Why I Stopped Traveling So Much Last Year

Maybe you’ve noticed the lack of travel posts recently. I used to take every opportunity to travel, and I’d gotten used to people asking me where I would be going next. But last year, I more or less stopped traveling. Here’s why.

1   I went to all the places I really wanted to go to. Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Israel, India, etc. — all the countries on top of my list I managed to visit, even if it was just an extended stopover. I definitely want to go back or visit other countries in the near future, but right now, I feel content. I no longer get FOMO when I hear so-and-so is going on this vacation, or when I see Instagram travel photos because I’ve been there, done that, or something similar.

2   I got tired. My last international trip was quite the adventure, but I came home with a sore neck, a bunch of cuts and scratches down all my limbs, and bad internal bruising that took four months to fully heal. As soon as I got into bed, I slept for 36 hours straight – no joke. From then on, I didn’t travel for six months.

Traveling is not always the same as having a vacation. Even when I go on a three-day trip, I’m trying to see everything, so when I go home, it takes me a week to recover. It used to be worth it for me. Now I choose comfort.

In the summer, I went to Boston. I had a decent time, but I would have been just as happy in my own city. When I was unpacking in my hotel, I suddenly got really annoyed at the process. It wasn’t fun anymore to fit my life into a suitcase, and I was tired of digging in a small toiletry bag to find travel-sized containers. That’s how I knew I was really burnt out. It’s been eight months since my last trip, and I still don’t feel the need to go anywhere in particular. I’ve had opportunities to travel, but home is where I want to be right now.

I’ll happily travel again when I’m ready, but it won’t be with the same frequency.

3   I’m not a nomad. I’ve talked to older people who absolutely love to travel and will go to exotic countries every chance they get. It’s constant for them. The jobs they have—photography, tour guide, online work, etc.—they do mainly to fund their trips. In comparison, I’m not infected with the travel bug as much I’d thought. I don’t have the same burning desire to visit every country I haven’t been to, and I don’t need to tick every item off a bucket list someone else made. I plan on going back to some of my favourite countries and slowly explore, making sure to take my time and be fully present in my surroundings. I’ll be happy with two trips a year.

4   I really like living in Toronto right now. I grew up in Toronto and thought it was a boring city growing up. Maybe that sounds crazy because it feels like everyone’s trying to move here right now, but it’s probably what many people feel about where they grew up. As soon as I was able to, I was out of here. I’ve been living in Toronto again for the past five years, and the city has really grown from the awkward teenage stage and trying to be New York or London. Now it’s a self-assured, confident adult with its own cool identity. It’s a city that’s impossible to get to know on a short trip. I’m still discovering pockets of the Toronto I’ve never been to. New restaurants and businesses are opening up all the time, and there’s always something to do here.

After visiting different places around the world, I realized Toronto is the only city where I’m truly free to be myself. I don’t have to think about my race or gender (this is the case for me at least) and I can mingle with people from every culture naturally. Everyone belongs because everyone is from somewhere else. Also, I don’t have to worry about pickpockets.

5   I wanted to plant firm roots. I’m grateful for all the opportunities to travel, and I’m glad I got it out of my system as a young person so I can stay put now and feel good about the decision.

Yes, I can fit my life into a backpack, but I no longer want to. I like having access to all my things, whether it’s my books, my shoes, or my full nail polish collection. I like having a home, a sanctuary. I like being part of my community and seeing my family and friends whenever I want.

When I used to travel a lot, I had a one-foot-in-one-foot-out mentality. I couldn’t fully commit to things because I want to keep my schedule open for my next trip. It was an excuse for me to escape responsibility and commitment. I used to feel chained down, but now that I’ve finally grown up a bit, I want to plant roots, have responsibility, and build a home.

6   I can focus on my work. I am a digital nomad, so I can work from anywhere, but I still choose to live in one place because the stability allows me to focus better. Traveling gave me a lot of inspiration for my creative projects, but now I have the space to get things done. I can also use the money that I would have for trips to further my education, such as with intuitive healing courses or writing workshops. I’m devoting my free time to wrapping up some creative projects, starting new ones, and learning new skills. I feel happier now that I’m more grounded in my purpose than ever.

Of course, I’m still going to travel! I don’t know where to next, but it’ll be somewhere that really lights my fire.

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Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

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