When it’s been a while

When it’s been a while doing something you love, it feels like you woke up from a coma. Not that I’ve been in a coma so I may be entirely wrong about that one. But that’s how I imagine it to be. I have been living in a fog of uncertainty, of doubt, of going through the motions of a robotic life.

I have’t written about tips for traveling because well, I haven’t been traveling. And that makes me unrecognizable to myself.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-days and lose sight of what you want out of life. I lost track of my real goals and most importantly I forgot what it is that makes me truly happy.

And a big contributing factor to this is how I got swept up in material objects. Buying unnecessary things is the poison that kills travel dreams. It comes in the form of superficial comfort and success, then implants itself in the brain, convincing one’s self that this object, this thing will be the cure to unhappiness.

I moved to a different city away from all my friends and family so I started buying stuff. I needed stuff for my apartment of course, but then I started buying the decorations and the candles and more clothes and consuming my daily habits and thoughts with shopping and budgeting my money on how I can afford a $30 Yankee candle. I convinced myself that if I just buy this candied pecan scented candle then it will feel like the holidays, it will feel cozy, it will feel like I have a fireplace. What I actually wanted was to actually be in a place filled with snow, lights strung across a crowded street, sitting in a cafe drinking espresso, reading a translation book. Not just a facade of it in my living room. I might as well plug myself into a virtual reality game and never leave if that’s the case.

I am not entirely sure what my “wake up call” was or if I even had one. It was more of a gradual realization, a gradual journey back to my true self. But, I know it had something to do with seeing some old friends who traveled the world year round and inspired me the first time I met them. I saw them again recently and had nothing to talk about. Nothing real anyway because I had been filling my days with unnecessaries.

Slowly I am finding my way back to the person I want to be and following my happiness.

About ready to take my first bungee jump leap for my 26th birthday. Photo courtesy of  Nic Velarde

About ready to take my first bungee jump leap for my 26th birthday. Photo courtesy of Nic Velarde

I wasn’t sure if this was the right place to write about it but in it’s way it is travel advice. To put it simply is to stay in touch with the happiness you create for yourself. Sometimes we stray off course but we can always find a way back.

I felt I had gone too far in debt to travel any time soon. But after my realizations I began to make it a priority to save. And once I made it THE priority I saw how easy it was to save again.

When I wanted to go to Scotland when I was 19 it was always just a dream, then I thought, why the heck am I not there now? What is holding me back? Nothing! Absolutely nothing except not saving my money. So once I understand that things don’t just happen magically, I have to work for them and make it possible, my dreams became reality.

And then when I felt stuck in rut a few years ago, I looked at my boyfriend and said, “I need to travel … now.” And we did.

That’s what this is all over again, but with a bigger, longer term idea behind it. I want to keep at it, not let a few years go by every time I decide to take an amazing trip to a new country. I want to get back home from a country and start planning for another one right away. I am sick of letting my life slip right under me.

Since I am still a little in debt, I am going to Quebec in January for 5 days for a quickie. It isn’t as long as I would want, but I am not letting that stop me from exploring the world. More posts to come on traveling in the winter.

And to close my comeback here is something I wrote when I was a 21 years old. I read it once in a while to remember who I used to be, who I always wanted to be, who I can still find and be again.

That path that steers us to where we want to be or what we need to achieve is incomprehensible to ever let fail. My entire childhood and adolescence was dedicated to the all the places i could ever dream of traveling to. A painted landscape with a couple arm in arm walking in the distance of grass enchanted fields was the escape for my imagination. I was determined to find this place, if it was even real. How could it be, with such magnitude of wonder and persistence of beauty. Where could I run away to, where was a place I could discover? Harry Potter became the books that defined and shaped who i grew up to. It wasn’t just about the magical story and characters, or even the movies, but the impact it had over influencing my life. I became the Fred to my sisters George. We became so eternally, and internally obsessed with finding our own paths in life that had nothing to do with the normality of others peoples views and expectations. Adventure, discovery, importance was my quest…and yet, still is. I forever cursed myself with never allowing myself to be fully committed to happiness because that would mean the quest was over. With every stamp on my passport, every step with my hiking boots, each breathe of fresh air, each exhale from an intense climb i was in search for truth, the meaning of my existence. This meaning could be put in my hands by experiencing the world in every possible way it was offered to me. I am 21 years old and just now am beginning to understand this on going search and what it actually entails, the responsibilities attached to it. I am finding my way though life in my own way just as everyone else is doing in their own and personal way. I am to be kind and humble, genuine in my smile and my stride beside them or else i have failed myself. I was eighteen and jumped out of a plane. I was nineteen and traveled on a whim to Scotland. I backpacked Yosemite, learned to snowboard, rock climbed, rolled down booming sand dunes. When i was twenty I packed up my life and moved to Yellowstone National Park and then Death Valley. Not many plans work out for certain, guarantee, and if they do it never turns out the exact way we planned or expected. It’s nice to just roll with it.

After taking my first bungee jump leap for my 26th birthday. Photo courtesy of Nic Velarde

After taking my first bungee jump leap for my 26th birthday. Photo courtesy of Nic Velarde