Living a Double Life of Travel and Routine

Walking on Glaciers at Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Walking on Glaciers at Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Once you've had a taste of the nomadic lifestyle, I'm not sure how one goes back to the obligation driven pace of routine living. Not to sound pessimistic towards North American culture, but there's something to be said about exploration, and it's naturally uplifting effects on the soul. For those of you who have been accustomed to a routine life, and still have an affinity to move, this one's for you. Personally, I come from a place of wonderment, where I believe this world has the ability to amaze me, teach me, and liberate me. Unfortunately, like many of those around me, I have allowed myself to find comfort in security. However, I am slowly learning to take risks, build dreams, and most importantly, say yes. 

After a recent trip of house hopping and hostel living, what I ask myself now is this; how do I balance a life of travel with a life of responsibility? If you've spent much time on the road, I'm sure you can relate to the unsettling feeling of returning to routine. Coming home felt like a defeat; it was as if I was crawling back into my cage of comfort, becoming stagnant once again. I now find myself questioning the value of the lifestyle I've spent so many years building. Because when it comes down to it, every day counts, so why waste moments being uninspired? 

The view from my bunk at ODDSSON Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland

The view from my bunk at ODDSSON Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland

While I was away, I realized how much more "me" I was able to be, then I ever thought possible. It may sound silly, but it was the little things about myself that really made me happy. I let my short curly hair do it's thing, I took naps at 6pm fully knowing I would throw off my sleeping pattern, and I was even able to embrace a trust system living in such close quarters with other bunk mates. In retrospect, I found comfort in the uncomfortable. I've spent a lot of time over the years reflecting on where and how I fit into society based on my veganism, my sexual orientation, my perspective of success, and my general belief system. But there's something to be said about exploration, and it's ability to liberate and enlighten. Without restricting myself to the confines of my surroundings, I was finally able to free myself of my own expectations. Mind you, this is a process, and does not always come at once. Being on the road for such a short period of time, I simply got a taste of it. But whose to say we can't live our lives this way every day? 

View of downtown Reykjavik, Iceland from the top of Hallgrímskirkja Church

View of downtown Reykjavik, Iceland from the top of Hallgrímskirkja Church

Now that I'm back in the swing of things, I'm trying my best to find balance, rather than promote that "all or nothing" thinking that tells me it's one or the other; travel or routine. Aside from finding new ways to love and explore myself, I learned how to open up to new experiences, new people, and new places. Being immersed in another culture allows you to learn hands on; creating a new level of inspiration. But as much as I'd love to spend my life travelling, more often than not, we find ties to home in many different forms. Whatever your reasons are, I think the biggest lesson I learned from my time away, is that exploration is always a possibility. We often get caught up in a routine life, not even realizing that we've become stagnant; standing still in a world that is consistently moving and growing. In this, I vow to myself to continue to find opportunities to expand my world - and I hope that if this inspires you - that you do the same.