Something flipped my switch, making me think about trust this morning. Trust and asking for help. I don’t really do these things well.
In my full-nomad life of globetrotting to come, I suspect the lessons I’ll learn fastest, hardest, most often will do with trusting others and asking for help from folks who’ve got nothing to gain from helping me.
I could tell you I’m travelling the world alone, and sort of I am, but really, I’m not. Every trip will mean me relying on the kindness of others, and trusting that everything will work out so I get where I need to be when I need to be there.
People after people after people. Flashes of life before my eyes, and then they’ll be gone again, all playing a small, fleeting moment of importance in my journey.
It’s All in the Fix
There are no rules, really, to travelling the world. Most people I know who have travelled long-term did it on savings and didn’t have to work, so hostels were a great way to keep costs down.
Not an option for me. I’ll have to work 30 hours a week, perhaps more if I’m writing well and often. At the very minimum, I’ll need a private room. I also want to do a lot of cooking when I live in towns with famous markets.
For the cooking and the penchant for panstlessness, it’s in my nature to want to have apartments entirely to myself when I travel. Still, I’ve recently made a choice that at least ⅓ to ½ the time, I will stay with hosted AirBNB places.
Bonus points if it’s run by:
- A Granny
- A savvy middle-aged artsy woman who makes bold life decisions
- Foodies who offer opt-in meals that are traditional and regional
Options include lovely families on farms, an avant garde female journalist in Morocco, a Frenchman who enjoys cooking at a professional level, and so many other stories and biographies of people I can stay with.
The Gift of Limitations
It’s easy to think that having to travel on a budget is a “downside,” but I think it’s a gift.
One of my “limitations” in my travel plan is the goal of spending under $750/month in lodging fees. That excludes a lot of cities unless I want to splurge for a week and follow it up with a budget stay. It also dictates when I can visit popular places (since winter months are cheaper), and it will make me have to make difficult or creative travel choices for a while.
It’d be easier to achieve that budget in South America, but I just want to see Europe in-depth so badly. There are a lot of travel-free years I have to atone for. Plus, I want to eat all the foods and drink all the wines. They encourage drinking at lunch, people. AT LUNCH. And naps!
Why wouldn’t I want to start travelling there?
Lost in Translation
As time passes, I start realizing what it’ll be like with people who often don’t speak English or who do it badly. This will further hone my ability to trust because I won’t understand them very well either and we’re apt to have mixed messages.
Then there’s travel’s unpredictability. One of my neuroses is how it sends me for a tizzy when things don’t work out PRECISELY as I plan. This is exactly what’s going to test me the most. At least I can take solace in that I usually roll really well with adversity and changes in the plan — after an initial freak-out phase, before I take a few breaths and sort that shit out. I suspect travelling will streamline how quickly I transition from freak-out to sort-out in the future, though, and for the better.
Waiting On My Soul to Change
It will all be worth it, though. The biggest classroom, the best lessons, the longest learning experience of my life. They will all be worth it.
I’m excited to see how living-on-the-road travel changes me, how being immersed in other cultures and values reminds me of what’s important in life.
I’m even excited to have WiFi and data plans become problematic, because I’m looking forward to life where I’m engaged and observant all the time, not distracted and staring into my phone.
I’ll also appreciate food a lot more when I seldom have a kitchen I can just walk into and cook in, or when I’m constantly ordering meals in different languages only to find out after the fact that it’s something I abhor. “Oh, look. It’s tripe stew.”
Daydreaming Through Dreariness
My adversities of my 30s really taught me a lot about what the “big things” in life are, and how stupid so much of what we worry about is. I expect for these lessons to be amplified when I’m on the road. All the things I can’t change. All the things out of my power. All the things that can be improvised.
All the things.
It’s increasingly hard for me to live in the present, but I think that’s less about my wanting to get out on the road and more about the fact that January just kind of sucks. Got the no-good winter blues, baby.
When spring comes here in Victoria, it’s a magical time, and it’ll be easier being in the moment and remembering that all I need is a good coffee, a seaside seat, and the time to enjoy it. While I can, here.
A friend just asked me this morning if I would move back to Victoria when these travels are all said and done.
Gotta tell ya, the more I look at the rest of the world, the more that answer’s likely to be no. It takes so much to have the money to live the “good” life here. The swish-swish-zoom-zoom of traffic isn’t really my idea of bliss anyhow. I think a more remote life awaits me in the next chapter after travelling. It’s just a matter of where in the world it’ll be.
The funny thing is, I trust that I’ll find a place that completes me and makes me feel like I have everything I want. I know it’s out there. I know it. People will tell you they travel because they’re looking to find something, learn something. I’m sort of travelling to find my tribe, my place in the world, my passion for people. If there’s anything I trust already, it’s my ability to find that.
That’s a good start.