To All Travelers Who Aren’t Traveling For One Reason Or Another

Twenty20 / weirdsaudi
Twenty20 / weirdsaudi

Dear Traveler,

Sometimes we feel like the worst travel bloggers. Because…right now, we’re not traveling.

For the past 6 months and until next summer, we’re essentially staying in one place. No big trips are planned, and even weekend excursions are rare. Every now and then, our identity as travelers and travel bloggers feels almost phony. If we aren’t traveling, are we still travelers?

Have you ever felt this way? Perhaps you’re not a travel blogger, but one who simply feels that travel is an innate part of their very existence. Maybe much of who you are is wrapped up in the world and all its experiences. Without that, you feel lost.

To you, we say:

You are still a traveler

If travel is a part of your very lifeblood, then you will always return to it. There are adventures glittering in the distance.

At the moment, though we aren’t jetting off to Europe or exploring exotic beaches, travel still drives us.

Our passions and goals all center around travel, around the freedom to live a nomadic lifestyle, and with the intent of richly experiencing our planet. So, while we are not on the road, we are at home, working hard, saving money, and building our life. Travel, though not part of our immediate plans, is an integral part of the master plan. Knowing the world is out there waiting is one of the many things that keeps us going.

Sometimes, life happens

Now and then, our lives don’t allow us to pursue travel as much as we’d want to. Perhaps the reasons are financial (although with prioritizing & budgeting, travel can be surprisingly affordable). Or, maybe you are starting your family. Maybe you’ve found a place you really love and you don’t want to leave for awhile. Are you still a traveler? Yes, you are.

For us, travel has had to take a backseat as something momentous is coming up: our wedding. Getting married in the US, where many of our family and friends will be able to join us is very important to both Nathan and I. Planning a wedding is no small feat, and so, for the time being, we are focusing on that.

As much as travel is one of my greatest passions, love trumps all. I am so excited for the most important event in my life and if you think about it, marriage itself is really the greatest journey.

Traveling starts at home

What defines a traveler anyway?

So what if we’re not using our passports. Traveling can happen anywhere.

We are really enjoying living in Asheville, North Carolina this year. It’s a place that is new to us, so just going out and exploring the city is an adventure. On weekends, we’ll often head into the nearby mountains to hike. This is an awesome region.

Getting out and about and discovering a place is totally what traveling is. Dear traveler, if you are feeling stuck at home, get out and explore your city. Head to the next town over. Travel is not only about seeing new places. As Marcel Proust said:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Even if you’ve spent years in your hometown, try looking at it in a new light. Pretend you’re a tourist. Try a new restaurant you’ve never been to. Sit in a crowded spot and simply people watch. Travel is about so much more than unfamiliar landscapes. It can also be about making incredible discoveries about the familiar.

There are many ways to travel

Maybe travel does not even need to involve places at all.

Henry David Thoreau wrote:

Direct your eye inward, and you’ll find / A thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be / Expert in home-cosmography

What does this mean? This means, humans are as fascinating and varied as the world. If you’re not off on an outward journey, why not spend some time reflecting inward? You as a being are boundless, mysterious, and capable of an enormous amount. When was the last time you considered the awe and wonder of who you are? If that idea sounds silly to you, I’d venture to say that you especially need to take this journey of self-discovery. Your time of sitting still and remaining at home may be the perfect opportunity for some incredible growth. And then, when your next vacation or adventure calls, you’ll be even more capable of making the most of it.

And so dear traveler, do not fret. Though your backpack be dusty and your couch far too worn, the day will come again when you’ll head for the open road, or board a plane to a great destination. Until then, remember, you are always a traveler, and your entire life is a vast, remarkable voyage.


The Two Drifters Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at Two Drifters.

More From Thought Catalog