Life in a Suitcase.
I’m having this weird unsettling feeling that I don’t know where I am. As I’m walking around the airport something happens and my brain races to try to figure out my whereabouts – narrowing it from continent, to country, to city. This is all brought on by the fact that in the last month. I’ve been to 5 different airports and cities. I’ve been in Hong Kong for 5 days and then take off again for Tokyo-Osaka for 2 weeks and back to Bangkok and than I’ll be in Taiwan over the course of 7 days. Next I’ll be in London.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When I leave my job on June 22, 2017. At that time everything about travel was new to me, I barely remember who I was back then, I had a huge closet full of designer clothes and shoes, an endless budget to party with, surrounded by friends I’d go out with every week, a running club, and I hated my job.
I still remember being at DME (Moscow Domodedovo Airport) getting ready to leave a bundle of nerves; a complex combination of excited and scared emotions flowing through me. That excitement and fear is what drove me onto the first plane after 1 day i’ve quit my job, and it still keeps me going many countries later.
This is a year of anything is a lifetime. Applying for visas, buying airline tickets, packing and repacking, never doing laundry in the same place twice, editing photos, and writing millions of words have become my “normal”.
I’ve all about learning to travel, being a budget backpacker, figuring out how to live without things and make a living somehow, and soaking up new cultures via very independent travel that I organized myself.
I got a probably ideas the most amazing from a mind, body and soul standpoint. I pushed myself in new directions, traveled deeper and longer, did more epic trips, and my style and length of travel has changed drastically. It’s less independent and more organized trip oriented. The main driver of my travel plans is work rather than “where I want to go”. I used to do more slow travel, and I now find myself played Candy Crush all over the world, flying more than I ever have in the past. I stay in a one place for only a few days and then move onto the next experience or project. Hence why I often don’t know where I am. I am peripatetic.
One of the things that keeps me going is that I still adore experiencing other cultures – it makes my heart skip a beat to meet people from other cultures and experience their way of life. It’s very clear to me that spending this much time traveling in and out of the Thailand makes you completely in tune with what you love and hate about your own culture. And I’ve realized that there is a lot that I love and hate about my own culture which is why I still like to move in and out of it so much and haven’t picked a home base in the Bangkok yet.
Strangely even though I travel alone, I’m rarely alone. My travel style has been much more about group tours and traditional tourism rather than independent travel. So that means I come in contact with many, many people. People who are on vacation. But I’m “on vacation” all the time, and I get tired of being social. Instead of going to have happy hour drinks at a lodge with the rest of the people I’m traveling with, I’d rather not talk to anyone and simply sit on my porch sipping wine and writing. I’m just too tired to be social some days.
All I can say is that I LOVE TRAVEL, it excites and delights me. After a year on the road I couldn’t be more thankful about all the things that I get to do, however it all does come with a price and that’s the part that I struggle to share. After all, I have the best, most envious job in the world.
Travel writer/blogger/photographer must be the most sought after job in the world, and I have it! I have worked my butt off to get here, and like everything in life, it has it’s ups and downs, especially when you do it like I’m doing it – without a homebase. And the reason I don’t have a homebase is because there’s no way I could afford a home/rent on what I make as a freelance writer/blogger. But I’ve been willing to live this life in order to write, photograph, and see the world.
It’s important to be honest. As much as I really want people to travel and see the world for a longer period of time than a vacation, I don’t believe people should do what I’m doing – living indefinitely out of a suitcase trying to make a living. It’s really not for most people. Do it if you want, but I won’t tell you that it’s easy and doesn’t come without a price. But you should to make it more valuable from your travel.
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