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Taking Time Out From Traveling

The Realization

I was in Bologna, Italy recovering from hundreds of bedbug bites acquired in Venice when the waves of discord finally reached the rocky shores of my consciousness.  In the tumult, mist and roar there was the realization that I, a nomad, intensely wanted to “go home”.

What do you do when you’re a travel blogger and you want to stop traveling?  What do you do when you desperately want to go home, but you don’t have one?

I found myself holed up in the hostel, resisting venturing out, not wanting to see one more sight or figure out the quirks of another shower, or get lost again, or interpret a new bus map, or meet and explain my story to one more person.  The inevitable had happened — I’d hit the wall with traveling.

It’s been 2 1/2 years since I voluntarily (and happily!) became nomadic, and by default, homeless, and while this has been the most amazing time of my life, it has also been exhausting.  Not digging-ditches-all-day exhausting.  Not “I-hate-my-job” exhausting.  Not single-parent-exhausting.  But exhausting in it’s own unique way.  I’ve moved around a lot.  I’m tired.  And I’m tired of pretending that I’m not tired.

Time for reflection.

What it Means

While I can’t conceive of not traveling later, what I need now is a break — a time to spin my cocoon.  A time to have a contrasting experience.  A time to renew myself, remember myself, grow a root or two, and make some money.

Standing Back

This blog has always been a labor of love, but now after nearly 300 posts, it has become a source of personal frustration; I’ve poured so much work into it, but readership grows at only a snail’s pace.  I need to step back from it for awhile to find joy again in writing and reassess what needs to change.  Not to say I won’t write, or perhaps work on my book, but I am taking a break from the obligation of writing.  And giving myself time to ponder how to improve the blog for my readers in the future.

Digital Detox

If only blogging were as simple as writing.  But in this age, being a blogger means being connected and responsive to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, e-mail, and other bloggers and readers.  And a constant push to promote oneself through all these mediums which takes a surprising amount time and energy.  It’s my intention to take a digital detox from this as well, limiting myself to a handful of minutes on the computer each day.  As I am generally glued to the screen, this change alone will be life-altering.

A new view

Retreating to the Hills

I’m heading to the mountains for a few months, reuniting with an old friend, helping her and helping myself — working on some personal goals that can only be accomplished on solid ground.  If all works out I will relish this period of travel dormancy, a period when I know how the shower works, stay long enough to have a towel dry, don’t have to figure out how to get from point A to point B (daily) and perhaps even get bored!  This is what I need now — a contrast to the relentless stimulation, planning, documenting, and change.

Time to spin the silk.  Metamorphosize.  I hope you’ll be there when I emerge.

20 Comments

  1. Dear Laura,

    Just took the time to read this story of you. What a beautiful story! Maybe it doesn’t feel like that. But your beautiful honesty towards yourself, touches me. When is the moment to fight and when to give in. There is a biologist in Holland who writes funny stories about animal- and human behaviour. Lately he wrote about the need of mammals to have a place to hide and cuddle yourself in, the need to cocoon. I thought of that when I read your story. We probably need both, the traveling and the homing. The new and the well known. The action and the rest and so on. And if you start traveling again, maybe you can start with slow-traveling. And I was thinking of a place in Italy where you might like to roam for a little while: Damanhur. You probably heard of it. Otherways I would look it up if you can. I also looked at you beautiful colorful artwork. I wish you all the best and love to hear from you again when you feel like it. Love, Resi.

    • Thank you so much Resi for your touching comment. I have just emerged from retreat so I apologize for my slow response. I haven’t heard of Damanhur but will research it. Thanks again for your lovely contribution to Camino Stories. 🙂 Wishing the best to you in the New Year.

  2. Hi. I was saddened a bit by this post – but that might be because I hit the travel wall myself a long time ago. At least as far as the kind of travel you’re doing and I did. I hope, whatever you decide, you will be happy. I have enjoyed following your site this past year or so and have recommended it to many others.

    Best of luck.

    • Thank you Erik! I expect to be traveling again but need this break to replenish my reserves. Hope you’ll come back in the future.

  3. Oh yes! I nodded when I read the opening sentence in your email and thought, yes, sometimes we just need to know that tomorrow the bathroom will be OK. Then I clicked on the link and read the same thing! It must be the universal dream of all tired travellers – enough rack space to dry the towel and maybe some underwear, good water pressure and of course, figuring out the knobs!

    Enjoy your break! We’ll be right here waiting for you to emerge refreshed 🙂

    • Thank you Melinda for the sympathy and support. 🙂

  4. Best wishes for a relaxing and refreshing break but do return to writing when you feel ready.

    • Thank you John and Erika. I will return to writing…it seems I can’t help but write.

  5. Hi Laura,
    A new chapter on your journey has started! Finding our bounderies limits and limitations…….
    Because your body has a skin to form the boundery with what is around you, you are a individual object in this space. We regard this as normal and can not do without it. Much more difficult are our interlectual, emotional en psycological limits and bounderies……we can not see them, we have to feel them. The EPW was about walking over and by the nations borders. As I was doing that I felt my limits, limitations and bounderies on all levels. Difficult as it was, it was also relieving to feel my limits. It placed my physical as well as my emotional and psycological body in a frame., just like a skin. It feels good to have felt that skin and I respect it, otherwhise I might get burnt…..
    I hope that over the next few months you will come to find your own skin, and love it!

    Paulien

    • Thank you Paulien for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate the support.

  6. Wishing you great peace in the weeks ahead. May you come down from the hills renewed.

  7. Dear Laura, This is you being human. All humans and animals like to have a place they call home, where they can rest and recharge. Maybe you need a covered wagon and travel like the gypsies. I’m sure you could figure out an easy shower!!

    In all seriousness, your posts have been wonderful. You’ve poured your heart and soul into them. You’ve earned that rest. Enjoy. Love your friends and let them love you, enjoy the sunset, read some good books, grow something, and when you’re ready go back to creating your beautiful art. Recharge so you can fully enjoy whatever comes next.
    Hugs
    Cecelia

    • Thank so much Cecelia for always showing such love and support. I am working on all of those suggestions and have been enjoying life tremendously.

  8. Ah dear friend. Take it easy and rest for I am sure in due course you will burst out of that cocoon and lift off again to explore and share. It has been a pleasure to read your blogs and also to have walked with you on the EPW.

    • Ahhhh thank you Gary. And it was a pleasure to spend time with you on the EPW too.

  9. Laura, good for you to realize you need a break. You are welcome in the Chicago suburbs anytime!!

    • Thank you Jenny! I appreciate that.

  10. Best wishes, Laura! I look forward to hearing about your next adventures, even the mundane domestic-type ones if you feel like sharing. Enjoy your restful reprieve! XO

    • Thank you Mary. I am getting inspired daily for future posts.

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