It’s been a while since I was last a true vagabond. A woman of the mountaintop, a nomad. It’s been nearly a year. A year since I had to reel myself back in from my freest, open state. A year since I plucked my happiest self from the most inspiring environment I’ve come to know. A year since I came back…here. Back to reality.
The Adjustment Period
I imagine myself as a slightly civilized, yet feral being. For over a year I lived out of a backpack. I crashed around in overcrowded hostels, but the majority of my time was spent on the road. Living out of a van or a tent. I did everything on a whim. I only worked to fund my next move, next adventure.
I was lucky enough to travel in a country that makes it easy for foreigners to land on their feet. The minimum wage is high, the work is abundant. Healthcare is universal and you don’t have to want much for anything. That was not the case when I came back to America. America is a suffocating trap, hell-bent on taking you for all that you’re worth. I knew if I came back here I’d find myself buried in a financial collapse. And that is exactly what happened. This economy is programmed to keep you in line. Know your place, and you better have guts if you try to step outside of your boundaries.
But money isn’t everything. It’s the whole adjusting back to normality that really got me. “Getting a life”- AKA do all that you can do to suck the life and will to live right out of your soul. Get an apartment with high rent, get a job to pay for that apartment, and the occasional night out with friends. So many people fall into this lifestyle without question. It’s what they’ve always known. And it’s what I’d always known; until I knew better.
With absolutely no choice if I wanted a chance to survive, I jumped back into the rat-race. I suited up and did what I had to. But my heart was never in it. And it never will be again.
Catch 22: The more you see, the more you need.
No matter how many places I go, no matter how much I see, it will never be enough. I will always want to see more, taste more, fuck more, and just experience MORE. The more I get the more I need. That is the travelers curse.
People tell me to consider myself lucky because I’ve seen more of the world than most. I consider them lucky because they don’t know what they’re missing. They don’t experience the never ending ache of just wanting to be out there. Drinking in the beauty of life, and the beautiful people who change the way you see the world. I realize how little I have actually experienced, and I will always chase that high.
I set out into the world to see what I was made of- but coming home was my biggest test of character.
Now the choices I make are all pawns to get me to where I want to be. Out in the world. My previous aspirations and dreams forced me to be stagnant. So I cannot commit to them any longer. I will always have a passion for cooking, and inspiring others to steer towards plant based eating. But I can’t stay cooped up in a restaurant or venue while the world passes me by.
Initially when I “set out” into the world, I was trying to find myself, or get a better idea of who I am. And while that period helped me to grow, it was nothing compared to this dormant period. From living out my purest dream, and dropping down into my worst nightmare. I had to take advantage of my situation, and figure out what I needed to be now in order to be where I want in the future. Never in my life have I planned ahead, and taken action to ground myself. For the first time in my life, I found something worth fully committing to.
The dormant period of constant faltering, trying to frantically figure out who I am has finally come to a head. I’m making my career goals come true, and soon (in a few years probably) I will have the financial freedom to travel as I wish.
That’s the plan, anyway.