It’s been two months since I’ve posted an update to this blog. In that time, I ticked off three more countries (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Nepal), finished more than a few items on my bucket list, and returned to my home state of Colorado.
Almost everyone I’ve talked to since returning says the same thing: “I didn’t think you were going to come back.” When I left, I didn’t think I was going to come back, at least for a year or more. And yet, six months after I left with a head full of half-complete visions, a different me was clearing customs at LAX, and a stern-faced immigration officer was telling me “Welcome home.”
What brought me back?
Simple homesickness. Travel is a lot of fun, and it’s great to constantly be challenging yourself in new environments. But as I discussed in my last post, being a digital nomad can be very isolating, and I missed my big network of friends and family at home.
I had the money to keep traveling, and a job to sustain myself. I ran down a laundry list of cheap destinations I could hit next: Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka, back to Chiang Mai to meet a friend who was hitting the backpacker circuit in April… None of it sounded good. I was burnt out on travel, ready for the comfort and cleanliness of home.
So I bought a ticket home, and three days later I was on a plane. Such flexibility is one of the real joys of being a digital nomad. You are accountable to no one but yourself, and if you want to go home, you just go home. Here in the U.S. we are raised to believe international travel is this big, dangerous leap. But the truth is that the sort of always-connected travel a digital nomad enjoys is totally low-impact: you don’t like it, you leave.
The Grass is Always Greener
So, I’ve been home for a month now. I’ve seen my friends, broke bread and maybe a few beer bottles with lots of the people I wanted to see, and a few people from my past I never expected to run into. I see the “regular” life I could have here. It would come easy, without much effort or soul-searching. And yet, all I want is to get back on the road. The road that seemed so difficult and lonely at many points over the past half-year.
Life’s funny like that.
It won’t be long before I’m in some new place, taking pictures and creating new stories. In the meantime, I’ll be regularly dripping out content from the past two months— I experienced Chinese New Year in Taipei, breezed through Hong Kong in two (expensive) days, coughed my way through Kathmandu, and trekked nine days through rural Nepal to visit Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130 meters. I took some amazing pictures, met some great people, and partied a few nights away. I lost a job, got a job, and almost managed to get myself hired for a permanent position in Austria in the middle of all that.
So I’ve got some stories to tell. I hope you’ll bear with me as I try some experimental approaches to content over the next few weeks and months. You’ll get the stories and photos from Taiwan, Nepal, Hong Kong, and even some Colorado content, as my home has become an enviable travel destination in its own right recently (thanks, legal marijuana!)
And if that’s not enough, feel free to connect on social:
thisisyouth on snapchat.