About a month ago, I was unsettled.
Even though I was settling in to a new home, new job, new life…. I was unsettled. I was finally planting some roots and bearing fruit – the home was getting clean and beautiful. The job is exciting and new, and I feel like I can help people. My husband is the sweetest person in the world to have come with me and faced this challenge head on.
So why was I bothered?
I reached out to some friends, and asked:
“Lately, even having just moved overseas 3 months ago, I can’t figure out why I’m bummed and getting the itchy feet again to travel already. And that’s stupid – I am in a cool place with a cool job. But I saw a friend’s post that she was reading the book The Lost Girls, and then learned that’s actually a blog about 3 friends who dropped their lives in NY and did a round-the-world trip together.
And I was insanely jealous! I don’t know if I just don’t want to be “forced” to work and want a nice long vacation, if I’m just romanticizing the idea of seeing new cultures, if I am just trying to run from something within that I don’t want to or know how to deal with, or if I truly DO just want to see India and Africa and everywhere else! Maybe I really DO want to stay at an Ashram in India, or ride elephants in Thailand, and volunteer with people in the Philippines! I don’t *think* it’s about running away, but wanting to run towards different ways of living and explore more of what this globe has to offer!
But of course, my husband is the kind who would be totally content to just stay in the same city all the time, he’s simply happy to just be at home with me. It’s super sweet, but he doesn’t get me when I start talking about travel…”
The wise advice of my friends was to remember that my new home IS my new world adventure! At least for now! I have an entire island to explore, with new cultures, foods, festivities, and people. I should use this place as a starting point for my explorations. So we spent the weekend exploring – we tried paddle boarding, went to a new Thai restaurant, and hiked up the “mountain” here to watch the sun set.
I think part of my issue was also Hubby’s talk of wanting to get a dog. While I understand the benefits of having a good guard dog (for the house, for jogging) I think it just made me feel too tied down. I DO want to do a RTW trip some day, and a dog won’t fit in to that picture. I think I had a fear that he was going to push for a dog and that was going to tie me down too much. So we’ve been talking about that a lot, too.
But then the other day, my mom shared with me the newest video of the Where The Hell Is Matt? series – where he travels the world dancing in different countries. And again my heart ached to be out there. I loved the smiling faces, the carefree dancing, and the unique dress of the cultures. I was so excited that I had to share it with Hubs!
He watched quietly, then, with genuine curiosity and confusion, asked, “why do you to do that? I don’t get it. People are people – these are just more people with different clothing. Why do you want to go live out of a backpack where they are instead of live out of a house here?”
And I had no answer.
My whole being seemed to fill with the sense of why I wanted to, but I had no words to explain it. I just wish I could have sent the emotion to him, to see if he’d understand. The idea of freedom, of new sights, new tastes. I tried my best to stumble over my words – where can I ride an elephant if not out there? Where can I participate in the colorful Holi event, if not in India? How can I help the starving in Kenya if I am here, where calories run abundant?
But why did I want to experience THOSE things when there are so many other experiences HERE as well?
And, he stated getting more miffed, “WHY would I want to go dance with those people? It’s not helping anyone!”
I pointed out that it MAY be helping people. If it brings a smile to the face of a person who was down; if someone got to have this memorable experience of dancing like a goober for a video; if the people watching are filled with a sense of levity – even for a few minutes – then THAT is goodness.
At the same time, I reminded him that my goal is not JUST to travel and experience the joys. I want to dive into the dark areas and bring help. When I shared with him my old BHAG of coordinating charities with large corporate donors, and of bringing help to clinics, he softened a little bit. Though he has been torn down and jaded by the last city we lived, there is still a gentle heart in him that also reaches out to the suffering, where he wants to bring help.
And I think he understands, I am not just running away.
Yet there is a good point to his question, and even my first I put to my friends – why am I not satisfied with finding those helpful situations here? Perhaps it is the spirit of adventure – just wanting that backpack and no ties. But it also is causing me to look around at options here! What better way to start figuring out how to request an interview, or ask to video tape a person work, or begin learning basics about various forms of traditional medicine?!
I simply grabbed the yellow pages and began to write down companies that were of interest – everything from acupuncture and chiropractic, to farmers and fishers; from recycling and water purification for our salty ocean water, to the soup kitchen and the free health screening clinics.
Life is busy – and perhaps that is something else I am trying to “run” from. How can one devote their day to being mentored about the history of Chinese teas, when one is tied to a desk and buried in paperwork and reports?
Time to un-bury myself and get back to those reports. I just needed to “think out loud” for a little bit.