As I write this I’ve been back home for 2 full days after 13 months of living abroad and traveling. I can only assume the next week or so will bring on a whirlwind of emotions as I settle back into the rhythm of Wisconsin and recount the details of my past year’s adventures to friends and family. Already all the things I’ve done, people I’ve met and places I’ve seen are coming to mind in that beautiful hindsight view that seems to take over once you leave a place. The memories are starting to seem sweeter now that I’ve distanced myself physically from the places they were created.
Although there were a few times I was ready to jump on a plane and come home early I’m truly glad I stayed the full year in Australia and went through with my plans to head to Thailand because it was more than worth it. It was just the challenge I needed in life to push me mentally and really help with the personal growth I was (and still am) craving. The plan is to put together something to share the highlights of my travels while the memories are still fresh but for now I’m just allowing myself to do some light reflecting.
It’s quite surreal I have to say. Everything seems exactly as I left it. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with all my friends and family yet but the one’s I have had the pleasure of seeing already it’s like we’ve just picked up right where we left off. Always a comforting feeling being in the presence of someone you can just let your walls down with, be yourself, and not have to give the background story to everything because they already know.
Funny to think I fought with myself many times about when I would return. It’s not that I didn’t miss people and it’s not that I hate where I’m from. But I had this deep fear that coming back would somehow cause me to lose my momentum towards my goals. After finally taking off and ticking long-term travel and solo travel off my list I didn’t want anything to hold me back from continuing. For lack of better term I was terrifyingly frightened of becoming ‘stuck’ in Wisconsin. It seems a bit silly now, as most of the worries I create for myself tend to, but I had some serious resistance going on.
However, at the end of the day I think I waited until the right time. If I would have came home earlier I would have had some regrets and if I would have continued on to Laos and more of South East Asia as I was (loosely) planning on doing when I first started my jaunt in Thailand I don’t think I would have enjoyed myself as much. Or at least wouldn’t have been as present as I would have liked.
To give a little background I left Sydney the first week of October and headed to Cairns to do something I had envisioned since coming to Australia which was dive in the Great Barrier Reef. I spent about a week there exploring and reveling in pure holiday mode. Afterwards I took off on a one-way flight to Thailand starting in Bangkok and planned to travel Thailand until I was ready to come home. I honestly had no idea how long I would be there but it ended up being 27 days and was mostly spent in the north.
The first 3 weeks of my trip I was high on freedom ready to do and see it all. But the last week was filled with some deep introspection. To be completely honest I was pretty burnt out and the resistance I had towards going home was really starting to take its toll on me. There was a lingering feeling that I needed to get things in order before I could be fully present and continue traveling.
In order to keep sane I spent time doing tons of reiki, meditation, journaling and a healthy dose of alone time. I had the great fortune of meeting a few other likeminded travelers so when I was feeling social I was in the company of goodhearted people. All of that combined helped me to realize exactly what it was I needed to feel good and start vibrating at a more positive energy level again. Literally one day I woke up and it dawned on me that I wanted to come home for a little bit. Without thinking I pushed aside all the feelings that I had that deemed coming home as being some sort of ‘travel failure’ (whatever that means) and just bought my ticket.
Thankfully, after a long journey from Thailand back to the US I can already tell that I made the right decision. My intuition tells me a new chapter is waiting to be started and I have so many projects I’m planning on getting done as I hibernate through the brutality of Wisconsin’s winter. (Call me dramatic but I was really spoiled in Sydney. ) The feeling in my heart is that I’m right on track. Even though I initially fantasized about non-stop travel, coming back home to refuel, get a bit more grounded and re-evaluate my goals is ultimately the best thing I think I can do for myself now.
With all of that being said these upcoming weeks are dedicated to ‘getting my life together’ as I like to call it— lots of goal setting, planning, plotting, and reuniting to be done. Once I get my thoughts sorted I hope to share some of my visions for 2015. Overall I’m excited for what’s in store and am feeling really confident in my ability to accomplish all I’ve had brewing in my mind for way too long. Life is good right about now and for that I am more than grateful.