For those that are actually keeping track—mom—I didn’t do a seventh-month recap. Mainly, nothing has really changed from the month before. I was traveling: I went to New York, France, Spain, and then back to Moldova and Hungary. But this time, I was mostly with friends, family, and loved ones. The places I went to were chosen because of the company I would have rather than the touristic aspect of the destination. It was great to reconnect with familiar faces that I had not seen in a while.
Then, I went solo to Russia and Italy. These two bucket list items managed to get me excited again for traveling: great food and beautiful, iconic sights. Along the way I’ve met new friends; some I may see again, some I won’t.
I think my way of travel has evolved since I first started. It’s more calm and serene now. It does not mean I don’t get excited; I think I’m just more methodical about what I do—more mature, dare I say. It’s as if I’ve finally fallen into a nice pocket that I feel comfortable with. This of course means I am as conflicted as ever in deciding if I should return to a normal life.
Deliberately ignoring the logistics of money, the fundamental question is whether a life where you’re constantly in geographic motion is preferred over one where you have a place to call home. On one hand, constant travel is a wonderful experience where the surprises just keep coming, learning about new cultures, people, food, history, and great doses of reality that shatter preconceived stereotypes. Everything is always changing, and everything is always new. However, this way of life is void of meaningful relationships. I have made great new relationships on my travels, and I keep in touch with those people. But having a conversation via messages is utter shit compared to sharing a drink, a meal, and—damn it—a hug. Anyway, on the other hand, staying in a single place can still offer changes like food and people, but these changes are not as constant or varied. Routine will set in, no matter how much you fight it. That is not to say a routine disappears when you’re traveling—it doesn’t. The routines when traveling are simply more abstract. For example, if you always have coffee in the morning, that’s a routine. At home chances are you always have your coffee from the same place. While traveling, you’re always changing where you get that coffee from, but you’d still have the same morning routine.
I was afraid to let go of my safety and routine back in March 19. It was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. I’ve done what society almost uniformly expects us to do. I don’t say that in a negative sense, I think we do gravitate towards that. We crave human connections and ritual. However, I’ve also been traveling for 8 months, and I know what that’s like. Now that I’ve played with both lifestyles, I honestly don’t know what’s better. I see beautiful things in both choices. It seems, in some twisted way, that I’m back where I started. I am afraid to let go of what I know.