The other side of a traveling lifestyle
Traveling all the time, visiting one beautiful beach after another, meeting people from all over the world, eating cuisine from a variety of cultures… it all sounds fun and glamorous, doesn’t it? Well, there is another side to that lifestyle. The good news is – if you are as lucky as us, you CAN go home.
Mark and I have spent more than 9 of the last 12 months gone from “home.” Home to us is a little town in central Florida, called Tavares (America’s Seaplane City). In the last year we have spent time in St. Petersburg, Boothbay Harbor, Maryland, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, Charleston, St. Augustine, The Exumas Islands in the Bahamas, and, of course, Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Some people look at that list in horror, while others envy our ability to travel and see the world and experience so many different things. There are pros and cons on both sides.
I happen to be married to a man with a huge case of wanderlust. He has lived in many different places and is undaunted at the thought of packing up and moving. Add to that, he is a professional musician and a licensed boat captain, which means he can find work just about anywhere. Me, on the other hand, I want to visit lots of places, but I never, ever, EVER want to pack up my house and move. I hate moving. Luckily, our jobs have created the perfect compromise. While we “pack and move” often, it is only for a few months at a time. We have ended up finding a nice balance that keeps both of us happy.
Yes. There is actually a pretty big downside. Perhaps several. We spend a lot of time traveling – that equates to a lot of time spent in the car or in airports and living out of suitcases. These situations can be extremely stressful and sometimes cause tension in our relationship.
There is also the fact that I haven’t spent many holidays with my son lately. No Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, or birthdays together in the last four years. This past year, we also missed Christmas, New Year’s and Easter while we were in Panama. While my son is grown now and lives on his own, I still miss our traditions and getting to celebrate these special holidays together.
And while you CAN go home, things have usually changed while you were gone. There are break-ups and deaths, people have moved away, and your favorite restaurant closed. You are reminded the world didn’t stand still while you were gone.
Travel is essential for our souls. I would rather have experiences than possessions. My entire bucket list is made up of travel and adventure. I want to immerse myself in other cultures.
We also have eaten our way up and down the East Coast of the United States a couple of times now. We have visited places for their incredible history (like St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, and Salem). We have seen beautiful, breathtaking beaches and visited other lighthouses (in the Outer Banks, Panama, New England, and the Bahamas).
Most everywhere we visit, we manage to find some INCREDIBLE food! (The food just might be the best part of traveling.)
While travel can be stressful on our relationship, it also makes us stronger. We are experiencing these places together and making memories which will last us a lifetime.
There’s No Place Like Home
This is certainly true for us. We are beyond blessed in the fact that we are always welcomed home with open arms. We have an amazing support group of family and friends who encourage all of our adventures. They take care of our dogs when necessary, our cars and forward our mail. Our friends transport us to airports or train stations. They make sure we know we are missed, but also that they are proud of us. They count down the days until we return. We get care packages, surprise cards and gifts which remind us of home.
And when we are home, they pack Mark’s gigs to hear him play!
I really don’t know whether or not we could do what we do if we didn’t have the safety net of home to come back to. This safe place where we know we are loved unconditionally. For us, “home” isn’t a building, it’s our community of supporters.
This lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people never have a desire to venture any further than their own backyards. There is nothing wrong with that. For Mark and I, there is a whole world out there and we want to experience as much of it as we can. And knowing there is always the warm, welcoming hug of “home” waiting for us – we can go out there and keep chasing those rainbows.