Am I running away from something or toward it?
I think the answer to that has evolved over time. As I’ve grown older, I have begun to appreciate how important it is to be comfortable in your environment. I truly love the experience of seeing new places and living there allows me to really immerse myself in the community, something you can’t do if you’re just a visitor. Then there is the homebody in me that needs a peaceful, nurturing environment to thrive.
A big sign that I am ready for a change is when I begin to feel trapped or isolated. No matter how comfortable my surroundings may be, if I feel uneasy in my space I must leave. My answer to that is to seek out a new location. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s near or far, I have moved out of state and out of the country with a suitcase and plane ticket. Sometimes I don’t even have a place to live when I arrive.
It is a thrilling adventure.
Arriving in a new city with only a hotel or B&B booked feels very fun and carefree. Then reality sets in and you realize that you actually need to find a place to live if you are going to stay for any length of time. Suddenly, making those arrangements and trying to get settled in your new place takes on a life of its own and can consume all your free time. Sometimes I wonder if that is part of the appeal to me.
I’ve always loved the start-up of any project I’ve worked on. It’s the ongoing maintenance I don’t really care for and soon will become bored and start looking for the next new thing.
As soon as something catches my interest the planning begins.
I enjoy preparing to go almost as much as the actual event. Deciding what to do with my personal belongings, how and when I will leave etc., it’s great fun to plan for the adventure. There is also an element of fear that seems to enhance the experience. I am always cautious about what I am doing and know that if, for any reason, I don’t want to be there, I can come home. It feels like a good safety net and gives me more confidence to give it a try.
I always miss my family when I’m away and after a certain amount of time, visits will no longer suffice and I must return home again and I begin to arrange that.
With each change comes a new perspective on my life.
Looking back, I realize how much each of those experiences has taught me and how much it makes me appreciate the wonderful life I have.
Whenever I am in a new place it is an opportunity to explore an entirely different side of myself. I am very good at blending in and becoming part of that environment, much like a chameleon. It gives me a chance to try something new and see what fits and what doesn’t.
Every time I return from one of my extended excursions, I feel transformed. I have added something new that was not there before and my world has expanded. It is that experience that keeps me wanting more. It helps me remember that no matter how old I get, I still have the capacity to grow and change in ways that I never imagined.
I don’t know if it is bold, brave or stupid but it is something that makes me feel more alive than staying in one place ever could.
For now, I’ll enjoy the respite of my new home-base and wait to see where the next adventure takes me.