris or my own backyard.