Riding RTW: When Is It Time to Quit?
My boyfriend and I have been on the road for 18 months now, and we’re stuck. That is, we’re not sure if we’re done traveling yet.
We feel tired, and we’re not in awe of the journey anymore; but at the same time, it feels like this is our life now, and the thought of going home is terrifying. Should we keep going, or should we call it quits and just go home?
Two things jump out in your question: you’re tired, and as a result you’ve limited yourselves to black and white thinking. Consequently it’s hard to see any other options besides keep doing what you’ve been doing or go home.
Making a decision from a place of exhaustion narrows your views of what’s possible. Is it an option to take an extended break, an interlude to reconnect with yourselves, your reasons for being on the road, and simply relax and refresh? Use this experience to notice what happens when you stop for a period of time: does it increase your desire to return home and settle down for longer or does it whet your appetite once again to start moving?
Once you’re refreshed and clearer in your thinking, look at the story you are telling yourselves. Currently it’s that your life is travelling. Does that definition still fit, or is it one that needs changing? It’s easy to get stuck in a story, even one that has been exciting and compelling, and forget that it’s only one story of many. Ask yourselves what you want this phase of your life to be about, and re-write the parts that need revising to more closely align with where you are now. It may be that it’s a simple twist on the plot, or it may need to be a completely new novel.
Finally, what terrifies you about returning home, and once there do you see yourselves as trapped forever? Moving away from either/or, can home be a respite from your travels rather than a permanent decision? Or perhaps a chance to see how it feels to settle into an old familiarity but with new eyes and wisdom gained from your time on the road, and to take your next steps based on that new awareness?
Each decision provides us with information. While some choices have lifelong consequences many are simply steps along the way, and it’s best to be writing the story that will be your life when well-rested, clear-headed, and with the full palate of colors available rather than limiting it to black or white.
PHOTO: RTW PAUL