I’m home now. I arrived this morning. There’s no more flights booked. No temporary unpacking of bags. No research or planning for the next departure. And no foreign currency to buy.
It would be easy to just keep traveling. Easy to keep working part time as a digital nomad in a job that pays enough for airfares, food and a place to sleep every night. I’ve only seen a dozen countries these past two years and my passport has plenty of space for more stamps. It doesn’t even expire for another five years. At times it’s tempting just to continue. To rack up the countries and admire the list as it grows.
But I’ve never been one to take the easy road. My life has been coloured by one tough decision after another. Decisions that I know many wouldn’t choose to take because they are a departure from the comfortable. But decisions that have worked out well for me, even when I was scared at first. At 18 I moved in with a woman with whom I would live for 16 years. I raised her son as my own despite my youth. At 19 I transitioned from the female body I was born in to live as a man. I started a trade apprenticeship but realised I wasn’t going to be great at it so I simultaneously completed a degree. There were few job opportunities in my field so I studied another degree again while working full time. As a first year apprentice I bought my first house and later sold it to buy another. I worked hard and pushed the boundaries of my energy with study and sport. At 31 I jumped ship from a promising public service career to work in eLearning, a field I knew nothing about but in which I am now an expert. I studied education at university and have gained exceptional grades when merely passing would be enough. And then, at 34 I took a leap of faith to leave that life behind to travel the world.
I’m 36 now. The past two years have been amazing and taught me things I never thought I’d learn. I’ve gained confidence and become even more determined than before. I’ve discovered that money isn’t everything but recognise that I need some to do the things that are important to me (like travel and eat).
Two years on I’ve come home a different man to the one who left. Then I was idealistic and hoping to mimic the adventures of others whose blogs I followed and books I read. Fortunately, I quickly found my own style of travel and way of being. I was looking for a new place to call home. I’ve learned that home is the people in your life and the choices you make about how you will live every single day.
I’m home now. I have a man who I love. We have fun together and share many laughs. I’ve started a social business that excites me and will offer a good combination of challenge and joy. And, of course, I still have plans to prioritise travel and adventure … Just not in a nomadic way. Until the next adventure worth blogging about ….