60 Sleeps: Giving It All Up is Hard

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A day of many deep breaths. And it won’t be the last. There’s a lot of anxiety in my mind these days. I’m saying goodbye to a whole way of life for something I’ve only tasted for a handful of weeks ever — serious travel.

There’s pretty much no more extreme way to put all one’s eggs in one basket than this. Sell everything, travel 100% of the time.

Thank god I’m not the first person to do it. So many others have blazed this trail before me. Maybe most have not done so as long as I intend to, but the length of time doesn’t really matter, I think, beyond a certain perspective or worldview. I’m just such a domestic person that it blows my mind to be going the other way for five years.

The thing is, for me and most people like me, travel is an all-or-nothing venture. I can’t afford to maintain a home while I see the world, and I can’t afford to see the world while I maintain a home.

I love a home, I want a home, but I can’t have a home if I’m to check off all those things on my wish list in life. It’s all or nothing.

If it's worth saying, Pooh has said it. AA Milne forever.

If it’s worth saying, Pooh has said it. AA Milne forever.

 

The important thing is, I’m soon 42 and I understand now that what I want from life is all-or-nothing. I want to be a writer and the writer I want to be, I can’t be — not in this current life of mine, not in this way. The writer I need to be is the kind born on the road.

It’s okay for me to be a bit heartbroken to give up my present life. It’s safe, it’s comfortable. I sleep pretty well most nights. I’m not wanting for a lot of things, and most people on the planet would be envious of the “meagre” life I’ve carved out for myself. Don’t I know it.

It’s easy to feel ungrateful when looking around at what I have and pronouncing that it’s not enough to make me happy. It’s hard to see the rest of the world’s challenges and think my worldview isn’t a bit precious. Dreamers, though, tend to be precious in thinking. We are optimists. We dare to ask for more. We push boundaries and think we are exceptions to the rule.

Goodbyes are never easy. The Lion King. But... hakuna matata!

Goodbyes are never easy. The Lion King. But… hakuna matata!

Life is a ticking clock and I’ve frittered away far too much of mine. Two decades of trying to figure out who I am all come down to one thing. I’m a writer. Not being that for the majority of my waking hours daily is akin to walking around with a “fraud” sign blazing on my forehead.

It’s spectacular, when you know what you really need to do in life and you’re willing to put everything on the line to do it. I guess this is my all-or-nothing time.

I’m that girl who has trouble ordering in a restaurant. I know exactly how I want what I want, it’s just that choosing between two completely separate things — let alone dozens — is a challenge. Every damn time, it’s a challenge. But that’s life when you like both sides of the fence. We want it all, but life makes us choose. Well, I’m done choosing. I’ll take all the travel, all the adventures, all the dreams. It’s time to stop taking the easy way out. All the eggs in one basket? Fine, if I must.

So it’s 60 sleeps away, this new life of mine. The rolling-duffel, all-or-nothing life. Yes, I’ve pushed my departure up by a couple days. Because I didn’t have enough to do in a short enough time, I guess.

Pretty sure I won't be as together as Miss Piggy when I board my plane to London.

Pretty sure I won’t be as together as Miss Piggy when I board my plane to London.

I laugh that I thought I’d have most of my crap together by now. I laugh hard. As someone who hasn’t been travelling at all, really, in the last 15 years, I’ve had a complete lack of travel gear, let alone travel tech, so the learning curve and the research has been intimidating. It still is. My heart pounds often as I worry about choices I’m making.

I’m confident I’ll have gotten some of it wrong, but I’ll probably get more of it right than the average “new nomad” does. Neuroses for the win, right there.

Now, another deep breath and more dayjobbing. Sixty sleeps to go.

 


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