I can’t fight this feeling anymore

by Kim on January 30, 2014 · 86 comments

Leaving the suburbs

Sometimes when Brian and I are restless and the feeling of being stuck overwhelms us we borrow my in-laws car and drive out to my favorite neighborhood in Cincinnati. In this part of town the homes are old and stately and made of brick with wide front porches. Here, the fast food chains and big box stores are replaced by cafes and boutiques. I feel good on these historic streets, like I’m a part of something.

Yesterday was one of those restless days so Brian and I drove. The sky was bluebird clear and the air so cold it hurt my teeth to smile. Snow was piled up in drifts against mailboxes and the residue of salt had stained the roads a chalky white.

I wrapped my scarf, the one I bought in Paris, tightly around my neck. I thought about Paris, about Vietnam. I thought about all of those far away places.

You chose to be here, I told myself as I climbed into the car, and it is true. I choose to be here, in the dead of winter, waiting for this new chapter to begin.

We drove to Joseph-Beth Booksellers, one of the only independent bookstores in Cincinnati. I walked up to the travel section to check out the books on New Zealand, the latest country of my obsession.

There was a middle-aged woman with yellow dyed hair hunched down by the New Zealand and Australia guidebooks. A bookstore employee was assisting her. “These books are written by people who have actually been there!” she said.

I lingered, eavesdropping.

“Oh!” Said the yellow haired woman, “that’s helpful.”

“So,” asked the bookstore employee, “How do you want to experience your vacation?”

“Oh, you know, my husband and I don’t really want a tour because a tour is all ‘be here at this time, be there at that time.’” She said it in a stage whisper, like it was a dirty secret.

“No tour,” said the bookstore employee, nodded grimly.

I stood dumbly behind them in silence. I wanted to scream, “I’ve been there!” Although, in fact, I haven’t been there yet. I wanted to say, “Let me tell you all about everywhere!”

The yellow haired woman couldn’t decide between Frommers or Rick Steves or Lonely Planet or Rough Guide. She said, “What will I do? I can’t buy them all.”

“Screw the guidebook!” I wanted to yell. “Just GO. Go! Go! Go! Go! GO! Go now. Don’t wait.”

She took her pile of books to a bench at the side of the store. I stood alone staring at the empty space on the shelf where the guidebooks had been. And as I stood there staring at that wall of books I was overcome with a deep, hollow sense of loss.

I was no longer a traveler, just a woman in the travel section of a bookstore in Ohio.

I turned on my heel and ran down the stairs. I found Brian with the cookbooks.

“I’ve got to get out of here. NOW.”

“Why?”

“I just do.”

“Where do you want to go?”

“Anywhere.”

We climbed back into the car. I pulled my Paris scarf up around my ears. I wanted to disappear in it. I wanted to believe it was a magical cloak that could transport me back to the twinkling lights of Paris or the pulsing, jungle heat of SE Asia. Brian drove slowly through the crawl of SUV traffic. The exhaust from the tailpipes rose up around us.

“I just can’t believe that we’re back here again,” I finally said into the stillness of the car. “I just wonder sometimes what we’re doing.”

Brian nodded silently.

A song on WARM98 began playing softly through the speakers.

“This is such a good song,” I said to Brian, and I was not joking.

He turned it up, winked at me. “Belt it baby!”

And I did. I sang so loud that maybe the other drivers in the other cars could hear me.  Maybe Paris could hear me. Maybe Vietnam.

“I CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING ANYMOOOORREEEE.” I pointed my head up towards the roof of the car like I was howling. Outside, above it, was that cloudless sky.

“I’VE FORGOTTEN WHAT I STARTED FIGHTING FOOOORRRR.”

It is always this struggle when I am home to remember who I am. I am a traveler not traveling. I am a writer without a desk. I am a wanderer back on familiar ground.

“IT’S TIME TO BRING THIS SHIP INTO THE SHORE AND THROW AWAY THE OARS FOREVVVEERRR.”

At first I was just a girl who dreamed of seeing the world. And then I was a woman seeing it. And now? I am becoming something new. Something that is still too young to name, something I might only learn in retrospect, when all things are clear and the path makes perfect sense.

“MY LIFE HAS BEEN SUCH A WHIRLWIND SINCE I SAW YOUUUU. I’VE BEEN RUNNING ‘ROUND IN CIRCLES IN MY MIIINNDD.”

I sang my lungs out and Brian sang too.

“I’ve got to put this on my iPod,” I yelled over the instrumental whirl of brass.

“We’ll do it as soon as we get home,” Brian yelled back.

We drove back the way we came. The landscape turned recognizable, the streets took on their familiar names.

“You know, we’re going to be okay,” said Brian. “Whatever this ends up like it will be okay.”

And I nodded, though I did not turn my head from the window or break from singing. Because I knew, I know, that it is true.

***

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Maddie January 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

You know when you read something at exactly the right time that just nails how you’re feeling?! Gah, so glad to read this today Kim. You’re both right, whatever happens in the next step you will be ok and things will work out. You’re in that transition period again when you’re waiting for the next adventure to start but just focus on your goals for the summer. “It is always this struggle when I am home to remember who I am. I am a traveler not traveling. I am a writer without a desk. I am a wanderer back on familiar ground.” – yes, a hundred times yes.
Maddie recently posted..An update on life and our 2014 plans

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:14 am

Yes, and it is so weird to be in this transition period again because I really wasn’t expecting it. You know, when I quit my job to start traveling I had a really hard time adjusting to “who I am now” and I suppose the same thing is happening. This certainly a boring life, you know? ;)

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Gillian @GlobalBookshelf January 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

*Crying*
Gillian @GlobalBookshelf recently posted..How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:15 am

I know you understand!

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Gillian @GlobalBookshelf January 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

And….now I have that song stuck in my head! :)
Gillian @GlobalBookshelf recently posted..How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:15 am

Haha, SORRY. It has been stuck in my head as well if that makes you feel any better.

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Andrea January 30, 2014 at 10:46 am

I have to admit I have thought about this for you and selfishly miss your posts from abroad! Just as you wrote of the scarf I was right back in France with you. But I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason, the next great adventure is just around the corner and you have to make every day an adventure wherever you are in that moment. I think I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed each day if I didn’t believe this…it’s all good. Peace to you! A

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:17 am

I miss writing from abroad too!!! I just find that in some places I feel SO ALIVE and it comes through in my writing. Sigh. But we will be back… this job is only 7 months after all, by the end of the year we’ll be in some foreign land again.

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Sally January 30, 2014 at 12:31 pm

That feeling is the WORST! I really love the way you’ve written about it, though. Nothing to do but to wait it all out, I suppose.
Sally recently posted..Photoessay: Holidays in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:17 am

No kidding, it really is the worst!!! Waiting… waiting…

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Janet January 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Your writing really appeals to me. Even in my sixties, I experience many some of these same feelings. I think it’s part of being human and questioning and growing, and sometimes it hurts.

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:18 am

Thanks Janet. I totally agree… the questioning and growing and it DOES hurt sometimes. But it’s good too.

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Rhonda January 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm

WOW… this post may have resonated with me more than any single thing you have ever written! I so feel your pain and confusion because I’ve been living it for several years now. What our RTW taught us is that we are MEANT to be on the road, discovering new things, however, in our current life of getting out of debt (again!) to get back on the road means being that traveler who isn’t traveling. Hang in there. Brian is so right, that you will be okay however this turns out and, ya know what, I think the waiting is the problem. I fully believe that once you’re on the road, touring the US, doing what you do best, which is to inspire others to get out there, you’ll find the purpose in this latest bend in the road. and BTW.. NZ is the BEST… fantastic food and wine, fantastic people, fantastic beaches AND mountains… you guys will love, love, love it.
Rhonda recently posted..Foto Friday

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:20 am

Yes, I know you ALSO understand, just as Gillian does, and I’m so grateful to have this community of travelers who can relate. It helps so much!! I also believe that once we are back on the road thing will really pick up. The U.S. is such a beautiful country and I can’t wait to explore it even more than I already have!!! AND, we’re REALLY into New Zealand at the moment. Did you know that they have a New Zealand version of the Appalachian Trail? It’s calling our names!

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Rhonda January 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I DO… we want to go back and spend a lot more time hiking than we did last time. Don’t make the mistake we did and only give yourself a month. To do both islands properly and really explore their wild areas takes a lot longer :)
Rhonda recently posted..Foto Friday

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:42 am

We are thinking 4 months.

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Victoria January 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm

This is a great piece KIm. It really captures a feeling which I think is common to a lot of long-term travellers. Always searching, always wanting to move, then moving and wanting to stop. Brian’s right though. It will work out.
Victoria recently posted..A few of our favourite things (January ii)

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:22 am

Yes, absolutely, it is such a conundrum isn’t it?

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Emily January 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Hang in there Kim – I think the opportunity at your fingertips will prove to be amazing! Plus the winter blahs can be a real bummer when you have so freshly arrived from the paradise of hot, colourful Vietnam.
Emily recently posted..Hablo un Poco Español

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:23 am

Oh, the winter blahs have a lot to do with it (I really haven’t had a winter in a LONG time!). Looking forward to spring for a number of reasons!

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Tracey January 30, 2014 at 4:19 pm

My family is finally 82 days away from leaving on our travel adventure and I am already thinking about how it will feel if we decide to return home, kind of scary and we haven’t even left yet. Kim, you and Brian are such a testament to the amazing freedom of living life on your terms, inspiring. Everything will be alright for you guys, your still living on your own terms. You have an amazing internal compass, look at where it has guided you! This new direction must feel strange but I have no doubt it will be the beginning of a journey that will inspire more books (hopefully) and … who knows what! Something great to read about for sure:) Don’t stop believin’
Tracey recently posted..The Countdown Begins

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

Tracey, you are SO CLOSE!!!!! YESSSSS!!!!! And thank you for the reminder. That was a big thing for me, to not give up living on my own terms, and I (we) haven’t. This was a choice we made and a choice we’re excited about even though at the moment (while sitting in my in-laws house without a car) I’m wondering what the heck we’re doing. Change is scary… always, but the important thing is not to let that fear stop us. I’m so excited for your NEW ADVENTURE!!!

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Flora the Explorer January 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Beautiful post, Kim. And Brian’s so completely right – everything is going to work out exactly as it should :) Just keep writing!
Flora the Explorer recently posted..On Fear, Self Deprecation and my Traveller Alter Ego

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

Thanks Flora. I will definitely keep writing.

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Ian January 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Yeah post-travel blues, lol. Seems like you know what you really want, so just stick with it. I wonder how I will deal with it all when I travel around the world for 12 to 18 months and come back to California. Will I be content, I hope so. I’ve yet to go, but I’m hoping to leave this year once I pay off my car in 4 to 5 months more of working. But I hardly know anyone where I live and in my profession who does this sort of thing where they quit to travel the world for that specified amount of time and come back to find a job again in my profession (I don’t know any Registered Nurse who does this sort of stuff, employers look down on it for sure, lol, I think) It’s scary because the future is full of uncertainty, yet we try to say somehow and someway it’s going to work out. Maybe it will work out…
Ian recently posted..My hike through the Milford Track Fiordland National Park New Zealand 2013

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:28 am

Hi Ian. Yeah, I think there will be no way to know if you’ll be content or not. It’s just something you’ll have to wait for and see. You WILL have major culture shock. I didn’t even really *believe* in culture shock before that happened to me. It was HARD. But, it will work out. It will all work out. And if your travels leave you wanting something more or new then that is the gift it gives you.

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Kara of Standby to Somewhere January 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

As I was doing the dishes this evening, I told myself no more travel blogs. I spend so much time reading, but I should be writing more. Then I stumbled upon yours. I love your writing and I could totally relate with the restless feeling (and the cold feeling as I am from cold Columbus). I see that you walked the Camino and I am about to devour all those posts. I finished it back in June. Can’t wait to read it all! Great job.
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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:33 am

Hello pilgrim :) I’m so glad you found my site (even though you said no more reading- I totally relate. It is always a struggle to stop reading and start writing). Yes, this restless feeling… I suppose it is good to have. It will keep my feet moving :)

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Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush? January 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

The drive to put a label on who we are at any moment is a strong one, irresistible even, I understand. Yet even if you return to your country of origin, you don’t cease to be a traveler provided you bring a traveler’s state of mind, a traveler’s outlook, with you. You can be a traveler in your own country, even in the place you come from. Something tells me you are a traveler for the rest of your life. And yes, it will work out.
Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush? recently posted..Toothbrush Talk: Managing expectations

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:35 am

Yes, it is a strong drive. Weird, right? I think especially for a writer I like to have the words to describe who I am and what I’m doing.

I think that perhaps the strange thing for me is to be a traveler internally but not externally. No one knows now (strangers) that I am a traveler, only I know and I think that that was what hit me in that bookstore.

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Dana January 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm

This made me laugh, envisioning you in your car belting it out. That IS a good song. ;)

As for NZ, I’m a Canadian currently here on a Working Holiday Visa. Considering your love of the outdoors and good beer, I think you’d like it here. A lot. Here’s what TwoOregonions had to say about NZ: http://twooregonians.com/2012/12/pictures-teds-post-6/

And guess what? As US citizens under age 35 you are eligible for a 12-month work visa! I forget exactly how old you guys are, but if you’re still 30 you can get a Working Holiday Visa; however, if you’re aged 31 to 35, you have to go through BUNAC: http://www.bunac.org/usa/worknewzealand

Even if you had enough finances or location-independant work to not need to work here, the visa allows you to stay a full year, whereas the tourist visa is only three months.

I came here late last year after 12 weeks in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Compared to those countries, and others I’ve visited, NZ, as a first-world, English-speaking country, isn’t exactly challenging or a big learning curve. How I describe it is it’s similar enough to other first-world countries like the US and Canada to be familiar, yet different enough to be interesting.

Perhaps NZ is your next destination, after your job finishes later this year?

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:38 am

Thank you, it IS a good song :)

And THANK YOU for this VISA information. I had no idea. I was wondering how we would pull off staying more than three months (we want to be there probably five months). YAYAYA. SO EXCITED!!! Is it hard to get the work VISA?

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Dana February 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Yay, I love being the bearer of good news! Seems most people assume that once you’re over 30, you can’t get a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) for any country, and while that’s true in most cases, there are exceptions. For me, I was already 35 and saw my 36th birthday approaching, and applied for the hell of it to keep my options open, and I’m so glad I did! As a Canadian, it was super easy for me: I could apply online directly with Immigration NZ and there was (is) no quota for WHVs for Canadians going to NZ. As for US citizens, my friend (Dutch) and her boyfriend (American) got visas a few years ago and because he was already 35, he HAD to go through BUNAC. I think you guys are 31(?), so you’d have to go through BUNAC as well. Unfortunately, the program fee is a bit steep.

The only other way I can see being able to stay in NZ longer than the allotted three months is to, before your three months is up, hop a plane to a Pacific island or two (something I’ve been daydreaming about while in this part of the world! ie. French Polynesia, Fiji, Cook Islands, etc.) for a week or two, then fly back to NZ to activate another three-month tourist visa. I suppose you could hop over to Australia, too.

Though, looks like extending a NZ visitor visa might be possible: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/alreadyinnz/visitors/questionsandanswers/stayinglongerasavisitor/caniapplyforafurthervisitorvisa.htm

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Kim February 3, 2014 at 6:02 am

Yep, that is what I thought, that since I am over 30 (32) I couldn’t get a working visa. So yay! We have already started to look into it. We are also going to call and talk to them about extending a tourist visa to see if we can avoid the fee. We’d need 4-5 months.

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Bethany ~ twoOregonians January 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Kim, you made my breath catch in my chest.

I hear you loud and clear…loud and clear.

I brushed by someone in the grocery store today and overheard him telling his friend, “I’ve never been off the West Coast.” In a split second, I felt such a jarring jumble of emotions. And then I had to continue my way to the checkout line to buy my pasta noodles and champagne. I came home and cranked the music up, too. Cheers, my dear. Here’s to this one, mysterious life!
Bethany ~ twoOregonians recently posted..As I Went Down to the River: Champoeg State Heritage Area

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:39 am

Oh yes, I know YOU understand as well Bethany. I’m glad you had some champagne to wash that moment down :)

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Patti January 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Timing. Timing is everything. Read the last paragraph of the post I published not 10 minutes ago. You were in my thoughts, among a handful of others, as I wrote it. Seriously. There are several people in my life who are waiting for the universe to open a door so they can turn the page. You’ve already turned the page and now it’s going to happen. Wait for it.
Patti recently posted..I Stood On Top of a Mountain ~

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:39 am

Patti, I loved your last post. 2014 is going to be an interesting year, isn’t it?

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Tracy January 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Great song!!! Ohio is such a confusing place, home/not home. I ever know what to do with myself when I’m there. Looks like it’s time for K&B to move on to new adventures, can’t wait to see what your life brings :)

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:40 am

RIGHT? It’s such a confusing place. Home/not home. It messes with me every time. I, too, have no idea to do what myself and WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A CAR. Stranded. So it’s hard. Sigh. It’s short term really…

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Michelle January 31, 2014 at 2:51 am

Tough love Kim, I love your posts but count your blessings, your at the beginning of something epic.

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:41 am

Fair enough. I do count my blessings, trust me, it’s just (another) strange transition.

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Pratibha January 31, 2014 at 4:59 am

That’s interesting – I feel like that sometimes but, being in a mixed race marriage, at least one of us is always abroad (or home). We recently moved back to India and, after all those years out, I am now looking at the familiar with new eyes. Even started blogging about it :)

All the best to you guys.
Pratibha recently posted..Devotees, robbers and cops come together at the Karighatta temple

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 6:42 am

Wow, I love India so much. You are lucky to call it home :)

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Sarah Somewhere January 31, 2014 at 7:17 am

Yes, yes, yes!! Bravo!! A beautiful, heartfelt post. I can hear that song and see this moment as though it were a scene in a movie. Kim having a meltdown in the travel section. Brian with the cookbooks, thinking about dinner. Of course. Love. That is all.
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Flying into the unknown

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:31 am

Me, a meltdown? ;)

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Aurora January 31, 2014 at 7:25 am

gah. I feel like an impostor — having a ‘travel’ blog that started while traveling, but now I live somewhere. And have lots of stuff. And don’t travel. But still think of myself (falsely?) as a traveler. And think… what the fuck am I doing? often enough. And while I LOVE what I am doing, and believe in my work, and believe that I am doing good work that makes my little corner of the world a better place — at the same time — my heart and soul longs to write and travel and BE – be out in the world, traveling, exploring.

So… in those moments, I try to slow my heart, racing away in panic, and trust. Trust that I will get back to the Andes, and the Himalayas. And trust that I will get to New Zealand and Cambodia and Laos.

All this is to say is that, like lots of other folks, I get this. This hit me square in the solar plexus. Sent my heart racing, just like you, wanting to call out to the world – GO! — and at the same time, needing to be in the moment and just trust….
Aurora recently posted..A 10-word plan

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:33 am

No, no, not falsely. Once a traveler always a traveler. I know that contradicts what I said in my post, but in my heart I will ALWAYS be a traveler (even when not traveling) because I have that knowledge and love of the world and the desire to always know more about what is out there.

It is comforting for me to know that there are so many other travelers who are currently at home and can relate to this feeling. It’s almost like I’m living someone else’s life.

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Aurora February 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

E X A C T L Y! Like living someone else’s life.

And…. yeah — I do think of myself as still a traveler. It’s that vagabond spirit/heart/soul thing…. And that’s why we all flock to each other.
Aurora recently posted..A 10-word plan

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Kim February 3, 2014 at 6:01 am

Yes. Absolutely.

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Kim January 31, 2014 at 7:26 am

Kim,
I loved your post. It caught me up. Great writing!
However, did I miss some a few posts? Why are you in Cincinnati and not some glorious locale? Not that Cincinnati isn’t glorious in its own right…
Oh, I have so much work to do! I hope to get my house on the market by March (and sell it immediately) so that I can take off. I have an Airstream, and I plan to spend 4 – 5 years seeing the USA.

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

Yep, you missed a big announcement. Brian and I got a JOB (a really, really cool job) and are back in the U.S. until September.

How fun that you have an Airstream– so cool!!!! I would love to own an Airstream.

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Kim February 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Thanks for filling me in. I am glad it is for a really cool job and not one of those dreadful things that come to mind as you get older. I did a bunch of footloose-and-fancy-free traveling in my younger days. (Not quite as exotic and adventurous as your travels, but still pretty cool places.) Maybe when you are my age (58) you will get the Airstream and try adventuring another way.

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Kim February 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

I bet there is an Airstream in my future one of these days, though probably not for a long while.

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Carmel January 31, 2014 at 7:35 am

I can totally hear you belting out this song in my head. When I saw the headline, it got the song stuck in my head and I started singing it too. Shawn was pleased to hear me singing REO Speedwagon. He loves the cheesy 80s hits! But, finally to my point…this can be the problem of living in the present sometimes….something I discussed a bit on Thyrone’s blog. When you’re in the midst of something you have to do, in a place you don’t want to be, waiting for something better, it can feel so draining. I have been trying to find the gift in the wait. For one, it must be good for me somehow, it usually sucks so bad. Secondly, remember its not forever. Choose awareness and relish the comforts, knowing you’ll be thrusting yourself into the great uncomfortable unknown in no time.
Carmel recently posted..KUANG SI FALLS AND BEAR SANCTUARY

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:36 am

“The gift in the wait” I like that. I felt pretty good at that this summer when I was in Ohio waiting for the summer to be over (that was also what spawned the “Dear Life” posts which I so loved).

Patience is not my strong suit, unfortunately.

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Carmel February 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Uh, remember who you’re talking to….
Carmel recently posted..KUANG SI FALLS AND BEAR SANCTUARY

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Kim February 3, 2014 at 6:00 am

I know, I know! That’s why we bonded :)

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Anita January 31, 2014 at 8:31 am

Kim
I read your new post about 15 minutes after I said this to Chas: “Haven’t seen anything from Kim in a few days. She must be feeling restless in cold, snowy Ohio.” And so you are. But it sounds like your “Backpackers” job will be an interesting, and very different type of adventure. It’s exciting that you and Brian can do this job together. I predict you’ll love it, and be very good at it.

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:37 am

Yes, I am a little restless! On another note I am hoping to get out to WV sooner rather than later to visit everyone and meet Logan’s new adorable baby!

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Anita February 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Great! We’ll look forward to your visit!

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Steve C January 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm

You’re becoming quite the philosopher as I think most long term travelers do too. We’re always looking for answers. From my experience, everyday has a new question and every tomorrow has a new answer. Although I like the Yin / Yang concept, life is mostly that vast grey area in between. Mostly because of the (vast?) grey matter between our ears.

I always love your roller coaster take on things. As the quote in the movie goes: “Everything will be alright in the end. And if everything is not alright, It’s not the End!” (from The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel)

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:38 am

Ha, this comment is so wonderful Steve. Like a little poem.

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Erica January 31, 2014 at 2:57 pm

What the hell happened?? Have not been able to read your blog for a few weeks and all of a sudden you’re back in the US?? I thought you were in asia! Will read back and catch up. Hang in there though, I am sure your path will turn out to be right.
Erica recently posted..El Salvador – The War Zone

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:42 am

I was in Asia. It’s been a crazy few weeks!

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) January 31, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Loved this so much, Kim. I think it’s part & parcel that whenever we make really big changes or decisions there’s always this “oh shit!” moment afterwards where we worry that we’ve actually made the biggest mistake of our lives. This is why I always try to remember in the midst of the panic that the best gift we can give ourselves is one of time. Let yourself adapt to your new reality and recognize that you’re in a transition phase which won’t last forever. Often it takes a while for our brains and hearts to catch up to the present, especially when, like me, you find yourself invested in dreaming and scheming about the future; this is a big detour for you guys, totally unexpected, so it’s going to take a bit to adjust!

I know this is going to be great for you guys and you’re going to have a blast doing this. But always remember that just as you chose to be doing this right now, if the time comes where you don’t want to be doing it, you can also choose NOT to do it any longer. You did it before you left on your big adventure and you’ll do it again when the time is right!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Mini Budget Breakdown: Malaysian Borneo Travel Costs

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:44 am

YES, totally, that “oh shit” moment always comes. And thanks for the advice Steph (you are always good at it). I am trying to be patient and JUST BREATHE.

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Dustin@WeGoRTW February 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

The best and worst cure is reading other travelers blogs and knowing inside “soon” I will be back out there again, even if just for a MicroAdventure ;-)
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..Snow Day

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 6:45 am

Ah, I can imagine. It is hard to read other travel blogs when not traveling I think. I get jealous!!! What is your next MicroAdventure?

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Dustin@WeGoRTW February 1, 2014 at 7:01 am

Next travel won’t likely be the adventure one, but planning to visit your old town of Portland to explore the largest ice caves in the lower 48 here in the next couple months.

Where I stole the term microadventure from and a good short read – http://thegreatdiscontent.com/alastair-humphreys

Perhaps y’all cycle for you backpackers adventure and train it between the far stretches that aren’t time feasible (no I am not trying to live vicariously , haha)
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..Snow Day

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

There are large ice caves near Portland?!?! Where?? (Sounds like fun!).

Ha, that IS an idea ;) But we get to drive around a brand new Subaru and I don’t want to pass that up. I’ve never had a brand new car before!

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Dustin@WeGoRTW February 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Yep, y’all come with us for the Backpacker Magazine. They are on the Mt Hood I will tag you on Instagram about them. Very inspiring and already have the gpx/Gps details for them.

Understand that about a new car, we have yet to buy one too.
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..Snow Day

TammyOnTheMove February 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

Every new chapter in your life is scary. I am sure you felt like it before you started travelling. I think your hubby is right. Everything usually works out and if you don’t like it then you have the power to change your life again.
TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Berghaus Capacitor 35 Backpack Give Away

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Yep, I absolutely felt like this before I started traveling (how quickly I forget).

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Tyrhone February 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

It’s funny how sometimes I question the things I am doing, all the time thinking I am the only one thinking or feeling these thoughts and feelings. And then I read something like this and it reminds me that we are just human, and our natural instinct is to question and worry about our decisions, it is doing those things anyway which makes us travellers.
Tyrhone recently posted..Just a few more days

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Kim February 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Yeah, I’ve never made a single big decision I didn’t stress out about. I do think it is human nature. I know it was the right decision but was it fear-free? Absolutely not.

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Rich February 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

Hi Kim, Go check out what Emerson says about traveling and don’t be offended. He has some very interesting thoughts about many things. His essays are filled with treasures for exploring.
That’s Ralph Waldo -
lovingly,
Rich

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Kim February 6, 2014 at 9:32 am

Rich, anything in particular you can point me to? I’d like to read it.

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Renee February 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Maybe Rich is referring to the Emerson quote: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

So excited for you and Brian and your new adventure(s) in the US! Best wishes to you both with your new job for the next several months. Soon enough you will be in NZ and reveling in all that NZ has to offer. In the meantime, is there any chance your local bookstore or some other venue may let you give a talk on your experiences traveling and living abroad? Maybe you can do a travel tips-type of thing, too, with photos from your many travels? Nice way to relive those memories, and help future travelers along, too. :-)

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Kim February 27, 2014 at 6:11 am

That is a great quote. I just wrote it down in my quote book.

I would REALLY love to put together a presentation about our experiences traveling and living abroad. We’ve tried to incorporate as many stories as possible into the presentation we will be giving for Backpacker Magazine. But that is on my to-do list for someday (someday! so many things to do).

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Renee February 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

So many things to do, so few days in the year. ;-)

Another great travel quote that I love is by Mark Twain: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
- Innocents Abroad

You can find several more of his travel quotes here: http://www.twainquotes.com/Travel.html

Some friends of mine are currently living abroad in Asia. They were in Thailand for almost a year and just moved to Malaysia for a few months. If you have time, you might enjoy reading about their adventures at http://www.livecollarfree.com/ and http://fierytree.com/ (no, I am not being paid to plug their websites, lol ;-) )

Ashlie February 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I’ve come back to this post and reread it at least five times. Ugh, I feel you.
Ashlie recently posted..One Word

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Kim February 18, 2014 at 6:48 am

I know you do. Let me tell you… I’m still waiting around in Ohio and it is a real struggle. I feel like an animal in a cage.

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Kim February 28, 2014 at 5:35 am

Thanks Renee. And thanks for sharing the quotes too. More to add to the quote book!

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