With the way I chose to live my life, sometimes making plans and decisions could seem an almost impossible thing to do.
Constantly looking for the next destination then changing your mind, and having a sure idea of all the wonderful places you want to visit yet ending up with a list too long. I continually learnt new things about each and every place I go to yet somehow all of this information never seemed enough.
No matter where I have been in the world, I have loved every second of the time I have spent there, yet somehow had always wanted to move on. I had met amazing people and created remarkable memories in so many varied habitats, yet the wanderlust in me always returned and I found myself searching for the next job, and the next adventure.
To travel, for me, was a form of addiction. I felt as though commitment to a certain place would be ‘wrong’, for the explorer in me would suffer for being fixed in one place too long.
People always used to ask me, “When will you stop travelling?” “When will you settle?” and my response was always the same- “Why should I?”
For what is ‘settling’? Is it the 9 to 5 Monday to Friday scenario? Is it meeting someone you love and starting a family? Or is it finding the place that makes you happiest, wherever that may be?
Settling has a different meaning to every individual, and every person has a different idea of contentment. There is no right and wrong way to live ones life- no guide book or manual which says there is an age to stop living a nomadic lifestyle or to start a family of your own.
Opportunities seem to arise all at once, then none at all; mostly arising when I used to make a thought out plan, then suddenly throwing me back off track.
Sometimes, I would spend my time wondering if I should move on from my location, yet there came a time when I also remembered that every place I had ever been had made me happy, and wonder had I found the place I was looking for. Would I ever?
Making a spontaneous decision was an easy thought for me, yet making plans for longer than the next 6 months seemed beyond the bounds of possibility. My thoughts then turned into these words, a release and escape before the conclusion came; To travel, or to stay?
I ended up staying in Valencia for 2 years; longer than I had ever lived anywhere. Not only did it become my home, but it became a safe haven, building a reputation up as a private teacher and knowing my way around the city with my eyes closed. Although I had thoroughly explored the city after the first 6 months, I still went outside every day and found something new; a peaceful quietness in a bustling city. The sun would shine from morning till night, the palm trees shielding me from the heat, and I knew I had found love in every sense of the word. I had found love within my job, my life and within my home. Not only did I meet the love of my life, but I also fell in love, deeply with Valencia. The danger came when contentment led to not striving for more; not aiming higher than what I already had.
I realised, in the height of my explosive happiness, that if I didn’t push harder I would remain in the same job and place for the rest of my life. Time passes by so fast, every single minute is essential to building yourself as a person and professionally, and it took a long time to comes to terms with moving on from where I thought I would remain. From my mind full of wander to my feet firmly placed, I realised I had become the opposite of what I had set out to be; moving on was what was needed to kickstart my self-motivation once again.
When you find a place you like to call home, it is difficult to see the next chapter as a progression. Once you leave that ‘home’, you realise that it will always be there, waiting to see you again, and that the world has so much more to offer than the tiny fraction of it that you have seen.
Wander far, explore plenty, because you will realise that a place is just that. A place.
I’m excited for the new chapter of my book called life.