HELLO AND HAPPY MONDAY, TRAVELERS!
It really feels so good to say that. I've missed interacting with so many people from social media to engaging in conversations in the comments. There were so many times I wanted to pop back in but I needed to ensure that it was a purposeful time and that I was truly ready to recommit. I decided that I would come back in 2018 and since "8" is the number for new beginnings, today, January 8, 2018 only made sense.
I feel like I have been all over mentally and physically... and I kind of have, but all of it is for the better. What I will say is that I appreciate those of you that did take the time to pop in and check on me, just to ensure I was doing alright. It does not go unnoticed. Something I struggle with in my daily life is trying to do it all in one moment, and I've learned that I am quite sucky at multitasking and sometimes I need to come up for air. I feel refreshed and eager to get back into the world that is blogging.
Over the past few months, I have had a few reoccurring thoughts and revelations that I hope you will humor me with before I start pushing out tales of my most recent adventures. These thoughts helped to guide and push me, and if I'm feeling them, maybe someone else is too.
1. I don't want to be a full-time expat / nomad anymore.
This was a big shocker. I longed for the days when I would save up enough so that by the time I reached 30, I could start my year-long sabbatical or be a full-time expat, but then something changed. I got a new job and things started to click. I no longer work in a school although I am now employed by an education focused non-profit and I love it. I enjoy mission aligned work and I get to really do what I love on a daily basis. I've been at my new job since late August and haven't looked back since. Is it perfect? What is? But it gave me a spark that I had been missing for such a long time. Even with my most recent two-week trip to Europe, I found myself mentally prepared to return to Dallas and get back to work (who am I?). While I would not mind staying abroad for some month-long stays, I've realized that I love Texas with my heart and soul and I love working for the betterment of my community. My mind could eventually change again, but I think I have found my happy place.
2. I needed to regain my passion for writing.
I have always loved to write. I process with writing much easier than I do with verbal responses. Blogging has brought me many connections and insight, but for a moment, I think I got too wrapped up in it. I found myself stressing out at the end of the day if I hadn't fulfilled my engagement commitment with a group and that is not why I started doing this in the first place. I was going at full speed when Big Homie put me on pause, secured the new job for me, which led me to needing to slow it all the way down. Suddenly, I was writing in my notebook more and that gave me a sense of relief. While I enjoy being in the blogging world, it should not be running my world, and it took this hiatus for me to learn that. I want to produce quality over quantity and if I handle my handle, the numbers will come later.
If I can also get raw, I was also harboring some moments of resentment because I did not feel like all of my friends / family supported me in this mission. I've heard it time and time again on podcasts, Facebook groups, Twitter, etc that all of your people are not your target audience, but it still sucks. I'm an extremely loyal person but I needed to remind myself to put my head down and stay in my own lane. If writing isn't fun for me, I'm not going to do it, and I needed to get back into the fun space. Touching the keypad again feels like silk and my spirit is much more peaceful.
3. My travel style is changing and I am okay with that.
I'm not sure if it's a travel blogger/ travel network thing, but sometimes I think we glamorize "roughing it". If I am spending X amount of dollars to travel to a place, I have every right to do it how I want to. There are so many posts that talk about being a "traveler" versus a "tourist" and it's like if you make an X on the wrong side, you're a bad person. Let me be very clear. Just because I choose to get a hotel instead of an AirBNB every now and then does not make me any less of a traveler because I will still be in them streets exploring. As silly as it sounds, I'm 28 now and now 22 and things that are important to me have shifted. I'm super particular about security as of lately and I have no shame calling an Uber every now in then instead of getting on the train. I still love my hostels and walking around simply getting lost, but I think I balance it out more and that's totally fine.
Where I've been during my writing hiatus.
Just because I stopped blogging doesn't mean the fun train stopped! I think my latter half of 2017 was ridiculous and it's nice to know that my January 2018 is much more chill. Some of the places I ventured off to include:
- San Juan, Puerto Rico (my heart is still hurting over this)
- Washington D.C. about 4-5 times
- Baltimore, M.D.
- Harlem & Bronx, NY
- My home state of New Jersey
- Denver, Colorado
- San Francisco, California
- Oakland, California
- London, England
- Vienna, Austria
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Paris, France
Do I have posts lined up for these visits? Of course I do! I've taken a great amount of photos and have been holding onto them until the blog was back before I shared them with you all. I had some pretty crazy and mostly good experiences and because I was on the go so much, it only affirmed that I needed to return to you all.
I sincerely hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2018. I am in such a better mental space this year than I was last year and I'm beyond grateful. I can't wait to chat with you all! Where have you been during the holiday season? Let's chat!