In a Rut

No need for panic. I’m not really “in a rut,” especially since that sounds so damn negative. I just had a little realization, that’s all.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been so worried about conserving my last bit of savings for the final leg of my trip, that I think I’ve been opting for less adventure than I’d hoped.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – I’ve still explored some beautiful Eastern European towns and spent a day in a Croatian national park that I’ve wanted to see since 2011. But I’ve been in Dubrovnik for about three full days and my time has been spent mostly hanging out with new friends in the hostel, working on some freelancing deadlines or just messing around on my laptop.

A grand total of my 72-plus hours here so far spent wandering Dubrovnik, relaxing on a beach or doing anything generally considered adventurous? Meh…five or six.

When that reality hit me earlier today, I started getting self-conscious, wondering if I’d finally reached the burn out stage of this journey. I mean, I just wrote a love letter to McDonald’s for my last post (highest-viewed blog so far, by the way – thanks!) for heaven’s sake.

So, in a quest for answers (and procrastination on actual work), I read through a bunch of my “Miscellaneous Thoughts” blogs from this trip. And not to toot my own horn, but that really helped.

I’ve written so much about the joy of traveling with no set agenda and the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want, for as long as I want. I’ve preached the value of experience, adventure and challenge. I’ve repeatedly urged others to take a break, not worry about the price and let themselves be changed by travel.

And it’s true that this trip has proven to be a life-changing, outlook-altering journey for yours truly. I’m interested in new hobbies, more confident in general and inspired by the people, places and things I’ve seen.

But it’s also true that I’ve let myself slip a bit, back into a comfortable hostel bed in Croatia and accidentally lost some of the positive drive that is so necessary. Luckily, I think I recognized that quickly and there is a cure: I just…need to chill.

Money is only paper, and I’m going to be near empty when I get home anyway. So instead of thinking how fun it would be to try stand up paddle boarding or taking a sunset kayak ride and balking at the prices, I’m just gonna go ahead and do those things.

Chill meme

After all, that’s the whole point, right? I’m in this beautiful city that I fell in love with four years ago, and I’m sitting on a balcony overlooking the port, listening to an amateur soccer match being played down the street. I’m incredibly lucky and incredibly happy and if I want to blow some money on something awesome like that, I will.

Sometimes it’s hard to find these balances when you’re on a trip. But when I went back and read through my blogs and thought about how much I’ve been affected by the last four and a half months, it got easier. Basically I was reminded that life is really fun and really short and really beautiful and taking even a single day for granted is a tragedy.

So, anyway, just like I’ve written about numerous times, this glamorous life isn’t always easy. And just like I’ve re-discovered numerous times, it’s not meant to be easy, and that’s part of the fun.

You can find me on a beach, board or kayak tomorrow, bank account and responsibilities be damned.

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