Being Home Is Awesome, But Not Travelling Is Hard
March is coming to and end, which means we've been home for a whole month!
While I love the world and travelling and cultures and food and nature and all that fun stuff that comes with it, I haven't spent a substantial amount of time at home in two years. And it feels fantastic.
If you're a "traveller", whatever that means to you, that probably means that there are certain struggles that come with being in one place for an extended period of time.
Spending some time at home can be wonderfully refreshing and recharging. It's been a long time since I had more clothes than I knew what to do with (ok, I'm lying, I acquired way too many clothes in Costa Rica. More on that later). It's been a long time since I practiced yoga every single day. And it's been a long time since I could find, make, or get my mom to make any food my little heart desires.
At the same time, not travelling is hard (especially when you're operating a travel blog!). It's hard not to get stir crazy, hard not to feel like you're not doing anything, and it's hard when it seems like everyone else is travelling! It really does seem like everyone else is travelling. Why is that?
So, the questions are...
1. How do you stay sane in travel down-time?
2. How do you make the most of every moment at home before you leave again? And,
3. Isn't my dog the cutest?
His best friend is a cat!
I don't have all the answers. The only thing I know for sure is that yes, my dog is indeed the cutest.
Aside from that, I do have some experience staying sane in travel down time and making the most of being at home. Being at home is kind of my specialty. It's an art form. A way of life.
I even wrote a post about how to travel if you're a big giant homebody like me! Travel for Homebodies. It might seem counterintuitive to have a post about travel for homebodies AND a post about home for travel bodies, but you'd be surprised at how many people struggle with balancing the two (myself included).
So, let's answer those remaining two questions, shall we?
Making The Most Of Travel Down-Time
Some self-help books may disagree with me here, but, for me, two of the several keys to life are:
1. Not giving a shit what anyone thinks or does or says (except for Amy Poehler and other eternally wise comedians - take in every word like it's lava cake).
2. Appreciating everything (I love my mom's mac and cheese just as much as I love Paris at night and more than I love...I don't know...meeting new people, for example).
Keeping these two things in mind can help me a lot when I'm travelling, not travelling, having fun, feeling bored, or asking myself if my Instagram feed is cohesive enough.
It can be hard to "live by" anything. I certainly find myself caring what people say sometimes. A good friend doesn't approve of my relationship, and that sucks. What did that girl mean when she asked me why my head is weird? How dare that guy compare me to a cinnamon roll!
So, instead of strictly "living by" these things, just keep them in mind. With them in mind, here's how to enjoy and make the most of every moment you're home when you're never home.
Step One: Be a tourist!
I think we often under-appreciate where we come from. We know it so well that we're acutely aware of its flaws. If it's a small town, maybe there's nothing to do. If it's a city, maybe there's garbage everywhere. If it's an old house, maybe the faucets do that thing where the water is brownish at first.
In high school, I lived in a tiny, rural Southern Ontario town called Durham. It sucked. However, I would go back now and take pictures of the dam and the falls, visit the park where I would skip school and have all day book-reading picnics (sorry, mom), and eat all the Godfather's Pizza!
Step Two: Don't worry about other people.
This one speaks for itself.
Yes, other people have it all going on on Instagram. Other people have more money. Other people have successful blogs, better jobs, better mac and cheese recipes (phh).
If you just focus on your own thing, whatever you're doing, you'll feel better. Even if whatever you're doing is nothing at all! Cue stupid, sexy Flanders.
Step Three: Be lazy, be comfy, stay in your pjs for at least one 24 hour period.
If you're really into travel, home might not be where the heart is, but it is where you can hang out in your underwear and binge watch entire television seasons with zero guilt.
I'm all for exploring where you live, and we're doing plenty of that, and we'll write about it, too! But, being home for a month is, for me, just the right amount of time to barely leave the house, to get really, really comfortable, and to revel in the joy that is "my room" (I still live in my mom's basement! More on that later).
When you're home, appreciate all the benefits that home has to offer that you can't necessarily get when you're on the road. That includes doing nothing and being lazy, and isn't that kind of awesome?
Step Four: Get inspired, recharged, and excited for whatever's next.
All the introverts in the house will understand what I mean when I say "recharged" (I don't know about those weird extrovert things - just kidding, we all know and love an extrovert). Travel can be exhausting because you're always doing something, always dressed and ready, and always around people.
After being away pretty consistently over the last two years, the best way to get excited to get back out there was to come back home (and I mean that in the best possible way, mom, this is my favourite place).
We're preparing for a long-term work-away trip; A whole summer sailing on a tall ship in Lake Michigan (the Wisconsin part of Lake Michigan)(how am I going to come up with enough stuff to write about while we're doing the same thing for six months?).
After that? I'm hoping Greenland! After that? Somewhere warm! After that? I'd love to come back home.
Step Five: Take stock of all the awesome things about being home.
Like I said before, appreciate everything (not things like being spit on by a crazy man at the ATM, of course. Appreciate everything within reason).
Appreciate all the small stuff like your mom's cooking, the easily accessible and free laundry facilities, the luxurious toilet paper, but remember the big stuff, too!
Now that I'm home I can (theoretically) save money (ha! ha!), keep my head down and work really hard, and make big picture plans for the future that are hard to do when you're (or maybe it's just me) on the road.
"In conclusion" is how I used to begin the end of all my papers in high school, and I never really figured out a better way.
In conclusion, learn how to not give a feck and try hard to appreciate everything (within reason) and you should have an easier time of staying sane in travel down time and making the most of being at home.
As always, thanks for reading, and don't forget to follow the sloth!