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How does it feel to be a Nomad for 70 days straight? I guess that is the question I will be dealing with. To tell you the truth I am not sure how it feels. I mean physically, I am exhausted and even though I am here in Paris taking it easy, I’m still exhausted. Truly though who would not be exhausted? We have been on the move now for over 70 days without a permanent home. We are lucky enough to have a friend like Rory who allowed us to stay with him for 2 weeks and Camille who has let us stay for 5 days in Paris. I guess though it would be very shallow of me if I spent this entire reflection on 70 days of straight traveling just talking about how tired I am. I should talk about how this experience has changed me, and how it feels to be finally living out one of my lifelong dreams. Yet, I’m not sure what to say about those subjects. In my opinion, the only thing I have really accomplished is getting on the road, so in my book I have not really accomplished anything.
Ash and I are still trying to figure it all out; we’re still in the stage of wondering if we are going to survive this around the world trip. I think fear has crept into my thinking for these first 70 days of our trip. Our original budget does not exist and we’ve realized that we’re going to have to start creating income if we want to complete this trip. We have both decided that there is no turning back. We are not going to use our families as a safety net. We are going to keep trudging forward no matter what, because I think we both know that this is our goal and we can not let finances and a little struggle get in the way of that.
This is now our life that we have to adapt to it; this is the decision we’ve made with our life and we need to see it through. I am tired of having grand ideas and not seeing them all the way through. I no longer want give up on an idea because I have to put some real work into it. So maybe that’s how I’ve already changed in seventy days. I am ready to start putting in the work that is going to let us succeed.
The first few weeks of this trip were easy; our finances were in great condition and we were on a high and feeling good. Ash and I are not in the states anymore and we don’t have that comfort zone. The high has worn off and the realities are flooding in. Our bank accounts have grown thin and with it has come the realization that we are not on vacation anymore, that I wont be sipping on cava everyday of my life. The realizations that we are not on vacation and that we are here to create a sustainable lifestyle has come at the right time. 70 days is a wake up call that we’re still just in the beginning of our trip and our goal is still out on the horizon.
It’s terrifying; it’s frustrating and exhausting when you’ve planned for the future and you’re not sure if you’re even going to make it that far. Everyday we put a smile on and we continue to tell ourselves that we will be fine, that we just need to keep moving forward, and we will figure it out. That’s not an easy thing to tell yourself everyday, especially on the days where you feel like you are lying to yourself. This allows negative thoughts to take over; maybe I should just give up and go home. Maybe I am not built for the nomadic life, or not a good enough writer to be a blogger. I start telling myself that I can’t hack it and it would just be easier to go back to Healdsburg, California and get a job in a winery and live a peaceful life there. These are the thoughts that have started creeping into my mind.
I don’t believe that any of these thoughts or fears are special. It is something that a lot of people have to go through. It is something that I think we can all relate to. We all fear failure and we all handle it in different ways. Some let these fears engulf them and paralyse them and never let themselves succeed. Then there are those people who confront these fears and uses them to drive themselves to success. I don’t want to be a person who falls and stays down; I want to be that person who keeps standing back up and pushing ever onward.
You might be wondering by now if I am actually enjoying my trip. The answer is easy, yes. I have enjoyed every single day so far of my trip and I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity that I have had. Just driving across the states was an eye opening experience. I found kindness, hope, struggle, anger, depression; I found people whose voices are not always heard. I was able to explore the dramatic landscape of Iceland. I saw a land that I described as God’s playground; it felt like I was at the end of the world and it was stunning. I got to snorkel between the North American and European tectonic plates.
I met people with an unbelievable outlook on life. The motto of Iceland, “It will always work out” is such an uplifting idea. Ash and I have always tried to believe in this and it was reassuring to see other people who believe in this. It reinstated our faith that it all works out in the end. In a world where media shadows us with negativity to have a population of people with such an optimistic view on the future was wonderful. In 70 days I have been able to experience things that I never thought I would. I’m a very blessed person to be able to go and see all these wonderful places. I could just tell you how wonderful all of this travel has been but I would feel like I am giving a false account. I feel if I just gave the fluff I might as well not even write a blog and just stick with Facebook. I want our readers to get know me and I think it is important to show that there is struggle, that I do have fears, and that after 70 days I still am a firm believer that it is worth it.
I have learned that it’s not going to be all glamour like the articles; I have read about the people who quit their jobs and live a joyous life of travel. That is Hollywood and at this moment in time it is not a reality for us. The articles about the people who have made it generally are not telling you about the struggle they faced to get there. Maybe the people in the articles had it easy but I would find that hard to believe. If I want to to see the world, if I want to become a student of the world then I’m going to need to work harder than I’ve ever worked before. I’m finally starting to understand what I will need to do. Ashley definitely has had a role in me realizing this. I have it in me to do this, I just need to do it.
After 70 days of travel, I’m learning how to adapt to my new life. I’m learning how to work through my exhaustion so I can become a student and learn everything I can about the world. I’m learning that travel is not a Hollywood movie; you don’t get to travel by map and you don’t have sponsors coming out of the woodworks to give you money to see the world. Except for your close family and friends maybe people don’t think it’s that great to attempt to travel around the world.
I’ll be honest I never thought it would be easy; I think it was just a pipe dream that it would be that easy. After 70 days I have thrown away that pipe dream and come back to reality. If I want to have the life of a traveler I am going to have to work for it. If I want people to care about what Ash and I are doing, I’m going to have to write everyday and perfect my craft. I need to let go of fear and stop blocking myself from succeeding. I need to stop letting fear of failing control me and need to just do it.
So what are my reflections on the last 70 or so days of travel; I’m exhausted, I’m scared, I’m broke, and I am having the time of my life. So here is to the next 70 days of travel and hard work; who knows maybe the next 70 days won’t be so exhausting? Like always go out, travel and change the world. Don’t wait for someone to make a difference, just do it yourself.