Home is where the heart is. And let’s be honest, my heart is not on an airplane, in my passport or in the tropical destination where I just landed.
My first few days in Singapore were a roller coast, stuck on the downward slope. I knew deep down that it would get better and but for a while I kept thinking, what am I doing here?!
I didn’t come here just to travel and party like most exchange students. I’ve been working for the last couple months on where I would like to be when I finish university this May and this website is one of my first steps. I came to Singapore to meet some other socially-minded entrepreneurs and to start making things happen in the world. Having to spend a couple of days packing, travelling and settling in again was incredibly frustrating and upsetting because I felt like I was wasting time. I kept thinking, people don’t build businesses by island-hopping! They build businesses by applying ass to chair.
I’ve had many people tell me that they wish they could do what I’ve done.
I travelled to over 17 countries during the last three years, maxing out almost every opportunity I could to work, study and intern abroad during my undergraduate career.
In Singapore, I feel as though I’ve finally made peace with my wanderlust. I understand now the value of having a home base. There is nothing that can replace the relationships that you’ve built up over a couple of years. There is nothing like designing my physical space and filling it with posters, post-its and postcards that represent who I am and who I want to be.
Of course, I can also give you a long list of all the benefits of travelling too. I’ve written about it before here and here, but the last couple days have made me appreciate every little thing about “home.”
The Curse of Stuff
Stuff is often what makes home, home. A familiar bed, kitchen and bathroom and all the articles that go along with it.
At the same time, the notion that the stuff you accumulate is part of your identity and all that you’ve learned. Packing less makes you freer but it also makes you feel disconnected from yourself.
I have gone through all the phases of:
1) packing too much stuff and learning that less might be better.
2) packing less stuff and realizing that I’m missing a few important articles that I slowly replace.
3) Packing less stuff and feeling frustrated that I’m missing more important articles.
Until on this trip, I have finally landed at:
4) Packing as much stuff as possible.
Any frequent flyer will tell you that travelling light is always better but I didn’t feel like packing light this time and I can tell that this is a symptom of my wanderlust-lessness. I packed two full suitcases with the intention of relocating, not backpacking.
Wanderlust-lessness? What gives?
I’ve reconsidered my decision to come a Singapore a few times already but I know that I made the right decision. My alternative was to stay in London, Canada and take a semester of media studies courses. At least here in Singapore, I am forced to stretch myself. Over the coming weeks, I will explore more of the city and I am hoping to find a social enterprise to support and help out.
I don’t feel like flying to a new country simply to bus, train or walk aimlessly through it.
I certainly haven’t visited every place on my bucket list, but right now I feel like all of my wonder and excitement for travel is gone. I just want to sit put. I want to build a life and I cannot do so when I’m constantly tearing it down to transplant it somewhere else.
I could be home with the friendships I have spent years building, or I could be in a warmer climate with people I met 15 minutes ago. I can’t tell you which is better. They are just different and the key is to appreciate the positives of the situation. For now, I’m not scanning for cheap flights to jet off to my next destination. I’ve got a base for the next few months and I intend to make the most of it.
From Blogger to Writer
This is an official announcement that I will not be blogging much about travel anymore. I feel like I have much more to say about other topics these days and I created this website to signify my new direction. My focus now will be on what has been a nagging passion of mine and guiding light for years: using media to spread some good. (Check out my About Page to read more about my story.)
I’ve learned that travelling is really a mindset and a worldview. When you’re a traveller, you’re open to meeting new people, you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and you savour every waking moment. I will always be a traveller at heart but I don’t see the need to be moving every couple of weeks or months anymore, at least not without a purpose.
Check back soon as I will be adding tons of new content to anitalee.tv in the coming months. I’ll write about social enterprise, entrepreneurship, documentaries, life habits, and sometimes, travel.
Have you ever travelled “too much”? I would love to hear your thoughts about globetrotting in the comments below.
P.S. If you know any socially-minded professionals in Singapore, I would love to meet them!
- See more at: http://anitalee.tv/why-i-have-to-stop-globetrotting/#sthash.sZjo01H9.dpuf