1 Jun, 2019
Two years have gone by since I arrived home from a 27-month round-the-world trip. I have left the US only once since although I have been traveling domestically quite a bit. My arbitrary deadline to start traveling again by 31 May has just passed. I’m feeling uncertain and nervous about my decision now, mostly because I have no plans and I have no idea what comes next. It’s like I set this goal so long ago and now I can’t remember why. I think I’ve been HERE too long because for some reason having a plan seems paramount when I know OUT THERE a plan means nothing.
I feel comfortable HERE now, maybe a little too much like a comfort zone. I’m unsure if I still need to be OUT THERE anymore, but that’s also why I think I need to go. A comfort zone makes me feel like a zombie and becoming a zombie is scarier than actually leaving.
I’ve sold my condo in Chicago, the same one I’ve lived in since 2003. So many memories just signed away with the stroke of a pen. All of my belongings have been sold or donated. I resigned from my job for the second time and now I’m living out of a backpack again, staying in a friends’ spare bedroom until my last day of work. I’m homeless again, yet it doesn’t feel as liberating as it did before. It feels more permanent knowing that everything is actually gone instead of just in storage somewhere.
Everyone asks what’s next, but the truth is I just don’t know. I already miss my friends. I already miss Chicago. I wish I could just be satisfied with a stationary life.
The thing is, though, I feel alive when I’m moving. Meeting new people, tasting new foods, learning about new cultures and languages, defying death on local buses, and challenging myself physically – these are my vices. It’s not about running away. It’s about running toward something and it’s ok if I don’t know what that is yet. Part of the fun is discovering it.
So it’s happening…I’m leaving…again. And I’m terrified, questioning if this is the right decision. But I guess what I’ve learned, if nothing else, is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer and no right or wrong decision. We only have one life and this is mine, living it the best way I know how.
Some photos of where I’ve been this year: