I’m spending the summer in London. It’s time to reset. The past few weeks have whizzed by in a mixture of cocktails, sunsets, new friends, white wash buildings, colourful Nordic houses, fun with the family in Barcelona and the excitement of coming back from the USA and having fun with my friends in London.
I feel like I need to come back, commit to some sort of exercise and healthy eating, cut back on the way too many fun nights out I’ve had lately and make some headway on my never ending to do list that’s crushing my brain.
Taking a step back
– Me hiking in Harmavan, Lapland, yeah I wore that with all the North Facers
Last week I was at the TBEX conference in Stockholm (big event for travel bloggers). Lola Akinmade Akerström (awesome National Geographic photographer and blogger) did a great closing speech, based on the premise that as travel bloggers we shouldn’t fear transition. We need to travel to work, but when we want to slow down, as is kind of inevitable at some point, we should just do it.
People change, so do blogs and their bloggers.
The last few months, well, now TWO YEARS have been crazy. As in approaching too much kind of crazy. Lola said to think about how we’d define ourselves beyond ‘travel blogger’ in front of a room of heads nodding in agreement. Heads filled with the all-consuming nature of feeling the need to Tweet, Snapchat, Pin, Facebook, photo, write, Facebook Live and Periscope every minute of their travels.
My job is awesome, incredible, brilliant, all the positive words ever, but in travelling and working all the time I’m shattered.
“Think about a house. You can’t build the walls if the foundations are constantly moving”
–Lola Akinmade Akerström
I just want to leave my toothbrush in the bathroom
– Harmavan again, bloggers, cameras and a bridge – photo unedited
I want to go through the thousands of photos I’ve taken, tell some of the two years of stories, hang out with friends and just actually be with people I’ve known longer than a few days. I was already thinking like this but Lola’s talk has cemented the fact that I need to just be. The little things, like being able to leave my toothbrush in the bathroom, making a proper cup of tea, not carrying all my possessions wherever I go and not having to use adaptors on my plugs seem all kinds of appealing right now.
It’s a strange life, as evidenced from my many chats with my travel bloggers friends,
– Too bohemian for the ‘make a million dollars in a month’ digital nomad crowd. Their thirst for money by dishing out second rate products was against my beliefs, and they couldn’t understand why I didn’t plaster ads all over my blog. Well, the ones in Chiang Mai anyway.
– Too grown up and dedicated to my work to just travel freely with the gap year travellers, although, some of my best times were spent with them when I abandoned my work for a week or two.
– Too much travelling to fit in with the ex pats in any destinations. If you want to make any kind of roots, you need to stay still for more than a week.
I see my happy place right now somewhere in the middle – in the best of both worlds. I want a home so I don’t have to carry all my stuff, somewhere where I have friends nearby, but with the opportunity for plenty of travel too. I’m definitely not planning on ‘settling’.
I’m going to have to build up to this though. I feel a bit like some kind of feral beast who’s expected to emerge from the freedom of the jungle and rejoin society.
London is my home
First step to the forthcoming assimilation is a month-long Airbnb somewhere between Brixton and Stockwell. I’m still going to Wilderness Festival, and I have a day trip to Paris planned, but the rest of the time I
want need to find some sort of normal schedule to live by.
I don’t have much stuff so it seems like a good way to have a base, without being too permanent. Right now I can’t dedicate myself to either flying or staying still, so I’m going to hover.
I’ve tried a lot of things in the last two years, thinking I might find something I want to stick with, before I realised the thing I want to stick with is trying new things. And London is the perfect place to do that.
The time is now. Enjoy it.
I’ve seen quite a few bloggers slow their travels as they start to crave community after a few years of travelling and blogging, and now I’m joining that club. No (wo)man is an island, no matter how much you like islands.
I’ve worked on my blog and freelance projects hard over the years, and I’m happy to say that if I keep the Champers to a minimum I don’t need to find any sort of ‘day job’ to finance this change. I hope that not having to research where I’m going to sleep every night and how to get there means I’ll have more time to work on projects that have taken a backburner. I have so many ideas for things I’d like to do on and with my blog, the time is now!
I HAVEN’T EVEN TOLD YOU ABOUT CHICAGO YET! – (pictured)
I know that my blog is my calling, my life’s work. And so that’s my career tick. I just need to actually do some work on it. So now’s the time for family, friendships, and maybe some kind of relationship.
Where’s that dark room?
Since writing this I’ve lost my iPhone 6, in a field in Lapland the day after the insurance ran out, and then left my laptop charger in the hotel room, two hours away. So I kind of feel like I want to go and sit in a dark room for a week or two and think about my future.