My Most Frequently Asked Travel Question: Answered

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll notice that since I moved to San Francisco I’ve been taking short trips around the U.S. –  to New Orleans, Chicago, Austin.

If you’ve been following my tweets, you’ll also notice I’ve been sharing some #bloggingconfessions in an effort to keep it real about life as a travel blogger.

Well, here’s a confession for you: I haven’t traveled internationally this year. (Pause for dramatic effect.)

One of my favorite things about writing this blog is helping people overcome their travel fears.  With that dialogue often comes a lot of questions.  By far the most frequent question I get these days is:

“When is your next trip?”

“If you love traveling so much, why don’t you just keep traveling?”

Or my personal favorite:

“Why don’t you just travel full time?”

(My response: you’ve never read my blog, have you?)

It’s a valid question.  Especially since I transitioned from working for a Fortune 500 corporation to being a full-time freelance writer who can essentially write from anywhere (emphasis on ‘free’ as in freedom, not free as in not getting paid.)

Another internet buzzword that’s thrown around a lot is “location independence.” Why, when I could be frolicking in Costa Rica or Bali, would I choose instead to live and work in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

My answer via Instagram:

:: neighborhood walks ::

:: proximity to family/the mountains i grew up in ::

:: friends’ dogs + babies ::

:: having my favorite indian/vietnamese/mexican/californian cuisine…all in the same week ::

:: hosting parties and meeting up weekly with friends old + new ::

:: one word: CALIFORNIA ::

and last but not least… :: waking up in my own bed ::

+  :: having a place to hang my maps! ::

community, like-minded people, friends, proximity to family, happiness…that’s why!

Travel is one of the things I love most in life.  It makes me feel alive, it brings me joy, it enlightens me, it challenges me, it delights me. Yet…

There’s more to life than just travel.

Travel is a tool I use to live better at home.

You know what’s boring and uninspiring? Routines. But after awhile, even travel becomes a routine. (Just ask someone who has traveled in Asia if they’ve ever had temple fatigue.)

I want travel to stay something I look forward to.  Like birthday cakes, champagne (ok, you caught me, ‘x’ that one,) and sunny days in San Francisco. They’re especially beautiful because they don’t happen every day.

That being said…it’s been awhile. I think I’ll go look at some flights.

(And if you’re itching for a passport stamp in the meantime, there’s always #TravelTuesday.)

balance

noise :: silence

social :: introspective

play :: work

indulgence :: discipline

travel :: home

 San Francisco is my soul city.  Have you found yours?  If so, where is it? If not, are you still looking?

 


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34 Comments

  1. LOVED THIS. I’m worried that once I move to Sna Francisco I’ll never want to travel again! hahaha. But seriously, so happy you’re so in love with where you’ve ended up, and that you’re happy both traveling and nesting. Just the way it should be!

    • Aww thanks girl! I’m so glad you have the opportunity to live in Barcelona. As a former BCN resident, I know what you’re about to embark on…I am truly ecstatic for you. SF (and I) will be waiting for you…seize this adventure! Then come back and nest it up girl. XO

  2. This is exactly how I feel this year since I moved to Austin. I’ve done a couple small trips, but have spent the better part of the last 4 months exploring Austin because there is so much to do (and eat) here. Also, you’re right about full-time travel becoming exhausting. I think I’m getting more to where I want to base somewhere for at least a couple months at a time rather than being on the move all the time.

    • Nick!! Austin is one the few places I could see myself living…mostly for the reasons you mentioned (i.e. endless food + activity options!) Plus, y’all have CENTRAL MARKET. See you in Austin, or on the road! 🙂

  3. Ah, temple fatigue, I call it getting templed out. After 18 months straight of non-stop travel, we got burnt out and found a home base. But, now I am itching to get moving again. I will never be a full time traveler again – at least I don’t think so. It is too much movement, and too exhausting. I enjoy having a home base and hopping off from here. In the future, though, we may look to change our home base 😉

    • Haha “templed out” sounds like a reality TV show 😛
      I hear you on the getting burnt out…we share that struggle between wanting a home and getting the itch to travel… #thestruggleisreal. Haha. Bali isn’t a bad place to be (for now :P) I see your tropical fruit breakfast photos and want to be there. I hope to visit you there someday! Enjoy.

  4. I envy the confidence you have with your place in the world and in life. I think this post portrays travel in a light that isn’t obvious to most people….and what better way to explain your take on travel than via your gorgeous Instagram pix.

    • Ryan! Gracias! I truly appreciate your comment. I have to keep it real and let you know that it took several years of shaky ground and then some great risks to end up in this confident place. Also if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that change is inevitable — thus no amazing or less-than-amazing situation lasts forever. I’ve learned to enjoy the good times though, that is for sure 🙂
      Here’s to traveling the way that works for us!

  5. Love this!! Although can’t say you haven’t traveled internationally this year for long– get ready Belize and Cancun! This trip is going to be amazing 🙂

    • Thanks, Beth! I can’t wait for our travels together! So happy to have met you 🙂

  6. I feel the same way. “Travel is a tool I use to live better at home.” I am so lucky, like you, to live in a wonderful city that I can return home to and see fill enriched!

    • Susan! London is literally just about the only place that would tempt me to consider leaving San Francisco. You rock it, girl. Glad the post resonated with you 🙂

  7. Anne – I completely empathize! While full-time travel initially sounds like a dream, after serious thought, it sounds completely exhausting. I’m right on board with your opinions about part-time travel, and it’s always discouraging when others look down on you for being a travel enthusiast when it’s not 110% of your life. I admire your strong proclamation that travel can be whatever you want to make of it yourself. Journey on. 🙂

    • Hey Amanda! This might be my most favorite comment ever. It makes me so happy that you GET IT. When I started writing a blog, I asked myself what wasn’t already online that I wished I could read. I am just happy to have one person who sees it like I do…
      Wishing you all the best on your journey. Thank you for reading and please do keep in touch! 🙂

  8. I love it, Anne. Especially the Shiba Inu. Why don’t you just work from a yacht and cruise around the Mediterranean? 🙂
    Great pictures. I’m so impressed by you. I heard you were named one of the top Instagrammers in travel, congratulations!

    • Shibas! Yeah Brad, can you hook me up with a yacht in the Med? Even then, I can’t bear to leave my city for long…but perhaps I could take an extended vacation and write from the sea.
      And THANK YOU! I appreciate your support — means a lot coming from a Twitter master and downright bad ass like you.

  9. One of my favorite posts yet!

  10. I am so impressed by how grounded and confident you are. Love the post! Love the photos!

    • Thanks, Mindi. It’s been a journey, but the struggles make the sweet times that much better…thank you for reading. Happy food tripping!

  11. Loved this post. I’m one of the fortunate people living in Barcelona as well, and while I love traveling, leaving the city does also make me sad. There’s still enough to explore here to keep me entertained, even after six years. And living here has taught me that you don’t need to go far to travel. So what if you haven’t traveled internationally this year? I sometimes feel like we all love exploring when we’re abroad, but sometimes don’t appreciate enough what’s right next to us.

    Another point: I love trip planning, it’s half the fun of traveling for me. And if I’m constantly on the road, I feel like I’m wasting travel time doing it. I’d rather be fully focused on the traveling rather than planning.

    • Hey Edwina! When I lived in Barcelona as a student, I struggled with the balance of wanting to explore the rest of Europe on the weekends and wanting to experience Barcelona as someone who lived there. As a city it really has so much to offer, even without leaving and it seems – even after many years!
      I love your point about exploring at home like we explore abroad. It is so true that sometimes we don’t appreciate what’s right in our vicinity. Love your perspective!

  12. I love this post and I love that you say you like travel because it is something to look forward to. From someone who has seen more temples (in Asia) and churches (in Europe) than I can count, I certainly understand the point of things becoming too routine. In face, I was just recently with a girl from Japan while I was in Europe and she had never been to a church before. Something so simple and mundane to me was so exciting for her. Travel keeps that passion alive.

    • This comment is beautiful, Chanel! Thank you for reinvigorating a love of travel even more for me with this simple story. 🙂

  13. Travel doesn’t need to be international in order for it to count. I firmly believe that travel is a state of mind and that travel can be done even in our hometowns. It’s all about attitude and sense of adventure. That being said, I, too, have no desire to be a full-time traveler. As you say, it becomes routine and – well, that’s just no fun. But this quote of yours pretty much sums it up: “Travel is a tool I use to live better at home.”

    • I love this comment so much, Francesca. Particularly “I firmly believe that travel is a state of mind and that travel can be done even in our hometowns. It’s all about attitude and sense of adventure.” You take part-time travel to a whole new level of awesomeness 🙂

  14. Full-time travel is just as much routine as living in one place and doing the same thing over and over. You change locations just like someone might change the restaurant they go to on a Friday night. There is something different, but there is also a lot of routine about it. I love living in one city I love with so much going on (Memphis) and traveling often. To me it’s the best of both worlds. I think it’s wonderful to find an awesome city to call home and explore it constantly, while also getting on a plane or in a car to travel to a new destination. I have two irritations about my home: the airfare options out of Memphis such and the region is limited for weekend trips.

    • Hey Lance! That’s an interesting way to look at full-time travel and routine, one that I hadn’t really thought about.
      I have yet to visit Memphis but it’s high up on my list of USA cities to visit. I agree that part-time travel is “the best of both worlds” and I’m glad you’re making it happen despite the challenges 🙂

  15. I LOVE this post! I wrote my own take on this just last month: http://nzmuse.com/2014/07/interested-full-time-travel/

    Too much of anything, even travel, is not good.

    And hell yes to the temple fatigue. Food fatigue, even.

    I think my soul city is NYC but I wouldn’t want to live there (maybe for a couple of years but no longer).

    • Food fatigue, does that exist? No I hear you. Spend enough time in Italy and all of sudden you don’t need that daily gelato…
      I’m so glad you liked the post. I love what you wrote in yours: “I love to travel, but home is where the heart is.” I hope you get the chance to live in NYC someday if that is how you truly feel about it! 🙂

  16. Love that not traveling full-time means you’ll have something to look forward to. I immediately thought of the school children who felt sorry for Pippi Longstocking (who never went to school) because she never got vacation. It really is about balancing the things you love, and furry friends are definitely worth staying home for!

    • Awww it’s true! I forgot all about Pippi Longstocking so thanks for the giggle 🙂

  17. I often think that if we all decided to become full-time travelers, who would do all the work to keep society running? 🙂 Without all those working people, we would have fewer reasons for wanting to visit so many wonderful places around the world. So thanks to all the people that didn’t quit their jobs to travel the world 🙂

    I also agree that part-time travel is the ideal for a healthy and happy work-life-travel balance. That way we can enjoy the place we call home, travel as often as possible now, and save up for a long future of travel opportunities.

    -Scott, VacationCounts – How to Take More Vacation Time Off

    • Hi Scott, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree that balance is the key. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing! Travel is a wonderful opportunity to step outside of your bubble, and I fear that if I traveled full-time it would cease to be that. Having a home, no matter your definition, is an important part of having a full life (at least to me.)

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