In today’s society we’re taught that travel is one of the ultimate goals, and that in order to continue reaching that goal we must travel as much as possible for as long as possible and put it all on Instagram (but only if the pictures are beautiful enough and will make your friends jealous that you’re living your best life).
I’m going to call out this goal and say that it’s bullshit and say that it is time that we stop constantly wanting more, always. This could easily refer to many things in life…money, relationships…I could go on but for the purpose of this article please know that I’m referring to travel.
Who started saying that a weekend getaway was too short, that travelling a country for a week wasn’t enough, that taking a year trip should encourage you to want to make a business of travel and then continuing doing it for years non-stop?
Am I exaggerating? Some of you may say yes but really, I don’t think I am. Why? Because I used to be one of these people that thought this and quite honestly, still am.
I see it a little differently now because I’m a travel blogger. I’m constantly pushing myself, reminding myself that travel bloggers travel the world forever, they go everywhere and they do it all easily.
Thank god that people and social media are now showing that travel is not easy (cuz it is definitely not).
My question is, why did I suddenly feel like I needed to travel the globe constantly, with no breaks. Why do I feel like I need to see as much as possible, as soon as possible?
I’m positive I’m not alone in this.
What if you’re not a travel blogger?
Well, this relates to you too. Do you feel like you need to go on more vacations, travel to more exotic places or that the backpacking trip you just did around Europe wasn’t enough?
Whether you’re doing it professional or leisurely, we can’t deny that there is this immense pressure to do more, see more, travel more.
Yes, travel is great. It’s fabulous, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s new. But it’s also exhausting from constant stimulation, it can be overwhelming and it’s also not sustainable (by this I mean fast-paced moving ever 2-4 days pace of travel).
Travel, like all things in life has pros and cons. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’m not writing this piece to focus on that.
My point is that when did travel become so over fantasized that we forgot about how great home is? When did leaving everything we love and running away become the ultimate goal? When did travel become one of the few ways to be the coolest friend, the best millennial, the total badass?
I’ll be honest. For most of my trips I was beyond excited to go home. I was ready to go home. But then I would get home I would somehow convince myself that I needed to feel sorry for myself because I was no longer travelling.
Excuse me, but what?
I felt sorry for myself? Sorry that I just spent 2 months travelling around Europe on a tour with awesome people, 4 months hopping around Southeast Asia discovering new cultures, 5 months living/travelling around Australia or 4 months living/travelling around Indonesia (3 of those on the fabulous island of Bali)?
I partly blame society for telling me that I needed to travel more and that coming home was like coming down from a high. I partly blame myself for believing that shit and not listening to what I really felt.
Home is fucking awesome. Home is comfortable, home is cozy, home is familiar, home is a part of you. And home can be new. When you come back from a trip you suddenly see things at home in a new light as quite often, you are changed. Perhaps things are the same but you’re looking at them differently.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to return home. There’s nothing wrong with loving home. There’s nothing wrong with staying home for extended periods of time.
These are all things I had to convince myself of, over time, trip after trip. I’m so happy to have discovered how much I love home. When I come home I can focus more on building my blog and business which I love doing. I can do it in my favourite chair at a big white desk in my favourite room as the light shines in.
I can bake my favourite cookies and share them with my dad. I can have conversations with my mom in person and without checkingthe time first to see what the time difference is and if she’s even awake.
I can sleep in my own bed. Oh. my. god. My bed. It’s the best thing ever. It’s fluffy, with a ridiculous amount of pillows, a double so I can starfish and so soft. If you can’t tell, I love my bed.
Coming home should not be seen as stepping backward. It should not be seen as a bad thing. Coming home can mean you’re making a smart decision financially to save while home, it can mean that you’re making a choice for your mental health, perhaps you need a break from the constant stimulation on the road, it can mean that you just miss home and crave your comforts. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you want any of these things or need any.
This article is not to hate on the people who have been on the road for months and months or even years. It’s not to hate on people who come home from one trip and start planning their next (that is me).
I’m simply just trying to share that coming home doesn’t have to be bad. Even if you see it as a bad thing, why do you see it as bad?
Embrace the familiar, love your favourite things, be comfortable.
Home is a fabulous place and travel will make you appreciate it so much more. Even if you don’t think home is a good place I think you’d have a hard time telling someone that there’s nothing good about home.
I’m from Ottawa, Canada and I used to think coming home was awful because Ottawa is boring, dull and a government city. What to do I think of Ottawa now? Sure, it still kinda is those things but it’s also pretty awesome. There are also a ton of things to do in Ottawa that I just chose to ignore. But if I was looking at Ottawa like a traveller I would have seen those things in an instant and have been excited to do them.
Home can be seen different ways too. It can be your country, city, town, or your house. It can be around friends from childhood, anyone in your family or even pets.
Travel can open our eyes in so many ways but it can also help us ignore some things. I encourage you to not ignore the fact that home can be wonderful. So stop treating it like it’s bad to come home.
If you want to come home, enjoy it. If you’d rather be on the road but had to come home for some reason or another, try and see the good that comes from being home. It could be the food, the people, the place, the comfort.
Home is not a word or a place we should fear. It has taken me years to admit to myself that home is so good and exactly what I need at certain points. It’s why I now schedule home into my travel and dive headfirst into the things I love as soon as I get home.
Telling people how long you’ve been away from home is not a competition. To be honest, some people just don’t give a shit that you’ve been away from home for so long. Some people will think you’re crazy. What are you trying to prove?
If you’re thinking about the number of days, months or years you’ve been away, focusing on the number more instead of what you’ve learned, who you met and where you’ve been then perhaps you’re travelling for the wrong reason.
Count all you want, I’m not judging you for it, counting can show experience so I’m not against it. But don’t treat it like being away from home is a competition. We have too many competitions in life already and I’m ready to step out of this one. I’m choosing to focus on what makes me happy.
And right now, that’s being home and embracing my creature comforts. Even if comfort doesn’t propel us to move forward, it feels so good to hold on to every so often.