Five months ago, I left the United States to embark on an indefinite trip around the world. I sold all my possessions and left my job and friends behind to pursue a new life on the road.
By late December, I had visited Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Spain. At that point, I was at a crossroads. I no longer felt passionate about my original plans to spend the next two months exploring mainland Europe on a Eurail pass. Instead, I decided to head to the Middle East for the third time in my life. I wrote a post entitled “The Reality of Travel is Things Change.” I discussed how change is an inevitable part of travel and that following your heart wherever it takes you can be exciting and rewarding. I couldn’t have known how relevant my words were going to be in my life in the days following that post.
The truth is, just days after writing about my change of schedule, my plans (yet again) took an unexpected turn.
I knew at the time that I was exceeding my budget. However, the reality of just how much money I had left hit me when I sat down to thoroughly review my finances. I knew that if I didn’t find a steady source of income soon, I was heading towards being…well, broke. Though I’ve done some pretty crazy things during my travels, I don’t think I wanted to add sleeping under bridges to the list.
In addition to the state of my finances, there was something else. I had been fighting off a creeping sense of “travel blues” for a while. Though I know myself as a (nearly) fearless and independent international traveler, I detected a sense of loneliness and emptiness on the edge of my consciousness.
So I made another big and very difficult decision. Instead of spending the next few months traveling through the Middle East, I would only visit Dubai for several weeks. Then I would take a flight back to the United States. It would be a chance to regroup and think about my next move.
I could never have predicted what would happen next. Several weeks after visiting Dubai and returning to the US, something happened that I never thought would happen, at least not so fast: I landed a new full-time job. The next two weeks passed by in a whirlwind: searching for an apartment, a new car….
A traveler is, and always will be, who I am. Life has its unexpected twists, just like the open road. I plan on following that road with an open heart and mind. Maybe someday I will become that permanent nomad that I’ve dreamed of. But for the upcoming year, I’ll be busy figuring out how to maximize my 22 days of paid vacation time!
Due to this new turn of events, you can expect to see this website and blog to turn over a new page in the coming months. Not only will I be writing about upcoming trips, but I will be exploring, in depth, my new digs in southern California. I will also keep bringing you interesting language advice and tidbits (such as Wednesday Word of the Week), possibly pilot an interview series with travelers doing good deeds around the world, and continue gathering the best travel information from the Middle East and around the world.
Travel and life are like a roller coaster, with plenty of dips and turns. I hope you will join me for the ride!