You, Too, Can Be A Nomadic Homebody!
A sexy Austrian man once compared my "untameable spirit" to that of a "wild mustang". Conversely, good friends know me as a "flake" and a "recluse".
I'm constantly facing this conundrum where I want to embrace my free spirit side and explore the world and be forever wild and, at the same time, I want to never leave the house and always wear fuzzy pyjamas and I hate being around people that aren't my mom, my boyfriend, or my dog.
It's a constant battle. And I have a feeling I'm not alone in it. How do we embrace the best of both worlds? How do we find our place in the world as wanderers, adventurers, and explorers when we also reeeeallly like being curled up on the couch?
Well! Let me count the ways!
It's four. Four ways.
1. Figure Yourself Out
It's an important step to figure out who you are. A daunting task, I know.
It doesn't have to be that complicated.
How are you a homebody? How are you an adventurer? I read this post, '8 Travel Tips For Homebodies' by Brenda at Bjutie, and while her tips are valuable, my homebody tendencies don't make travel stressful, and it's not about avoiding disaster. We are two very different kinds of traveling homebodies!
Figure out what you like about travel and what you like about being home. The first step in making the most of your adventurous homebody nature is to figure out what works for you.
For example, I don't like planning, which is part of why I like staying in. Just having plans makes me want to cancel them.
I may have quoted John Mulaney enough times by now, but here we go again.
"In terms of, like, instant relief, cancelling plans is like heroin"
and on the joy of doing nothing...
I love travel because I've never felt particularly attached to one place, because I love landscapes and wildlife and cultures, and because it helps me learn and grow and feel fulfilled.
I love being at home because it's where the people and animals I love are, it's where my bed and my amaaaaazing bedding are, it's where I know the water pressure is good, there's always a plethora of nice conditioners to use, I can do my laundry in a clean machine whenever I want, there's stable wi-fi, I know my way around town, I know my way around way beyond town, there's a Vitamix, there's a waffle maker, I know where everything is, my books are here, my pictures, all my fuzzy pjs, and the list goes on!
It took me figuring myself out and understanding my homebodiness to really enjoy traveling. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Let Your Freak Flag Fly
I've been called a homebody as a vaguely masked insult a few times now, and I could not possibly care any less. Being an introvert and a homebody is super cool, and so is knowing exactly what you like, love, and can't live without.
I love "home", whatever that means, and I love to travel. I also love fuzzy blankets, lip chap, and notebooks. There's nothing like an empty notebook, write?
I've been judged for liking expensive cheese and conditioner and having a curated skincare regimen.
It's important to never feel bad for what you like (unless it's something horrible, I think?). I love fancy meats and cheeses. I love staying in! I love re-reading Harry Potter every single year!
Stand up for your things. Good and bad. I will fight passionately for my right to a refrigerator full of varied cheeses, for the 20+ throw pillows on my bed, for staying in, and all the things that make me, happy me. Like binge-watching sitcoms for days at a time!
If you don't want to go out, if you're drained, if you just need to be alone, you don't owe anyone an explanation, but you do owe it to yourself to stand up for your things.
If you don't want to do something, you can say no. You don't have to like going out. You don't have to go to every single attraction. You can move at your own, leisurely, lazy pace.
In the immortal words of Amy Poehler:
'Make 'no' a complete sentence.'
There can be a lot of pressure to be out, to be doing everything possible all the time, and to be with people constantly when you're traveling .But, if you need to take a break from that stuff, or even avoid it entirely, I say do what works for you. Let your freaky flag lead you and never be afraid to say yes and/or no.
3. Find Your Travel Style
I'm not talking about khaki shorts and Tevas vs. couture bikinis and billowy gowns, here.
Fun fact: I was a tie-dye shirt and Tevas child. Can't forget about my Bubbles glasses, either!
Let's not get too far off track here. Trailer Park Boys has very little to do with....anything I'm trying to say here.
Before I figured out how I like to travel, I had a hard time really enjoying traveling. I was trying to fit in to a travel ideal that was not for me at all.
I do not like hostels. Hostels are the opposite of home (for me). I also do not like hitting every landmark or must-see spot that time can possibly allow. My Instagram pictures might not be as good for it, but I have spent my happiest travel moments off the tourist trail, lounging in coffee shops, on beaches, or strolling through local neighborhoods.
I like to be outside, I like off-the-beaten path places and grand landscapes, but not big hikes and heavy backpacks! A lot of people have judged me for that, but it's my travel style. What's yours?
4. Take A Piece Of Home With You
Maybe more than one piece. Bring what you need to bring to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
It may take up a lot of room in my suitcase, but I always, always, always travel with one of my fuzzy blankets. I also bring my good facewash and conditioner, and a picture of my mom as a kid. I'd bring the Vitamix and my dog everywhere if I could.
I did move to the mountains with my dog for a while...
Bringing something or some things that make you feel super comfortable at home in one way or another is a great way to make being away from home easier.
My mom moved to Cambridge, Ontario in, I think, 2010 or 2011. We had spent my entire childhood moving more times than years I am old - Wisconsin, Oregon, all over Canada. House to house to house just down the street to a farm in the ruralest of the rural in Northern Quebec.
We moved so much that it's actually one of my favorite things to do now! I always find it odd when people and movies call moving "uprooting" and bad for children.
I feel like moving so much made me more independent, resilient, and, regardless of my odds as massive introvert, better at making, choosing, and letting go of friends in the best possible way.
My home isn't Cambridge, but this is the first time a place has felt like home. I love the house, I love hopping in the car and driving around the area with no need for GPS.
I'm lucky to have a few places and people I can call my home base. My dad's in Wisconsin, my mom's wherever that happens to be, and now, traveling with Ricky (RICK) can help make anywhere feel like home!
However you choose to travel, stay in, or both, these tips help me feel at home and grounded on the road, and I hope they help you, too! Let us know in the comments how you embrace your homebody tendencies in your travels.
As always, thanks for reading, and don't forget to follow the sloth!
On the blog and in life! #deep