I know this is a tired topic. Most recently, it's been addressed by Brave New Traveler editor Christine Garvin in Are Long-Term Travelers Avoiding "Real" Life? That post, in turn, was inspired by a musing from Nomadic Matt, Everyone Says I'm Running Away.
The theme survives because of its foundational relevance to travelers, I guess. Or because there are no answers to the questions. But either way, sitting here in the bedroom I grew up in, I feel I've now come back to "real life." And real life is hard.
I want to buy a house, but I don't have much money. That means I'll be buying a small, rundown bungalow in an iffy neighborhood and spending lots of hours bringing it up to my vision of acceptability. I'll be meeting with loan officers, learning how to hang sheetrock, building furniture and running wires, figuring and following a sustainable budget. All this seems very hard.
Wouldn't it be easier to get lost again? Pick a new quadrant of Earth and go? There's more out there. And it doesn't involve table saws, pre-qual letters, going into debt for the first time in my life. Which baits the big questions--is travel running away? Avoiding responsibility? Postponing entry into "real" life?
I was so anxious to get back here. Ready for stability, I thought. What does this mean? Will I always feel restless wherever I am?
No answers. And I've gotta stop, because I feel like a major douche waxing existential when people in Haiti and thousands of other places that aren't in the news and never will be would kill for the luxury of waxing existential. But those are the questions I'm asking tonight.