The feature image this week was provided courtesy of Milan Vasek. His website features some wonderful & creative artwork, please take a moment to check it out: www.milanvasek.com.
I had finally finished my extensive research and lined up all of my flights for the retreat in Thailand that I'd been so excited about for the last month. I was feeling pretty proud of myself too since I'd done it all for a small amount of both miles and money. All I needed to do now was go through the actual booking process.
But something stopped me. And all of a sudden I was as close to an anxiety attack as I'd ever been.
No explicit reason for this sudden change in thought direction seemed to exist. In fact, just a few days prior I'd been telling anyone who would listen about my upcoming travel plans.
Now, out of the blue, something in my gut was telling me this was not the right move. Which of course sent me into a tailspin of negative emotions, primarily because I was upset & confused at the 180 my feelings had taken and couldn't fathom changing my plans, but also because I felt that if I cancelled there probably wouldn't be a great reaction from some of my associates, especially those directly involved in the retreat.
It took me 36 hours of heavy emotional digging, 3 phone calls to people very close to me, 2 evenings in tears over my indecision, and 1 night of passing out and letting my subconscious work on the problem.
The next morning I woke up with my answer, clear as day. I was canceling my trip.
I also woke up with the answers to why this had happened, why my intuition had halted me in my tracks. Not surprisingly, it was a combination of factors...but the primary reason, the one that stood out in my mind? That answer shook me to my core.
Very simply, I was no longer the traveler I had once been.
This came as a complete shock to my conscious mind. I mean, I'd just been discussing traveling more in 2016 in my Annual Review! Of course now, in retrospect, I could see all of the signs of change as they'd begun to manifest and the irreversible toll all the traveling in 2015 had taken on me. But traveling had been a cornerstone of my personality for so long, I had never considered that it might fade out at some point.
Enter here (with full force) the question that has been flitting about my brain for some time, dodging in and out of the shadows, taunting me:
Can you have both roots and wings?
Truth be told, despite my love for travel I always figured this was a question which would need to be handled at some point in my life. I've always had what my mom called a "nesting" instinct, the part of me that takes great joy from things typically classified as part of domesticity. In fact, it often presented a paradox in my mind and that lead me to a deeper philosophical debate within myself.
And now apparently that great debate was coming to a head with this retreat. I had a choice to make.
So I made one. Really the only one I could make if I were to continue following the flow of life, which has always been my mantra. I decided I wasn't going.
The moment I made that decision, all the turmoil that had been brewing in my mind ceased. The muddy maelstrom immediately ceased and was replaced with a clear, calm pool. I felt completely at ease. It's amazing what making the right decision for yourself can do to change your entire state of mind.
I still had some unpleasant discussions to have regarding my change in plans, but an even bigger dilemma loomed.
My writing, personally and professionally, had always centered around travel. Hell, it's what I'd founded my blog on, what I'd built my brand to reflect, the goal I'd always aimed at, not to mention an important value within the world of location-independent entrepreneurs I'd always endeavored to be a part of.
And yet, it simply isn't where my primary interests lie any longer, and it was time to concede that point. What is it they always say, "when one door closes another opens?"
So trite, isn't it. But in this case, true.
Over the past five years or so I've developed an exponentially growing interest in other areas of living. These areas are more typically centered around home life, although some aspects of them still span the globe.
Ideally, the whole point of getting away from home is to grow, to expand beyond the bounds of your comfort zone, to change yourself and your views on life & the world. This is a major reason that those of us who love to travel do love it so much. At least, it certainly was always one of the big thrills of travel for me.
But I've discovered that, although travel is certainly a great tool to accomplish those ends, it is not the only tool. There is so much to be learned from everyday occurrences, from life, from inside a moment...and those are truly the discoveries that can become endless.
If you're nerdy enough, the underlying plot of Star Trek: Insurrection is all about this very subject. I highly recommend it for viewing entertainment.
So it's time for me to dramatically shift the direction of The Rogue Road, likely along with many of my professional endeavors as well. I want to start exploring the topics that are genuinely close to my heart now, those of green living, food & home sustainability, healthy/seasonal eating, homesteading, and preparedness, as well as beginning to examine the larger issues concerning the environmental condition of our planet.
Quite a shift huh?
Will there still be traveling? Absolutely, especially as my mate is still doing some traveling for a living. I do still enjoy traveling to an extent...but after the extensive traveling I did earlier this year, I've certainly learned a lot about myself. I've learned that sitting in airports and on airplanes for endless hours are not my (nor my body's) idea of a good time. I've learned that certain foreign cultures are simply not enjoyable for me to immerse myself in. I've learned that eating green & healthy and taking care of your body properly is VERY important to me, and almost impossible on the go. And I've learned that home truly is where the heart is.
I've come to the point in my life where I'm ready and willing to slow it down and learn lots of new things that don't involve me getting on an airplane but do line up heartily with the values I hold dear.
I think it's a pretty good trade. And my heart is in it 100%, so I know I'm moving in the right direction.
For those of you who have been following The Rogue Road these last two years, I hope you'll stay with me through this transition. I promise lots of fun & interesting stuff will still be delivered along this journey!
Have you ever faced (or are you now facing) a similar conflict? What is your approach to such a conflict? Please share in the comments below!
Filed under: Everyday Life