I have a confession to make. I’ve been hiding it from my readers for a week now and it’s weighing heavy me. It feels like a dirty little secret. What could this be? Well, let’s just say I’m no longer in Asia. Okay, I’m actually not even traveling anymore. There, I said it. A metaphorical weight off my chest. I’m home in California, literally sitting in my childhood room at my parents house. After 9 months of country hoping and globe trotting, I decided it was time, so keeping with my blogs theme, I bought a one way ticket home.
Why did I do this? Don’t I love traveling to no end? Didn’t I want to keep the adventure going forever? Well, its complicated but I after much contemplation, I decided that it was time to head out Californi’ way for a number of reasons.
The money would eventually run out and eventually, I would need some sort of income. The blog brings in some money, but not enough to live off of. What about getting a job on the road? Lots of travelers do that. But most of the jobs are bartenders or hostel desk workers and whenever I thought about a job like that, it didn’t make sense in my mind. Sure, it’d be fun, but you get paid next to nothing. Actually, usually you just get free board. In some situations, that’s significant, but when a dorm bed costs $3, you’re not getting paid a decent wage for your time. I could make in a few days back home, what would take a month here. Why not get paid a good wage when I’m actually working. Seems like a lot more valuable use of my time.
Another option would be to freelance, but that may be easier said than done. Telling people I’m a web developer, I get a lot of comments on how its a great job for location independence and I totally agree. But having said that, I fully admit that I have tons still to learn and getting that started while simultaneously traveling makes the task seem even more daunting. Establishing something beforehand would definitely seem like a more logical way to go about that. Something I obviously didn’t do.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t really want a job while I’m on the road. It’s a distraction. The blog with all the writing, photo editing and website improvements has been awesome, but its also been a lot of work and is enough for me. I don’t want actual work on top of that. Traveling is at its finest when you have no alarm clock, no distractions and nowhere to be. You wake up and decide your plans while you brush your teeth. I decided I didn’t want to mix the two.
Way back I said that I wanted to “go until I’m ready to come home” and in the process of weighing all my options I realized that I was ready. Traveling is a full time gig and as amazing as it is, its also exhausting. I remedied this occasionally by staying up in one place for a week or more and that actually went a long way. Any long term traveler can attest to that. But staying in one place temporarily doesn’t remedy the continuous flow of goodbyes to all your new friends. A good story is better told over a beer, not the phone or an email and I have too many amazing friends that I was neglecting.
Am I done traveling? Absolutely not. I love it way too much. I don’t think I’ll ever stop traveling completely, but after my last stop in Japan, somewhere I’ve wanted to go forever (awesome story alert), it was time. I was ready.
Don’t worry, the blog will continue. I am so ridiculously behind on stories and photos that by the time I catch up, I’ll be boarding an airplane for…
Homework Assignment: Go listen to Simon and Garfunkel – Homeward Bound