I can’t believe I’m thinking, much less saying typing this, but I’m a little tired of travel at the moment.
Let me preface by saying that I’ve recently purchased a home with my husband (our first together), after a long and tumultuous tri-state shuffle between Washington, DC- Louisiana – Tennessee. I should write more about this- our beautiful home. And I will. It’s been a major feat- a triumphant achievement, after hemming and hawing, searching and viewing (hundreds of houses). We finally found the perfect one.
Our new home is like a mountain retreat, in the densely wooded hills of Nashville, just minutes from the city. It’s almost like living in a vacation home….but more on that later.
This is the first time, in probably two years, that I’ve started to feel a little bit settled. We finally have our cat back. Our darling Sosuke has been co-habitating with three other feline friends at my parents-in-law’s home in Baton Rouge. They were adoring grandparents who happily looked after Sos until we could plant roots somewhere.
The past two years have, in general, been quite tumultuous for me. My husband took a job in Nashville while I was still working at The State Department in DC. Shortly after, my mom passed away, and I was sort of thrown out of orbit in to this weird limbo. I felt drawn to Baton Rouge to be with family, but I also felt drawn to Nashville to be with my husband. We didn’t have our own home, so that impeded any opportunity to really start a fresh, new life together.
Fast forward to now
At long last, we have our dream home, our little family together, in a city we love with new friends we adore. Then there’s the travel….
I’ve never concealed the fact that I have vying, dichotomous needs; one to travel and one to nest. I need to have a home base, a great kitchen to experimental cook in, a community of friends and family, a few boring routines, a yard to plant, a house to decorate. It keeps me on track. It soothes my soul. On the other hand, I have this burning, insatiable curiosity about the world, this unquenchable appetite to travel- to experience, learn, LIVE. I definitely think you can have both of these dueling”lifestyles,” but it is a struggle to balance the two at times.
My upcoming travel schedule is fairly hectic. I’m not hopping the pond over to Dublin next week for TBEX (like I originally planned…BUMMER!!). I’m not even leaving the country for the foreseeable future. OK, well, maybe not until December. But I am traveling around the U.S. and will be gone from my new home (and my Sosuke!) every weekend for the next month. Just thinking about it is daunting.
I hope I don’t sound bratty. It’s really a strange place for me to be, mentally and emotionally. I LOVE to travel. Even if it’s just back to my hometown of Baton Rouge, to mix it up a bit culturally and see family. So I find myself…. at odds with myself, if that makes any sense. Why am I feeling so drained? Why am I wishing I could stay instead of go? I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way before in my life?
Then it hit me. It’s because I finally have something great to stay FOR. I’m building something with my family that is OURS, and it feels RIGHT. It feels like HOME. I think after having 2-3 tumultuous years, it’s what my exhausted soul has craved more than anything. Warmth, stability, (good) habits, community, a home.
I apologize for any inherent whining. I just think it’s an interesting thing to reflect on and share. People value all sorts of different things in their lives, and I think it’s ok when those values are sometimes conflicting. It keeps things interesting, anyway.
So, where exactly am I going over the next month? (In case you’re interested)
We’re driving to a town just north of Atlanta tomorrow for a dear friend’s wedding. It will be a weekend of bocce ball, horseshoes, good food and good times with friends and family.
My dad invited me and Alan to visit him and his girlfriend for the weekend. They rented a house in The Highlands. Alan and I love Smokey Mountain National Park (aka The Smokies), and I haven’t been to the Highlands since I was a teenager. I’m looking forward to crisp, fall air, fiery foliage and great hikes. Hoping to get some good shots for the blog (and just for me) while there. Maybe I can practice photography with Dad. He’s pretty good…
Last summer, Alan kept telling me that the next trip he was taking was to the desert. So I bought him a “trip” for his birthday (two tickets on Southwest, which we used for another wedding trip to DC instead, so now we’re flying Delta). We were originally heading to Tuscon, AZ, but he seemed more interested in seeing Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Therefore, we’re flying to Vegas instead, where I’m hoping I can see my dear friend Marion and finally meet her new son, Cooper! Then we’ll have 4.5 days in the parks. I’ve already started soliciting ideas from fellow travel bloggers, but if you’ve been to Bryce or Zion, I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
I’m heading “home” (my other home) to co-host my new sis-in-law’s baby shower! I’m so excited about having a nephew and can’t wait to meet baby Ace!
You may see a couple of posts in the near future about these long-weekend breaks. Especially North Carolina and Utah!
If I’m honest about my editorial calendar (since I clearly have one- yea right!), I’m inspired to recall one of my all-time favorite girls’ trips to Ireland in the coming weeks. WIth TBEX happening in Dublin next week, I guess reminiscing about my amazing experience driving around the Emerald Isle is the next best thing to being there. I have some pretty hilarious videos to share (well, they’re funny to me, anyway)!
So, until next week. Happy Friday!
Don’t forget to include any suggestions you have for our trip to Bryce and Zion below! I’ll feature your recommendations in the blog!