The six month mark has passed, and I’m still away from home. The bizarre part is, I don’t quite remember what home feels like or worse, what is home for me. If you have kids, your home is where they live. If you share your home with your partner, that’s your home. Hell, if you’re paying rent or are somewhere on a lease, I suppose that’s a home too. But when you’re single, no kids, and no physical location to call your own…where is home?
The easy path was supposed to be that I request a six month sabbatical from work, I get it, and I would have a precise date to return from my trip to—what I’ve been calling for the past six months—real life. That didn’t go as planned and instead I resigned. Mentally, I slowly lost grip of that six months target. Then, a question arose: why does it have to be six months?
It seems to me that there’s a common limit at the four month mark. I would say the vast majority of people I’ve met on this trip that were also traveling, stop between one to four months. There’s few that go for six to eight months and even less for a year or more. To travel for long periods of time is not for many. And not just because of the financial logistics—though it is for some—but many are genuinely happy to return home after a short time away, no matter how amazing the locations.
I’ve written in previous blog posts how I’ve lost the euphoria of traveling to exotic locations. My mind still tries its hardest to tell me how amazing it is what I’m doing, but it can’t quite feel that way anymore. It’s gotten to the point where I binge-watched Dark Tourist on Netflix for ideas of something more exciting than what I’ve been doing 🙂 Didn’t really find anything there. So, not knowing what to really expect, I found a cheap flight to New York and decided to try that.
While there, some friends made an effort to see me, some didn’t. I’d like to blame FaceBook and cite that people don’t use it and therefore didn’t know I was in NY. I didn’t expect people to just drop their lives to have a meal or a drink with me…or maybe I did. My time in NY served as a reminder to the power that time has to erase things that once were. Nevertheless, many did put an effort, and I was very happy about that. I even saw a friend I hadn’t seen in over a decade. Maybe time is only as powerful as one lets it be.
Still, New York remains the place for me to go if and when I decide to work again. So what will I do for now?
I have visited fifty countries so far and over 130 cities. I still have around 8 countries at the top of my bucket list so I’ll at least try for those. And if I want to keep going, maybe I’ll go for one hundred. But I don’t think that will happen.
Traveling alone has lost a lot of its allure for me. And being in NY didn’t quite make me want to have a job again. So it seems I have a little conundrum to solve.