I’m sitting on a low couch under a Berber tent in Rabat, Morocco, and I’m feeling guilty. It’s day #51 of my Remote Year adventure, and I’m just now getting around to posting to this blog, which I had started working on long before setting out for a year of working remotely while traveling abroad.
I had the whole blog thought out. The plan had been to post several times before leaving, and then at least once a week while traveling. The overarching theme of my “Unraveled Travel” blog would focus on experiencing fun despite or even because of the hiccups and quirks of travel. I would go beyond sharing just the highlights and Instagrammable moments, and divulge how things don’t always go as planned: you miss a train (been there), you misunderstand visa requirements to enter a country (done that), you fall victim to traveler’s tummy (intimately familiar with that one), and life sometimes just gets in the way. Most importantly, though, I would show how those hiccups along the way end up making the best stories and sometimes even lead to the most fun and vivid memories.
Here’s the thing, many people think of travel as separate from real life, but that’s not the way I see it. My life isn’t real without travel, and just as real life has it’s ups and downs, so does travel. Dealing with the challenges that pop up while learning a foreign culture or navigating a new city strengthens my dexterity in navigating the natural ups and downs of life. There are times when life lobs you curveballs like a family health emergency, a job loss, a breakup, a beloved pet’s untimely death. (And sometimes all those things happen at about the same time…fall 2015 kinda sucked.) When the hiccups and challenges come, you can either fall apart under the weight of stress, fear or sadness, or you can find opportunities for growth, joy and new connections. The message I envisioned for this blog was to share my own “unraveled travel” moments in hopes that they resonate with readers who also have unraveled moments in their life, whether traveling or not.
You might say my blogging plans totally (coincidentally?) unraveled as I got caught up in the whirlwind that is Remote Year. First there was all the prep work I had to do: start a freelance design career, find renters for my house, figure out what to pack for a year abroad, replace all those items I planned to pack when my luggage disappeared on American Airlines, plan lots (and lots) of happy hours and social outings to spend time with friends and family I would miss while away. Then, once Remote Year kicked off in Lisbon, it was a month of doing #allthethings. I’ll get into that in another post (promise!). Right now, I’m going to get up off this Moroccan rug and hit “Post” before something else comes along and keeps me from posting my first entry. Then, time to see how tonight unravels…