I suppose I kind of disappeared for a while there, I was taking a work from my vacation (note, traveling is not actually a vacation but I like the sound of the statement). Back in July I received an offer that was just too good to refuse to go back to work near Toronto for a little while, make some money, and then be able to hit the road again. I might have another stint in the spring/summer, but right now I’m travelling again. I’ve learned and relearned a few things over those few months and I thought I’d share them here.
Love Where You Live
I love Vancouver, from the bottom of the Georgia Strait to the top of Brunswick Mountain and everything that surrounds it. I love British Colombia. I only had a few days to travel out there when I was working in Mississauga but it was like seeing the light after months of darkness. I’ve been asked as I’ve traveled if I would consider living anywhere else in the world, I would, for sure, however the only place I’ve ever imagined settling long term was Vancouver. I truth, I sometimes wondered if I put the place on a pedestal, if being away made me want it back like you do after a break-up. When I was out there however I knew what I felt was real, I loved the place and even if I didn’t return for years, in the long run, Van is going to be my home.
Friends Make Everything Better
In just a few days I went from bustling downtown La Paz Bolivia to the suburbs of Mississauga. I had grown up in ‘sauga, but it hadn’t been home in over ten years and in truth, I had little to connect me with it aside from my mother and a few friends who seemed to have very different lives than when I had last been there. Its pretty easy to meet people while travelling, in fact its almost impossible not to meet a bunch of people every single day. Though I hit the ground running with meetup.com and a number of other ways to meet people, admittedly it took me nearly a month to start meeting people and another month to really make connections as I saw people so infrequently.
I had severely underestimated the role friends and connections play in my life, how important they are to how I function. I need connections, I thrive on them. I was in a slump the first month or so when I first got back and making connections is what helped to pull me out of it.
Do Important Work
Wherever I work, whatever I do, I need to feel like its important work. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering, world changing work, but I can’t just put in time, its mind numbing. When I feel like I’m doing work of value, when I feel like I’m contributing to a company or volunteer organization, I feel energized and want to do even more. When I don’t, I wake up in the morning, sit on the side of the bed with my head in my hands and wonder how I’m going to even brush my teeth.
Live For Something
I remember during university that each spring I would long for summer so I could go to work, as fall neared I would long for school to start. As I went on to travel, move across the country and make big changes I would always long for the change that I saw on the horizon.
If there is one consistency in my life, its simply that I need to set goals. With goals set and eventually achieved I look to the next one, pushing myself ever further.
When I live for something I feel like I’m truly living.
When I’ve no direction, no plans, no idea what is going on, I feel lost, I struggle, I get agitated. I’m not saying I can’t sit still and do nothing, my week of reading a book in a hammock on a near deserted island in Panama proved to me I’m capable of that. Its more just that a complete free float through life is beyond me, I need a point on the horizon I’m aiming for, even if my path leads all over the map along the way.