1. “I don’t know where home is.”
Sure there is the place where you grew up, but what about your new home, the one you created for yourself? Well you’ve done that and then you’ve moved on and done it again. Just like we all do — you’ve just done it a few more times than the rest of us. We all build places that become our comfort zones and then we leave them when something pulls us in a new direction. Home isn’t a place on the map, and the sooner we realize that the sooner we will begin to feel truly settled.
2. “I’m not making lasting or meaningful friendships.”
Adrift in a world of constant connections, it’s easy to get discouraged by the point of it all. Brief conversations, fleeting encounters, and relationships that end before they even had the chance to begin…it can feel pointless at times, until you stop and realize that, yes, some of the connections made had have been brief, but some have developed into incredible friendships. In fact, some of the people you consider your best friends are most likely people that you met on the road. Yes, travel means many more fleeting connections, but also a greater chance to meet people whose soul sings the same song as yours.
3. “My resume looks like shit.”
Or does it? Sure, it’s a smattering of disconnected experiences, but with a little work it can easily be turned into a document of experiences and talents that have been gathered along the way. As with anything in life, it’s all about perspective, and if you choose to present what you’ve been doing in a professional way then others will easily share your view. You just need to work a little harder to spin it the right way.
4. “I’m floating with no real plan.”
Newsflash, we all are! We are all trying to figure it out, we all think we have a plan, but it could change at any moment. I chat with friends all the time who are questioning the future, following a plan for the moment that they are not entirely sure of — people who are in flux, because we are all always changing. Assuming that one day you will be perfectly sorted for a happy, foolproof future is completely pointless.
5. “I will never end up in a relationship.”
Don’t get me wrong. I worry about this one from time to time. Running around the world makes it kind of hard to find someone who is on the same life path. However, relationships are hard no matter what. In fact, finding someone that you connect with, that makes you laugh, that you find sexy, and that has similar life goals as you is a complete gift at any point in life. I’ve seen people at 50 finally falling in love for the first time. If it happens, you’re lucky, but chasing it won’t help the situation at all. Better to just keep doing your own thing.
6. “I don’t get to see family and friends as much as I would like to.”
This one is true. No real way around it. It’s one of travels greatest sacrifices, but what I will say is that travel has made me able to really appreciate my time at home. Spending Christmas opening stockings with my mom and passing the time with friends pondering life by the lake are memories equally as meaningful as celebrating Carnival in Colombia.
7. “I’m missing out on American culture and getting less and less connected to home.”
I used to feel upset about the fact that when it comes to happenings back home, I’m out of the loop, until I realized that even when I lived in the States I never knew what was going on. My guess is that you never really cared either. That’s part of why you left, so no need to fret.
8. “I don’t own anything nice, or for that matter anything much at all.”
Chances are your shoes are broken, your clothes are worn, and in terms of material possessions you’ve got few. Personally, if I landed an interview tomorrow with my dream company I would have to show up dressed head to toe in the same clothes I wore to lectures in college. You’ve got experiences though, and as cheesy as that sounds, they’re worth more than owning a sofa ever will be.
9. “I’m becoming socially inept.”
So much of our time on the road is spent meeting people and chatting, but it’s a unique type of connection. I’m sure you’ve got the traveler chit-chat on lockdown, but what about social interactions that don’t take place on an airplane? Sometimes when I come back home I feel at a loss in conversations; I can’t add anything about apartment hunting, to be honest I don’t quite understand taxes, and the 9-5 work life is not something I relate to. Oh well, if you worked as a computer technician you would run into the same problem. At least you get to see the world.
10. “I’m too restless, get bored easily, and always need to be moving onwards and upwards.”
True, but that’s not travel’s fault. That’s just the kind of people we are, and who we will always be.