The absent travel blogger: Guilty, but here's why.
It's been about a month since my last blog post. In real people days, that's not a long time. I mean, it WAS the holiday season. There is always grace for this time of year, right real people?
In the blogger universe, 4 weeks is an eternity to be silent on a blog.
Internets people may have even written us off...as inactive.
Deadly to a blog.
Much needed, however, for real people with skin.
I've been silent for a few reasons, and I haven't found the courage or the voice to share those...until now.
1. The past few months have been kind of tough on our family.
Who wants to hear a travel blogger complain? Not me.
Shut up. I'd tell myself. No one wants to hear it. No one wants to hear your story.
Somehow, I completely lost touch with Samantha Nelson, and became Travel Blogger Extraordinaire...always up. Always sunny. Always a silver lining.
Here's what I'm learning : Your story is important. The gamut of your feelings matter: soaring to completely frustrated, and everything in between. When we (you and I) quit pretending to be someone else, it becomes easier to share ourselves and our story with others.
Well this life, though full of sparkly and exciting moments, is still my life.
I've got those normal to sucky days where an Instagram filter can't be applied to make everything wonderfully perfect and glowy.
And guess what? I can be sitting on the beach, living a seemingly great life and still feel disconnected from joy. Do you know what I mean?
Here's what I'm learning : Sometimes the outside (our environment, our physical appearance, our friends, our work, our kids, our family, our life partners, etc) can't make the insides feel peaceful and happy.
2. The traveling has been stressful.
Our life has been rich. We're loving the experiences. Yes, yes, yes...I wouldn't trade it. And I'd still recommend it, without a second thought.
But I can't ignore the level of stress at which we're constantly living. Moving every 30 days, staying in friends' and families' homes, missing routine, planning 4 steps ahead all the time...and of course, staying in budget or more accurately, dealing with being outside of the budget; all of these things feel less novel than it did 6 months ago.
Here's what I'm learning : We aren't designed to tote around a freight truck's worth of stress. Whether that's happening because you're ignoring your dreams or vibrantly living your dreams. Listen to your body and your emotions. They're good litmus testers for a life that's meant for joy, peace and rest.
3. As a result, we've been discussing setting down roots, and saying goodbye to our season of travel.
Not only does that feel like we've failed in some rip cord pulling way, but WHERE do we settle? The world is big. Family is in a few key locations. Can we afford to be where we want to be? Angus and I have had different ideas of our dream location. Aligning those has caused many tense conversations between the two of us.
Here's what I'm learning : Shame is a trap. Don't feel embarrassed when you have to make changes to your journey. Oh yeah, and when searching for homes on Trulia, sometimes you can get a much needed laugh at 1am.
So, yes...it's hard to write a post about travel, when big life questions are churning your waters everyday.
And thus, my month of silence.
So, what have I been doing this past month?
1. Just being present for life.
Seeing more than my phone screen. Not multi-tasking every minute of the day. Talking with and listening to friends. Laughing. Sharing. Breathing.
2. Becoming more connected to what REFRESHES me than what stresses me out.
This has been a difficult one for me, especially when, at times, the problems and questions about the future feel unbearable and insufferable. The thing that refreshes me has to be EVEN BIGGER. A massage at the spa wasn't cutting it anymore. A girl's night out just wasn't doing it. I just couldn't drink enough red wine to make me chill out.
For me, I'm leaning into my faith walk...I'm relying on something beyond me.
We'll keep you posted. There's so many that read about our adventures, that care about our family. We appreciate all of your notes and encouragement. Keep 'em coming.