March 14, 2015.
“I’ll try to make it to a year.”
It’s a phrase I’ve said a lot in the past couple of months. I always said it to mean money, hoping I would still have enough to keep traveling till the one year mark in June. But I realized that now this phrase had new meaning. Make it now meant emotionally make it, pushing myself to get to the one year mark so I could say I traveled for a year instead of wanting to keep traveling for another 2 months. In the long run what’s the difference between 10 and 12 months? I was tired. The journey was no longer a thrill but a hassle. Destinations became exhausting to think about instead of exciting. 9 months of constant movement had finally taken its toll. Maybe it was just India, the overwhelming final nail in the coffin of my travel fatigue.
A new thought occurred to me. Going home. Not as an end to my adventure, but as a new direction in it. Returning to the US didn’t mean returning to a restricted, settled life. It meant a recharge. I could see friends and family, attempt to process what I’d just experienced, and try to figure out where to go next. I could take on side jobs bartending or online freelancing, bolstering whatever funds I had left before setting off again on one of the trips I have in mind. Back to South America, New Zealand, or Europe.
Suddenly my Kayak was filled with searches for flights from Asia to the US. Did I really want to leave this part of the world? I never thought this day would come. But the reality was, it was the most exciting thought I’d had about the spring in a long time.
Travel shouldn’t be forced. It should feel right.
I thought about taking a break in the Philippines on one of the gorgeous beaches so many people had told me about, but even that felt tiring. I realized there was one place that kept coming to mind that made me feel calm, that was calling to me from my memory, telling me it would help me figure out what I needed next. Vermont. Return to Vermont and recharge there. Then get back out into the world.
This was another new idea. Get back out into the world. Returning to the US was suddenly not the end of a nomadic life, going back to San Francisco and a 9 to 5 job, but a piece in the larger puzzle of continuing on. It felt possible. It felt right.
We’ll see what happens.
Here it goes.