“I came to Montpellier partially to get away from the hustle bustle, and fast paced life of London, and yet I’m running around, too often anxious and/or stressed.” – My state of mind on the 9th of May 2018.
Busy busy busy
It’s the 9th of May 2018 as I write this and I’m flying to London for a night before a trip to the USA to celebrate turning 30 with a large contingent of my school friends. It’s going to be great fun. I’ve just filed my taxes, spent 2 weeks recovering 1.3TB of hard drive data, and figuring out my finances, and I felt the need to blurt a lot of stuff out on to the digital page. Staying at my friend Jake’s house tomorrow for one night will be the 24th different bed/couch I’ve slept in since December 2017 when I moved out of my flat in Montpellier. Twenty fourth. What a slut.
I’ve been living out of a backpack for the last 6 months. Something I haven’t done consistently for at least 2 and a half years. Suddenly, tonight (about 20 minutes ago to be precise), on the way back to my latest accommodation from putting some stuff in storage and taking some more stuff out of storage for the upcoming trip, I realised that this feeling of having a thousand and one things to do isn’t sustainable. The to-do list will never truly be empty. I’m going to burn out sooner rather than later. And I moved to the south of France to enjoy the slower pace? It goes to show that your surroundings can only help you so much along that path. It’s part of who I am. I’ve always been prone to stressing quite easily and feeling that things are getting on top of me. So, perhaps it would be fair to ask why I give myself the opportunity to get bombarded by tasks.
If it’s a lifestyle, you need balance
Well, it’s partially just life and partially choices on my part. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being busy, and I’m immensely proud to say that I’m never ever bored anymore. I read a quote or heard somewhere (probably in a self-improvement YouTube video) recently that if you’re bored, you’re doing something wrong. However, taking time away from stimuli and allowing your mind to just wander and think and reflect is so important. Doing it in today’s crazy world where technology and social media demand your attention every second makes it harder than it probably ever has been. But, balance is essential for your peace of mind, mental and physical health.
I’ve loved the first 5 months of this year, and the contents of that time are best summed up in other posts or videos (on the to-do list!). I wanted to travel more, and if you include France, I’ve spent time in 5 countries. That’s lots of tasty food, awesome people, work experience (I worked everywhere I went), and most important: life experience.
The quote: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” is becoming more and more true to me as I get older and appreciate all of life’s intricacies and beauties. But as I just said, balance is essential. That’s why I’m thoroughly looking forward to getting back to France, finding a new place to live, and enjoying the summer from a place I love to call home. I want to connect with the place and the people, and I can’t do that if I’m always having to think about what flights I’ve gotta book and what accommodation to book every week. These first few months were mainly about getting to travel and see how well my productivity coped on the road. Answer: pretty well! But I don’t have a 35 or 40 a week schedule of paid work at the moment so that helps massively.
Every experience contributes to who you are
The second six months of this year will be about finding a rhythm, adding some important new habits, and integrating travel where I can, with a view to knowing how to manage a daily routine when occasionally going to a new city or country a month or so at a time.
My decision to commit to slow travel back in 2015 has been vindicated. This intense 6 months came about because I felt like I hadn’t been slow-travelling these past 3 years, and other things had taken over. So I went a bit mad. The best kind of mad :p. Now, I’m committed to finding that balance that works for me. But hey, I guess it’ll always be a work in progress. And what I’ve always said is: if you don’t know what you want to do in life, at least travel while you figure it out.
I was inspired to write this short post on my way home. I didn’t know what would come out of my fingers but I feel like I’ve half hit the reset button by doing so and that gives me the energy I need to go and really enjoy the next month. Bring on the USA!