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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.
21 thoughts on “Living a Life of Balance”
Having travelled globally, work, 30+ weeks per year for way to many years, I learned early on to have a base I wanted to stay at. A haven. A retreat. I also wanted it to be a home and within a community so I could melt in and out as per my schedule. I’ve been fortunate to find that. I delighted that you have made your realization as it seems that you really do understand the balance now. Well done.
@Tim, I definitely got that impression from you when we met. I’m so happy that you have your own combination and wish you years of more travel and home to bring you happiness.
Becky – I totally understand! I find that I still like to travel, but I don’t like to be away from home for too long (primarily because of a very cute 4 legged family member!).
@Trevor, Furry friends are the best! One of the reasons I don’t have one (yet) is because of all the travel I’ve done. Give some extra furry love today 🙂
Balance is always a good thing, Becky, and how you balance will change over the years. We all love to travel, but time at home with family and friends also is priceless. You *can* do both, and it sounds like you’ve reached a happy medium. Congrats!
@Barb, How true that things change (and that’s okay). Thanks for the support and cheers to your own balance as well!
Great thing is that at home you can still sort of travel, by trying new restaurants, walking new areas, and hosting friends. Happiest 2016! It was so nice to see you TWICE in 2015.
@Charles, What a good point about “traveling” at home! Cheers to 2016.
Great post. Balance is everything 🙂
@Amanda, Definitely true – and we all need to remember it’s not one size fits all.
Completely agree with you and them likewise. You are already doing both my dear. When are you going to Cairo btw?
@Pericles, I like the way you think! I’ll be in Cairo in May.
LOVE this!!! In my opinion, creating balance in life is the key to contentment and a thankful heart!
@Caroline – I completely agree, as long as you can figure out the right balance 🙂
We love travelling but love being home just as much. I guess a perfect balance would be living near your favorite travel destination…what a dream come true that would be!
@Andrew, Isn’t that the truth! I live near some great places, but sometimes I get the itch to go somewhere different, too!
I love to travel, but definitely love the balance. Good luck on your adventures.
We travel a few times a year and honestly while I enjoy it, it is also stressful. Coming home is always a joy, even with the mounds of laundry I have to do!
My husband and I both love to travel, but my heart yearns for adventure more than his. He helps me see the value of the comforts of home, and I push him more to step outside the known. We help balance each other out.
@Crystal, What a great pairing. My husband & I balance each other out too.
We love to travel but man there is something about being home. It can be so hard to find that right balance of both in life, especially when you have kids.