I was beginning to give up as a travel blogger.
Two and a half weeks into the biggest trip of my life, and I decided maybe it was time to give up.
That is typically how I do things.
As soon as I am really close to something. As soon as I feel like it could be real. As soon as I accomplish something in even the slightest way, I decide to give up. I have been doing this my entire life.
Allow me to share a couple examples.
When I was probably four, I remember one day being so angry at my dad that I told him to leave the house. And he did. He got in his car and drove away. Obviously he came right back. But the second he was gone, the second I had gotten what I wanted, I didn’t want it anymore.
When I went to middle school dances, I was the girl who looked at the boy I wanted to dance with from across the room, and as soon as he came my way I would run away and hide.
When I was applying for colleges, the choice came down to a “cheaper” local school or a (very small) scholarship to play soccer. I had always thought the idea of playing a college sport would be cool, but as soon as the offer was there, as soon as I started to accept that maybe I was actually good enough, I bailed.
In college, I decided to challenge myself. I did not think I was a science person. I had always loved writing. But I decided to go out on a limb and declare one of the most science-based majors–nutrition. After graduating, I decided “nutrition wasn’t my thing” and I did not want to do anything with that degree. I didn’t think I would be good at it.
After graduating college I moved into an apartment in Dover, NH. This was a really tough time for me. I clearly had no idea what to do with my life. But still, I applied to a million jobs. And I got offered quite a few. I turned them all down. As soon as I knew I could get a million different jobs, that was enough for me to know none of them were what I wanted to be doing.`
I have always loved blogging. My first blog, Find Joy in Food started as a food blog (incase you couldn’t guess). I moved back home for a few months, got super into cooking vegan foods. Cooking and blogging was something I really enjoyed. I was bartending during this time, and met a girl whose aunt hooked me up with an opportunity to do some blogging for Men’s Health Magazine. That was super exciting. I got in touch with the editor and gave him some ideas. He liked them, but I never came through. The second the opportunity seemed attainable, I chickened out.
And then I quit my job, bought a car and drove to Colorado to live solo in an unfamiliar place I had never been to. This was one of the first times in my life where I felt like I was doing the right thing. AKA this was the first time I seriously realized I was running.
Nine months after living in Breckenridge, I think it was a Tuesday, I walked away from my job that day to hop in an RV with a boy from New Zealand I had met two days earlier. The job was becoming too familiar, the RV was an unknown. I left the familiar behind, eventually coming back to Breckenridge with no job.
A couple months later, I left that job to explore Jamaica and the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Both new territory.
Once again coming back to Colorado, jobless, I eventually settled into a job I loved and stuck that out for a year. That was until one day I woke up and realized how much I loved this place I had called home for two years. Just knowing that I loved where I was, meant it was time to leave. I quit my job the next day and two weeks later I was on a solo road trip around the country to see the rest of the 50 US states.
This was the first personal goal I remember being seriously proud of accomplishing.
But still I had made this goal so that I could abandon a place of familiarity.
A couple months before that, I decided to break up with my boyfriend. Just your normal spring day, we were on a hike and life felt too normal, so I decided due to normalcy (and other things) that this relationship would be no more. In retrospect it was just not healthy.
Once I was back in New Hampshire I took a course on freelance writing. I made it halfway through until I realized this was something I could definitely do if I put my mind to it. But writing for somebody else made me lose focus. Freelance writing took away the pureness that I felt with writing. And I put a hold on that.
I got into photography in the fall. I decided I could be pretty good at it. And then people started to contact me about photoshoots. As soon as it started to feel real, and it felt like something I could seriously do, I slowed down the focus on that as well.
Now, here I am in Indonesia. I hopped on a one-way ticket from Boston, and here I am. I am alone in a new place with absolutely nothing but time and room for exploration. This is what I have wanted for so freaking long. And I cannot seem to focus on what it is I want to accomplish.
I think if I give up on this one, I won’t know who I am at all.
But also, if I abandon this journey, at least, if I don’t accomplish what it is I had always dreamed I would be doing while traveling, if I bail on making this “travel blog” something bigger than it already is, that is okay.
I have been starting projects and chasing unknown dreams in ambivalent directions for as long as I can remember. And it is finally starting to make a tiny bit of sense to me.
I have never been one to settle into something just to settle into something. From cheating on boyfriends, to quitting jobs, to saying yes to opportunities and then completely changing direction and not completing them. I have been that way for a reason. I have made these choices in the past because I have not been passionate enough about anything to really make it count.
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am working on something really great and inspiring, even if I don’t know exactly what it is yet.
I think it is extremely important to reflect on your life, because you never know what lessons you’ve missed out on until you look back. You are your own teacher and until you let yourself see that you may not know what you want out of life.
I still don’t know everything about my life. I never will. But what I do know, is that this blog means the world to me. I forget that sometimes. Thank you to a new friend I met yesterday at a small cafe in Bali for reminding me that Beyond My Home is what makes me who I am, and even if that is just for this part of my life, I am not ready to let go of this dream.