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.
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.
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.
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.
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.