I had always said that, although a year seemed like a long time to be away, a year would pass anyway whether we did it or not. Now people see me and exclaim how quickly it seems to have gone by. Quickly indeed. We’ve been back home for more than a month now and we are settled in. Our routines have re-established themselves and that big, long year seems like just the blink of an eye.
It is almost two years since we tipped our hand to family and friends letting them know of our, until then, secret plan to put our jobs on hold, sell our house and car, and travel the world for a year. As I think about it, I can feel again the anxiety and nervousness I felt then…unsure of how people would react, scared that no-one would approve, worried that we wouldn’t be strong enough to see it through.
What a difference two years can make. I now feel strangely confident, strong and powerful…like I can do anything. I think success does that to a person – it finds a hole in self doubt and instead instills a sense of power. I’m slowly realizing what I might be capable of and, although it scares me, I am excited by the possibilities.
I have felt a mix of emotions in the past two (and a bit) weeks. Contentment, excitement, sadness, optimism, pride. I feel settled…and unsettled. I seem to be more emotional now than I was before. I was sitting at my desk one day listening to all that was going on around me and suddenly I felt like crying. There didn’t seem to be any reason for my sudden sensitivity – I wasn’t thinking about travel, or being home, or anything really – I just suddenly welled up with tears. I find myself on the verge of tears more often now than I did before. TV commercials, magazine articles, news stories…all seem to affect me, it’s weird.
I don’t think it’s because I’m sad the trip is over – I was ready to come home when we did. Maybe I’m sad that the adventure is over. Every day was different while traveling and new challenges were constantly presented. The tasks, such as getting dinner or finding a room, may have repeated themselves but the logistics around them were always different – we were always in a new city and often didn’t speak the language. Every day was an adventure and that is not the case any longer.
And so I feel settled…and yet not settled all at the same time.
The Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) got it start in early 2009 as a place for travel bloggers and writers to meet and support each other. There are now almost 3000 members sharing their stories, experiences, photos and blog addresses. It’s a great place to get answers to all kinds of travel, writing and blogging questions and to join groups with wide and varied interests.
This weekend the 2nd annual TBEX conference was held in New York City. I didn’t attend this year…but maybe one year I will be able to. It would be a great opportunity to connect up with follow bloggers, hear talks given by more successful bloggers, and generally mix and mingle with people who do amazing things.
We held our own Mini TBEX conference this weekend in Victoria. Granted, it was small with only OneGiantStep, ForksAndJets and ProjectRunaway in attendance but we had a wonderful time sampling local beer, eating fabulous food and laughing the weekend away. We and Lisa (from ProjectRunaway) live here and were happy to host Jeremy and Eva. They were on their Home Is Where The Hops Are tour and we did our best to showcase our local beer culture while still trying to preserve our livers. It was great to meet people that we have been following on line, talk about travel and places we have all visited, and discuss what it’s like to come home. I’m sure the NYC TBEX was this, and more, on a much grander scale…but we did pretty okay.