To All the Travelers Who Aren’t Traveling

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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 you feel post-travel depression whenever you come home. Perhaps 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.

Travel is Not an Action, it’s a State of Mind

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.

Love,

The Two Drifters

eiffeltower

 

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60 thoughts on “To All the Travelers Who Aren’t Traveling”

  1. “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?” That is such a beautiful thought, and so very true!
    I’m kind of in the same boat right now, and while there are days where I’m so excited to be near my family and friends, a lot of the time it brings me down. Thanks for the uplifting thoughts!

  2. This is so true, and I can relate to your comment about being a “phony” as I too am back at “home”, with no idea when my next big trip will be. However I know it’s not over yet, travel is still very much a part of my “masterplan”…. and in the meantime if I can carry on sharing tips and experiences with fellow travellers it will not only help other but keeps my wanderlust juices flowing!

  3. Wow this resonated with me so much!! Thank you for writing this. We’re in a very similar situation… stuck in the UK, working hard to live the life we dream of: A life, where travel is woven into every breath and every day. Right now, we’re feeling a little stuck. James has his own business for the time being, I love my job and my mum is very unwell. We need to get through this tricky phase before we can live the life we dream of. But it WILL happen. Thank you for reminding us that although we may spend more time at the moment drooling over other travel bloggers photographs than actually travelling ourselves – we are still travellers. LOVE you guys x

    • Aww, thanks for commenting Gabby. So sorry to hear your mother is not well. Prayers that she has a full and speedy recovery!

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, sitting still can be a bit tough when your heart is out on the open road. Fortunately, planning a wedding is a pretty good reason for staying in one place, lol, but it is hard to feel like we are good travel bloggers when we aren’t out and about. I think some great advice I’ve gotten is that where YOU live is a faraway destination for someone else, so why not take advantage and write everything you can about your region of the UK? πŸ™‚ I need to write more about Asheville, for sure!

  4. Love the photo! And absolutely love your perspective on traveling. Never considered it as an adventure that could be made inward or even close by where you live. I just recently went to a hiking trail about less than ten minutes from where I live that I never explored, and that in its own felt like an adventure before! I am hoping to go back and explore the other trails that connected with the one I did get to walk. Congratulations on your wedding! That will definitely be a journey, you are right! Hope you share the exploration to wedding planning and married life you find before you and can’t wait to read your stories when you get to make those longer excursions!

    • Hey Caroline! thank you so much πŸ™‚ It is fun to consider traveling in different ways, and I absolutely think taking advantage of where you live is a great way to start. And yes, stay tuned for plenty of tales about wedding planning hehehe

  5. Even though you are not travelling right now, you are still doing a great job entertaining us on Snapchat! I enjoy following your stories about North Carolina.

    I often struggle to feel like a traveller, as a teacher I get great holidays, but during term-time I have no time for anything (not even Snapchat – not that my days at work are interesting enough for that anyway!). This term has been a 14-week monster, but I’ll be on the road again on Thursday!

  6. I’m glad I read this post, since I often think, “I’m traveling in the U.S., that’s not really being a travel blogger” or “I’m staying in one place for a few months, that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily traveling anymore.” That’s not true. As you mentioned, traveling in your heart and mind is more important. People can travel and see the world, but if they aren’t immersed in and experience it, what’s the point? Then you’re just hopping from site to site hoping to see what you’re looking for, but you won’t find it!

    • Hey Brooke! Sorry, I just found your comment unfairly hidden in our spam folder!! I totally agree with what you wrote…it’s hard not to feel “unadventurous” when you’re on home turf. But travel is totally in the heart and mind, it’s our purpose. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Interesting things happen when you mix a traveler’s philosophy with location independence and a few tips from early retirement extreme. This past summer, my wife and I bought a tiny house outside of Raleigh which allowed her to quit a job shed hated. My meager income could pay the bills and still put money into savings. We were going to spend this winter on a beach in southern Spain, but this new found freedom rekindled my wife’s desire to complete her college education. Today, our travel plans on on hiatus and we’re stationary in Cullowhee, NC. She is going to school and I am running my business online – all thanks to location independent income and the traveler’s philosophy.

  8. I couldn’t agree more! I have a very strong home base (and a child in school) so we only travel a couple of times a year (living in the most isolated city in the world adds to this issue) but I have no problem with calling myself a travel blogger!

  9. You’ve stepped on an important point here! When you’re used to being on the move all the time, when you do stop somewhere for a while there is definitely a complex psychological process of settling in. If you don’t give yourself the time to push through all those emotions you can start to feel stuck and travel starts to become how you consistently run away from uncomfortableness, rather than the seeking and discovering adventure that it started out as.
    I consider myself as a traveller, and I have experienced these sensations so many times and, for the first time in a long time, I have come back to my hometown for some inspiration of what it means to “feel settled”. It’s still taking time for things to start making sense to me again, but I’m starting to feel the benefit of it.
    You’ve inspired me to write something about this topic, I’m sure many people can relate to the feeling! I certainly feel like I can finally relate to the benefits of just being somewhere long enough to call it home again.
    Great article!

    • Hey Anna! Thanks so much for your insightful comment. That is SO very true about pushing away the emotions of grief and about the process of returning home. I’d love to read your article when you write it!

    • aw, fantastic!! I’m really happy you enjoyed the post. Yes, NC is super great! I am enjoying the Asheville area a lot, and though we’ve been to the coast, we haven’t checked out the Outer Banks yet. Maybe next summer!! πŸ™‚

  10. I love the sentiment in this post. It is really easy to get down on ourselves when we’ve built an identity around being the one who’s always traveling. But there are always new things to be explored close to home…always!

  11. I always say, the people do not have to travel to become travelers. Some people even cannot travel at all, due to their disabilities, health or responsibilities. But Internet can help them travel at least virtually. Using street view on google maps, watching pictures on travel blogs and advises and stories can take them to the places they would never get or even heard about. So I think the travelers can also be those who are staying on one place πŸ™‚

  12. Great perspective! It’s so true that sometimes we are not in the right time to travel. I’m glad you guys are putting the importance of your wedding and starting your life together. It will be so nice to have all your friends and family near. It’s a big stepping stone. I love what you said that love trumps all and we are in that situation too with wanting to start a family. We are all travelers at heart and nothing has to stop it! Great post, thanks so much!

    • aw, your reply is beautiful as well! πŸ™‚ I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. It’s so true that sometimes other things take precedence. I can’t wait for our wedding, only a few more months now. I really appreciate you commenting πŸ™‚

  13. I absolutely love this post! I’ve felt like this soo often because I don’t get to travel full time but I still consider myself a traveller. Now I have a way to explain it! Haha

  14. Thank you for this! I did my version of the quit-your-job-to-travel thing, and guess what? Eventually the money runs out, and you have to sit still long enough to make enough to leave again. Thanks for reminding me that this is normal for most everyone.

  15. Thanks for this post! I agree that you can still be a traveler even if you’re in one place for awhile. I travel for work but am currently in between jobs and am now in NYC for the time being, which is where my husband has a job right now. I feel a little restless but I try to remind myself that so many people travel to NYC and I can be my own traveler in this city too! It’s helped me get out and explore a little bit and try to see the city in a traveler’s perspective.

  16. Oh, I feel this, well, almost often. In fact this morning itself, I was having a conversation with somebody on how traveling has got nothing to do with travel. I travel because- I like to see new things, meet new people, try new cuisine, learn a new thing or two about the world. But I love blogging/writing because I love to tell stories. And stories can come from anywhere… πŸ™‚

  17. I really needed to read this. With so many responsibilities towards my mother and siblings, I have to halt my international travels for maybe 2 years. But this article gave me that boost I didn’t know I needed.!
    Thank you and All the Best for your wedding. :*

  18. A beautifully expressed post! I don’t think travel is ever something you truly leave behind. Even if you cannot physically travel for whatever reason, I feel you are more likely to seek out any kind of activity that you can associate with travel. Such as trying new food from another country, reading about other people’s travel/about other cultures, watching travel documentaries. Your world interest has been piqued and it’s quite hard to switch that off even if you’re in one place.

  19. Love this! I felt this a lot last year when I was saving up money in South Korea. Some weekends I just didn’t want to travel but that’s what I was supposed to be doing. I’d feel bad spending my money going somewhere that would be boring to write about. Even now that we’ve paused in Guadalajara for a while to catch up with work, I feel myself thinking that. I think it’s so important to enjoy your surroundings and your own country. When I lived at home and had barely left Europe, I used to think that travelling exclusively meant spending weeks in South east Asia. Now that I’ve travelled, I wish I’d spent more time exploring Scotland, my home country.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It was a lovely Saturday morning read

    • Sadly, we’ll never see everything in the world. It’s hard to feel content sometimes where we are, but it sounds like you know how to find the right balance of travel and self-care. I’m so glad you liked the article!

  20. This is so on point because we’re in this stage now. I’m preparing to leave to another country, and my bf/travel buddy stayed at home for time with his family and is busy with work… We had no big travels so far this year, and it really bums me out. But hey, there’s always a next month or a next year. πŸ™‚

  21. I needed to read this today. I am struggling with guilt as I am working full time and saving for my next big trip. But as you stated it’s a state of mind not an activity! I look forward to more trips and in the meantime I will continue writing about local, previous trips and all other journeys!

    Thank you for this post!

  22. This is so true!

    I may not have been across the ocean or to another country in a while because of work (that i love) and i’ve to explore my own backyard first before going far away!

    Recently, I’ve been seeing my city with different eyes and discovered places I never knew existed!

    Appreciating what’s around you is important right?

    I’m loving the beautiful season and going to my favorite places nearby makes it all worthwhile

  23. Yes – very much so. Sometimes I feel I need to re-group and actually enjoy travelling again, not just travel for the sake of travelling’s sake in order to get material to write about. When I realised I was doing that, I realised that I wasn’t being true to my readers, or to myself. I was putting quantity over quality.
    So I took a step back, started to enjoy the PRESENT and realised that I AM travelling in a way, because I have chosen my base to be outside of my home country – and whenever I return to my home country, I see it with new eyes and new quality material to write about.

    Nice to see other bloggers have the same experience.

  24. OMG I LOVE this! We are lucky to have had 2 big trips this year with some more smaller ones planned but I still feel restless and like I should be travelling more when we are “stuck” at home. Thanks for sharing. xx

  25. I was actually thinking about this a couple days ago!! So happy someone feels the same way. I post pictures on Instagram from ALL of my past travels in no particular order and sometimes I feel like a phoney when someone asks if I’m there right now. Of course I say I’m not but I still feel fake! Even though I’ve been on a few trips this year?! I think we’re made to feel as though we should be travelling all the time in order to be a travel blogger but it’s not true when you look at it in reality. Great post!

    • Awww don’t feel fake!! Who says your photos have to be from that current time period? We post photos past and present. Yes, we don’t need to be traveling all the time to be travelers or even to be bloggers!! I haven’t been abroad since February!! <3

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