Finding the Balance Between Travel and Family
“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” ~ Rosalia de Castro
Leaving is Hard to Do
They say leaving is hard to do, and they are right. That is one of the hardest parts about traveling. Picking yourself up for destinations hundreds if not thousands of miles away and knowing you may not see your family for a while. A LOOONG while.
Moving to New York was filled with transition. While it wasn’t across the pond, I was eight hours away, which for this Type-A person is at the very least a slow work day. Eight hours that could be spent doing other things then just sitting in a car or at the airport.
I knew it was my conscious decision to pick up roots. In many ways, it was my chance to find and heal myself. I NEEDED to move. It didn’t mean it was the easiest decision or that my family necessarily understood or even liked it, but I knew if I was going to live life to the fullest, I NEEDED to do that.
We eventually adjusted albite with some growing pains. Relationships evolved for the better and became stronger. That isn’t to say there wasn’t some sacrifice on my part. I flew home constantly, knowing if I wanted to see my family at all, I had to put life on hold and push aside dreams so I could spend time with them. They rarely if ever came to see me.
I don’t regret that or even resent it. I am ridiculously close to my family. My nephews and nieces are my world, and I miss them painfully so when I am away and it was MY decision to move.
State of Influx
Yet the older I get, the harder it is to find that balance. Despite using vacation time to go home, instead of exploring the world, I did try to find the adventure, making little side trips to Maine, and even Massachusetts. Finding my happiness and self with adventure anyway I could.
The last couple years, I have tried to establish more of a balance with that for my own sanity and career as a travel writer and blogger. Carving out time for myself, my career, my family, as well as obligations hasn’t been the easiest, even for this Type A blonde Jetsetter. There are times when I don’t know if I am coming or going because I am traveling all over the place. I don’t mind it, I love the rush of take-of, the giddiness I am on a new adventure, even if it is to a place I know.
Yet, now I am in a state of influx right now. Trying to determine what I want, what realistically I can acheive, fighting with what my hearts desire is and what the responsible choice would be. And in the background I have family obligations I would be missing, and biased opinions, while said with the utmost of love, make the decisions even harder to make and like I really am Gumby but without the flexibility to be pulled in ten thousand different directions.
I can’t say I blame them. I have been that constant, the one who goes to every family function, even when their ISN’T a family function, I am the one who has been there. The glue that has helped my parents with surgeries, holidays, and anything they might be. I always try to be there.
How do you rationalize?
But selfishly I also need to be there for myself. It is hard to rationalize that selfishness when I know they need and want me home, and even more need my help. In fact if the guilt was a real trip, I would have already travelled around the world, probably even twice, and that includes Antarctica!
I have always been that blonde jetsetter. While I wasn’t always blonde, regardless of my hair color, I craved to fly and explore and travel. That was and is my true happiness. It is where I feel the most like myself. Where I feel true calmness and peace, not just in my soul, but in a body that I have rejected and treated like shit far to often.
Truthfully, the fact I have lived in New York for as long as I have, is truly a frickin’ miracle. Three years in, I was ready to leave and by year five, half my things were packed and sold. Now eight years later, I am trying to take that leap. Key word is trying.
It is insanely difficult. Admittedly there is comfort in the familiar. Anything challenging is decidedly uncomfortable. Yet, I have always been that person who strives for that challenge, who seeks the change almost detrimentally so, because I am always pushing myself to seek something else, find that better. I am and always have been that wanderlust soul.
To try to explain that or even have others, especially family understand, has been difficult.
I feel guilty, like I am betraying my family by following my dreams. As well as guilty that I will be missing family events and milestones. But also guilty, because I feel resentful that they don’t attempt to understand the furor that drives my restless soul to explore, learn, and cultivate. That they can’t see how happy I am traveling, even after running on three hours sleep because of an early departure.
Which isn’t fair. I can’t make, or expect people to understand. Why do feelings have to be so darn complicated?
Attempting that balance
As a Gemini, it seems like I am always that person who practices and preaches balances. Yet, not going to lie, finding it has been fucking difficult in this situation.
I know if I go abroad, I am going to be missing out on a hell of a lot.
But if I don’t go, I will also be missing out on a hell of a lot.
That balance, two decisions which are essentially part of the same coin. The either or.
I made the decision when my sister died I was going to live my life to the fullest. But because of her death, I also understand the importance of family. As the one who always travels to my family, I know I won’t see them for a long time if I go, and that sucks.
Maybe it is selfish for not wanting that to hold me back, but maybe it is also selfish for me to also want it all.
This is legit why Gemini’s should NEVER debate. We see both sides and end up in one hell of an endless vortex, which is where I find myself. Playing devils advocate against me.
No Day But Today
Yes, I have resorted to quoting RENT, as I write this at three in the frickin morning. Thank you muse, though if I am honest, writing helps give me clarity, when otherwise I am just running ’round and ’round in my head like a gerbil. Though also in full honesty I feel like this is one big ramble. If you have read this far you have my apologies, and gratitude.
Maybe this is the moment I truly lose my mind with no caffeine to give me sanity for a few more hours, but the truth is, my biggest fear in life is regrets. I don’t want there to be any. Regrets of not taking the chance, but also regrets of what I will be missing. Regrets that lead to resentment, either because I didn’t go through with it because I felt pressure from my family, or their resentment that I left.
I can also add long run off sentences to this rambling post. I wish I could end it more upbeat or even with a resolution, but despite endless typing on my phone and countless grammar mistakes, I still don’t have an answer.
I just have to trust. Trust that whatever decision I make is the right one, and ultimately it is the right one for me. I live this life, no one else. Life is not certain, nor is it guaranteed and I have to live MY life to the fullest.
I have a ton of thinking and praying to do the next couple months and ultimately I just have to trust that it will be what it will be.
How do you balance family and travel? What helps you make tough decisions?