What If I Broke Up With Travel?
Here’s what happened. It was about three months prior to finishing up an intense seventeen month travel stint - I started daydreaming of Central Park, the Chit Chat diner in my Jersey town, driving to Target, sitting in my parents’ basement just to watch hours worth of Bosch or The Amazing Race. I missed familiarity.
I’d been chasing summer around the world. My skin morphed into a deep, consistent chestnut. I never wore closed toe shoes, definitely not socks. My hair was always in a bun and all I wanted was a damn cool breeze. My fingers and toes were always swollen from the heat and lord knows I always had a bit of heat rash somewhere on my face — the most annoying. My weight was fluctuating too much and let’s be real, I wasn’t trying to work out. I used to be able to put my hands all the way to the floor with some slack to them, now I can’t even consider bending forward. I missed consistency.
So, I saw what my subconscious was throwing on the table and I wanted no part of it. I’m adventuresofV for Gods sake! I’m Viki and I adventure, hello, that’s the point. A brand was created, lightly, and who would I become if my brand changed. If my identity, changed? Do I become Victoria? What would that even mean? Would I have to explain myself? Does anyone but me even care?
The people around me (Remote Year Earhart) understood, pondered, and got back to me. We were all (35+ of us) transforming into new identities, honing existing ones, or navigating that conspicuous in between. Everyone was talking flippantly about their continued travels, their uncertainty of where they’d end up three four six months from the elusive NOW. Juxtaposed, I was thinking, I want to go home. Home to, NYC in particular. The exact same home I’ve been actually sprinting from for the past decade. Wut?
Then, I took copious time to be with myself. I had to figure what was happening here … is this what homesickness feels like? Nah, it felt like an intangible rope lassoed around my waist and was slowly but certainly pulling me to its Brooklyn origin. I was having almost visceral, desirous reactions to the thought of living that Sex & the City life that I had and took for granted.
My body was falling apart. Yes, this sounds dramatic as I’m twenty eight, but forreal, between herniated neck disks, constant GI trouble, lower back sciatic pain, stage two PCL tear, and general inflexibility; I was feeling ancient. Always pounding the pavement in light sandals, randomly hiking (lol), eating inconsistently, allergen changes, pillow&mattress changes, it was too much. I had visions of a yoga instructor in a studio that was dedicated to me, using my NutriBullet to make smoothies daily, meal prepping, going to Brooklyn Boulders for fun, having dinner with my family weekly, seeing a physical therapist (the same one) regularly. Like, I wanted a home, or something. Right? That’s what was happening, my soul was seeking solace. Respite. A breakfast coffee at the same table every morning.
I was tired. Mentally, definitely physically, emotionally, romantically, and spiritually. Actually, I felt spiritually behind. I moved several steps or even meters, backward. What if I tried to get a (gasp) non-remote, full time but progressive job in the boroughs of New York? What if I sat down in one apartment for the next, two three years? What if I broke up with travel?
I spoke to my life coach (the best, hmu for details) and she helped me realized some imperatives:
- Flex scheduling rather than remote necessity
- Not bringing work home
- Going on vacations without the need of my laptop
- Longevity in a position, staying put
- Ample alone time
- Being able to put my health first
- Having a consistent boo
My resistance gradually evolved into excitement. Still Viki, just refined and finessed. Running to something is mightily nicer than running away, shoot. The only constant in life is change right? Well, and taxes and death but whatever.
Oh, and we didn’t break up fully. It’s more like a hiatus sort of relationship, open, if you will. In confusion I booked a trip to the UK for a month… wut? Change is hard, what can I say?
But, what am I if not dichotomous? So, I also have an apartment in Brooklyn awaiting my return with job in hand. I thought I’d give the universe a clear sign that I’m serious and an apartment seems like the ticket.