The week before I arrived back home, I wrote in my journal, “I woke up used to the ocean, ate an apple and two cookies for breakfast and was listening to rap.
“It’s time to go home.”
I’ve had several people ask me, “What happens if you get home and the travel bug hits again?” or “Will you be bored?”
Right now, I am enjoying being in one place. Coming home doesn’t mean I can’t travel anymore. I’m actually heading to a Pennsylvania wedding soon. There are still plenty of places to go within my country, state and county.
And I’m not bored. I’ve got all kinds of projects going and people to meet. If I’m bored, it’s my fault. That was an early lesson from my dad as we rode together in the farm truck. I should always be able to think about something or do something interesting no matter where I am. Anytime I want a new challenge, I can come up with something. There are plenty of stories of people doing that.
Besides, in every country, no matter where you go, there is always the echo of locals who say, “There’s nothing to do here.” Dublin. Scotland. I even heard that in London. It’s the mantra, “No matter where you are, everywhere else is more exciting.”
It’s true that traveling and seeing other places is exciting, but home can contain adventures, too. Life ebbs and flows in seasons, and my long-term traveling season is over. I’m okay with that, and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next.
Plus, there are a lot of advantages to being in one place. You can:
- surround yourself with a book room
- pull wrinkle-free outfits from a dresser or closet rather than extracting crinkled clothes from a suitcase
- take a shower without wearing flip flops
- use your own pillows and blankets
- keep your shampoo and conditioner in one place rather than moving them back and forth between the bathroom and the hostel dorm room
- have consistent eye and dental care, which I need for my contacts and retainer
- go to the Indiana State Fair
- have a dog
- use your own nonstick pots and pans
- know where everything is in the kitchen without learning a new layout every two days
- do laundry consistently
- eat steak regularly
- make big meals and save the leftovers
- experience four seasons in the correct order (my seasons so far this year: summer, autumn, winter, summer, autumn)
- stop losing socks (oh, wait…)
…not to mention all the important things like hanging out with family and going to the movies at the community theater.
I am so thankful that I’ve been able to do this. I’m thankful to family, friends from home, friends I’ve made on the road, blog readers, ag colleagues, the churches with whom I’ve met and worshiped, and so many others. It’s impossible to name everyone here. I’m grateful for travels that took me to places like Mt. Cook, Christchurch, Stewart Island, Otago back roads, Australia’s Outback, the Cliffs of Moher, Eden Nature Park, Coventry Cathedral, London, the Yorkshire Dales, the Highlands, Skye, and so much more. I brought back ten journals, 27,000 photos, and a lot of fridge magnets.
In New Zealand, a housemate from Norway who’d been traveling a long time asked why I planned on going home after only one year.
I just said, “It’s home.”
She smiled and nodded. “In Norwegian, there’s a phrase that I can’t quite translate into English, but it’s something like, ‘Travel good, home better.'”