Reflecting on life at the moment

We are in a state of transition, and I can feel it in so many ways. By reflecting on it, being honest with myself, and just being in the moment it’s rather interesting to watch it unfold. I’m most curious to see what develops really.

Reflecting on life

In just over a month, Tigger will become an official teenager. It’s been mostly fun watching him make the transition from child to adolescent. I’m not as fond of the voracious appetite he gets right before a growth spurt, though. Especially when we’re in countries where the cost of food is higher. At least his body shape makes it easy on clothes shopping.

Pondering the change from nomad to expat is quite a complicated one, especially since we’re mostly at different ends of the spectrum about it. While I’m happy to slow things down, the idea of being “stuck” in an area is something that has several internal responses. Tigger is much more ready to just plop down and base it somewhere.

Of course, we’re never really stuck. We can up and go pretty much whenever we want, but part of staying in an area longer often involves having to sign a lease which is more of a commitment than part of me is ready for. I much prefer being able to just finish out our month or week somewhere and be on the move again if we desire.

Reflecting on life

I’m also experiencing one of the downsides of long-term travel. As you spend time in so many places and countries, bits of your heart get left behind in so many different areas. I find myself feeling a lot more nostalgia these days, especially for Romania and for Washington state in the US.

I’ve especially had a lot of heart string pulling for Washington, the place I call home in the US. There are some parts of the US culture that absolutely drive me crazy, but there are other things I do enjoy. I’ve missed Washington on and off since I left there over a decade ago.

That homesickness was even worse while in New Zealand and the UK which had very similar weather patterns, and NZ’s coastline in the suburb where we were housesitting was so reminiscent of “back home.”

I also can’t discount that a certain element of traveler fatigue is affecting me, especially considering that in the past six months we’ve visited 10 different countries, and a couple of those were repeat visits. That’s a LOT of moving around and much faster than we generally like to go.

Part of me relishes the idea of being somewhere that doesn’t require a visa renewal or a special permit to be able to work. While I’m not really interested in doing the typical 9-5 again, I really wouldn’t mind having a part-time job where I could interact with more people.

I love having plenty of time to write, but I need to interact with more people. I can do that with a volunteer situation here in Mexico, but if I’m going to take time away from writing I want to be earning some money with whatever I’m doing as well.

Reflecting on life

The pull for Washington state has been rather strong the last couple of months, and it’s intensified since we returned to Mexico. I considered possibly making a trip up there at the end of this year since we’ll have to leave the country to renew our visa anyway.

Interestingly enough, just as I was thinking about how much I’d like to return to Washington a house sit popped up in an one of my favorite areas. Some wonderful movement from the Universe I’d say.

I don’t know if I’m ready for longer-term life in the US, so it will be interesting to see how our time goes there. As always, I’m curious just where we’ll end up calling “home for now” as our long-term base. In some ways it will be rather nice to not have to keep an eye on the calendar to make sure we’re leaving the country before our visa expires and be surrounded by things that are more familiar.

In other ways, not so much.

We shall see. I’ll keep reflecting and being honest with myself, and of course Tigger’s input has a lot of weight in deciding where we end up. He’s completely ruled out Asia, and even though I do like it there, I don’t see myself living there long term either. But whenever we are together, we’re at home, and that’s pretty precious.

How do you handle feeling homesick for places you love?

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28 Comments

  1. Maybe a house sit in WA is what you need to decide whether you want to be there long term. I thought I wanted to be back home and after 16 months we left again.

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    • It’s definitely a mixed bag. I love Washington, and in some ways being back in the US would be very nice. However, compared against the other things, I’m honestly sure how much of US life I can handle anymore. It will be interesting to see.

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  2. I definitely understand about the downside of long term travel and leaving bits of your heart all over the place. I yearn for Vancouver and the British Columbia Coast as well as New Zealand (my home country) and London (where I lived for 6 years) – it is hard to be away from them but then I love my life in Sydney too. It’s complicated for sure!

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  3. I love the way that housesit popped up. It does sound as if the Universe is listening to you. Even, end of the stay, if it is to prove you wrong! I just spent two days looking for an apartment, I was hoping for a 3 month minimum, but it’s the wrong time of year, so I had to commit for 10. I feel as if I am copping out in a way, because I am back where I began 10 months ago on this last trip, and in a town to which I’ve gravitated back a couple of times in the past too, which should perhaps tell me something. As you say it’s interesting to observe my emotions and reactions, and perhaps only time will tell.

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    • There’s nothing to prove either way. I’ve been missing Washington badly, and now we can go and stay for a bit. Works for me!

      I don’t think it’s copping out to go with your feelings and instincts. If you keep being drawn to the place, I’m sure there’s a reason. Enjoy the ride! 😉

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  4. I’ve been there. I think if you can find a way to build a base — which may also even entail Tigger making choices around school – but continue to travel for work, it takes a lot of the pressure off.

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    • I definitely think we’ll feel more settled once we aren’t moving around every week. Even though it’s all within the same city, you just can’t feel settled when you’re bouncing around like this!

      Tigger has ZERO desire to go to school, so that one is easy.

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  5. Maybe coming across the house sitting opportunity when Washington has been so much on your mind is a sign to spend some time there. I hope it works out well for you and your son and you enjoy Washington until it is time to hit the road again.

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    • Thanks, Donna. I definitely believe it’s meant to be, even if it is in winter which means plenty of wet weather. Good thing I don’t mind that sort of thing. LOL

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  6. I could never travel so much and I love my travel! I have to have a home base (even if it’s now in weirdo Florida) to come back and recharge. I find it takes a lot of effort to maintain friendships with even the amount of travel I do (maybe 5 or 6 fairly major trips a year) but you must have come up with ways to make friends quickly or are good at staying in touch. I love Washington state so some time there sounds quite appealing to me! For me the hard thing (especially with the move I made to Florida last September) is realizing that it takes time to make up your mind about a new place. There’s saying that you can’t make new old friends and that always crops up in my mind.

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    • There are definitely some places that require more time before you like them. Bangkok was like that for me. I tried living in Florida, and while it’s a beautiful state. . . not a good fit for me.

      Having a home to come back to sure can be nice. We experienced that while in Romania. We did some traveling around the country, and it was so nice to have a home to come back to. I remember being on the train and getting excited every time we saw “our mountain” come into view.

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  7. You really have the best of both worlds and traveled to all of them. I love my home base and I’m so impressed that you have accomplished what many of us only get to read about in your great stories.

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  8. I think that reflection is one of travels biggest gifts since you’re always faced with new situations and choices, moving forward or backward or just trying to figure out what you might or might not like next or later or soon… How great to recognize that you need to kick back a bit and each think about what you want and how fabulous to have the options to make the choices!

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    • I love the true freedom that comes with this lifestyle. It is incredibly wonderful to be able to do just that!

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  9. It seems as if it would be an interesting transition to come full circle and find yourselves (you) back where you started. And even more interesting to see how your perspective of life in the U.S. has changed (if at all) now that you’ve lived the nomadic lifestyle. And, while I’m thinking about it, how will you feel 6 months from now when it’s time to leave Mexico bound for the U.S. Ha! So much to think about and it’s not even my life! 😉

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    • Well, technically we’ve come full circle already by coming back to Mexico where our journey began. 😉 I won’t lie and say I don’t have misgivings and concerns about returning to the US. I’m not sure we’re ready for it, but hopefully going back to WA will make it easier to deal with it all. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

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  10. I sympathize with your situation completely. I divide my time between Toronto, Canada and Puerto Escondido Mexico with long sojourns in Guatemala in between and after about 3 months in one home I find myself missing the other place. Badly. It’s really quite inexplicable but hopefully I’ll settle into a routine at some point. Good luck with your plans wherever they take you!

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    • Wow, that’s a lot of bouncing! I can understand why you’d miss other places. That’s a lot of variety in there as well.

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  11. Guess the “grass is always greener…” statement somewhat applies to this post. Maybe we always want what we don’t have – I’d love to be a permanent nomad, but the wife likes her home base. Will be interesting to see what you do after spending some time (during the winter) back in WA. 🙂

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    • I don’t think it’s a grass is greener type of thing so much as it is the more places we go, the more places I love. It’s a side effect of this kind of travel. LOL

      It will be interesting to see what happens after our time in WA. I’m kind of curious to see what unfolds really.

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  12. I can’t imagine always being in transition unless it’s for a relatively short time frame. Sounds like Washington with a nice fire, wine and company of friends will be a wonderful way to enjoy being back in the US.

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    • The physical location changes aren’t so bad as long as they aren’t so dang fast. Really do much prefer slow travel. That burst we had for 9 weeks was especially exhausting. I am looking forward to being back in WA for a time, though. That’s for sure.

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  13. The longest I’ve lived outside the Philippines was 4 months in Thailand, and I admit I felt homesick, too. Maybe it was because I was living in a city that wasn’t completely of my own choosing (I’d followed my BF there).

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    • That could easily cover your perception of a place for sure. The nomadic life definitely isn’t for everyone. I think you have to be wired for it to be able to enjoy it really.

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  14. There are definitely some places that Tony & I have been in our travels that if I really thought we’d never get to revisit them, my heart would well and truly break. So, I suppose I deal with those feelings by promising myself that even if we can’t be exactly where we want RIGHT NOW, we will make it a priority to go back when we can.

    Tony & I are in a transition phase ourselves right now, since we’re back in Toronto, but neither of us wants to be here long-term. We have reconciled (I hesitate to say “resigned” because it’s not truly as bad as that) to being here for the time being because it makes sense—it gives us a chance to recharge our batteries while continuing to build our sources of income and save up money before setting off on our next trip—but we both are handling it better than I thought we would (we DID NOT want to come home!) probably because we know this is only temporary. I also promised myself that when we did arrive home, I would do my best to delay any judgments until we had been here for at least a month so that we’d have time to adjust to our new situation and really give it a chance. These things take time (as you know!), and I always think back to our time in Saigon: although I agreed we needed to take a break from traveling and base ourselves somewhere for 3 months or so, I was still really hesitant and worried our first week back in that city, uncertain I could really spend 3 months in one place. And wouldn’t you know, by the end of our stay, I would have given nearly anything in order to extend for another 3 months!

    I think in your situation it’s probably important to give both you & Tigger some time to breath and acclimate, and to also recognize that if Mexico really isn’t working in 6 months or a year or whenever, you can deal with that then. The best gift we can give ourselves is the freedom to change our minds and our plans, so once the dust settles you might have a clearer picture of what will work for both you and Tigger, but for now, I say enjoy the new/old adventures that await in Mexico and eat all the tacos! 🙂

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    • I definitely agree. That’s one of the most beautiful parts about this lifestyle. If we decide something isn’t working for us, then off we go! It’s as easy as that.

      I’m sure things will feel better once we’re not bouncing around every week and can stay in one spot and unpack. You can’t feel settled when you’re still living out of your bag and changing addresses every week!

      Glad to hear you guys aren’t done, just recharging batteries and the bank account!

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