Do you read our blogs and wish it were you… traveling, seeing new things? But instead you’re firmly grounded at home, with careers, family, trying to get out of debt, going to school..or a million other things.
I have had some form of wanderlust for as long as I can remember. I have never felt firmly grounded or attached to one place. This journey is showing me what other towns, cities, and states are made of. Things I wondered about, dreamed of, I am now seeing first hand. I have learned so much so fast, and am finding much of my wanderlust to be settling.
I am in no way anywhere near not wanting to travel (don’t think that will ever be the case) and am supremely excited about all that we still have not seen, which is much and varied. However, some of that not knowing is settling down, allowing a peace that I think will lead to being able to settle (part-time) and be firmly, wonderfully, at home. A settled that I have not previously felt as I had such strong wanderlust and wondering.
This post is two-fold.
I hope to take what I am learning and maybe in some small way help those of you looking out the window and dreaming…be happier and more content right where you are, until your time to travel comes to fruition. If you can’t get out on the road full or even part time, pick your very top places that you feel you are missing out on and if at all possible go and visit. This will satisfy you much more than you think, even if it’s just a long weekend visit. It will show you if it’s just what you thought it would be, and at the same time, it just might show you that yes, it’s beautiful and wonderful, but…it’s too cold, or too hot or too brown or too small or too big or ??? and then bam! just where you are is that much better. All from just one visit, one vacation.
How many times have you went somewhere with big ideas in your head, and then you go and realize that it wasn’t what you thought it would be. It happens all the time! We’ve been places (during & prior to this journey) and although we have a good time everywhere we go, we’ve come home and thought, boy it was really dirty there or crowded or windy, etc etc.. And that left us with the knowledge that we were better having seen it, but most importantly… we aren’t/weren’t missing anything!
If you can’t go on a trip or vacation to the places you dream of, if you’re 100% grounded where you are, embrace that. But, at the same time, look up information on your dream spots. What’s the weather like there…year round (very important!), does it rain all the time, is winter 9 months a year, are the summers 130 degrees? These things matter. Even if you aren’t getting to go, you can create a real image of the place you dream of, not just an imaginary perfect place. Maybe once you realize it isn’t a perfect haven, it won’t seem so bad that you aren’t there.
I always knew that I needed a warm place to live, but in my mind I dream of places like Wyoming. While I (still) can’t wait to visit, I had also never looked into what it’s really like there. Yes it’s colder and they get snow… but now after meeting & talking to people from there, guess what? It can and often does snow all the way till June and they have horrible ice storms all winter. The high in the summer is around 70 and that’s only for a month or two. Whew. Never, ever, could we do that. I now feel more settled knowing the real Wyoming… versus the oh, it snows, and they have cold winters, but….version. Will I visit many, many times… yes! But, I won’t be living “here” wishing I was there.
Lastly, no matter where I have called home, I always live where I live. What I mean is, I took advantage of what was in town. I drove the surrounding areas, I visited different neighborhoods, walked downtown, visited various parks. I learned and explored and lived in the town.
So many places we go, we meet a local, ask them about this or that, and even if they’ve lived there for years and years, they won’t know. They will have never been, visited, etc. and I never understand this. You might live in a much more wonderful place than you think, but you haven’t went out and explored it.
Not to say (after all of this chatter) there isn’t a better place for you to live and be, but while you are grounded wherever you are for whatever reasons…there are things you can do to make your current home a dream of it’s own. I did this in Charlotte, I embraced all that I loved about the city, all the while making choices and plans for the future, and now am learning day by day and doing the same for the next few chapters.
If your dream is to be on the road like we are, I don’t hesitate to say it is fabulous. This country has so much to offer and explore and the lifestyle is wonderful. But, it is not a fantasy, it is real life, with real life issues, all compacted. The nitty-gritty of this lifestyle might make you happy to be home instead, or it might make you even more ready to make it your next big plan that you work towards. The reality of this life, versus the dream of this life, is no different than living in one town, wishing you were in another that seems so much better.
Happiness, or contentment (or both) is available to us no matter where we are. It’s a mind set.
Don’t let being in one place be the thing that keeps you from loving your life.