I was reading through some comments made on Facebook last week (Wow, so there’s a phrase I wouldn’t have typed a few years ago) and one in particular stood out. It was in response to a few travel announcements I made and it read, “I thought you were always on the road.” That stuck with me and made me realize that maybe people don’t really know about me or my life. Maybe they think I’m am always on the road, which is definitely not the case. Then I started thinking more about that nomadic lifestyle, something so romantic in concept but a way of living that is definitely not for everyone, including myself.
The fact is that when I’m at home I have a pretty normal life. I have a partner of 11 years, three dogs, a house with mortgage attached, car, grocery lists, Home Owner Association meetings (9th circle of Hell) and all of the other trappings of modern life in the American suburbs. I live near Washington, DC so there are lots of options when it comes to shopping, eating and cultural events, but other than that I think I’m a lot like millions of other middle-class Americans. Well, except that my job is sort of self-created and I tend to travel – a lot.
I started this site three years ago as an escape, a creative outlet from a dreary job. It grew and today it is my only job, having lost the 9-5 soul-sucking one last year. There are definitely pros and cons to this change in careers, and I’ve been doing lots of things in order to bring in money including working for a travel blogging conference. More than anything, this shift has allowed me to do what I’ve always wanted to do, make travel my career.
Looking back at my travel schedule for the last twelve months I have been on 18 trips to a wide variety of locations around the world. I don’t say this to brag, I say it to show that my travel life is far from average, and I get that. But it’s also my job, so that should be taken into account as well. Why this is all so interesting is that even though travel is a true passion (and it is) and there’s nothing more I enjoy than being on the road (it’s true, there isn’t) I have found that at my core, my base I think I’m a bit of a homebody.
Whenever I travel I put a two-week maximum on my trip not because I’m worried about my dogs or partner or my ability to get any writing done (all valid concerns) but because I just don’t like being away from home that long. I start to miss the aforementioned partner and dogs, I miss my bed and sofa, I miss being able to open my fridge and pop open a Diet Coke whenever I want to. These just aren’t esoteric concepts, I feel all of this deeply when I’m away from home too long.
It’s an odd thing to be a homesick wanderluster, but there you have it, that is exactly what I am. Just as I could never imagine my life without a trip on the horizon, I also can’t imagine a life without a home, one that is nomadic. It takes a certain type of personality to be able to do this, one without those connections and ties, which is neither good nor bad, it’s just different. But it’s not just the house and dogs, it’s at the core of one’s personality I think. When I was in my early 20s I craved the suburban life, I physically ached for a house and yard with dogs playing in it. It’s just how I was wired. Others don’t feel the same way, in fact for many it’s a bizarre concept. Neither one is right or wrong, they are just incredibly different ways of looking at the world.
I’m not sure there’s a real point to this post and I’m sorry if you feel like you’ve wasted the last 2 minutes of your life. But I felt it important to share a little bit more of who I am as a person. I love to travel, it’s my job now and I never want to consider life without it. I want to be on the road often and I am always on the lookout for fun, new experiences. But at the same time I know that I’ll never be that itinerant explorer on the road for months at a time, living from adventure to adventure. Part of me is sad that I’m not that guy, but I can’t control who I am any more than I can the weather or the movement of the planets. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to cuddle with my dogs and watch Real Housewives of Orange County.