Why I Had To Stop Globetrotting Like A Nomad

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.

Turned into:
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

Anita Wing Lee