I'm back! Yesterday I returned from a week away -- a week in another country, England! -- and, as much as I'm happy to be back to my routines and my familiar places (yes, I hate to admit it, but I've confirmed what I already knew: I am a creature of habit), I have learned a lot about myself and the world from only a week away from my comfort zone (perhaps I should get out of it more often!). While I'll admit that I spent a lot of time doing nothing (which I desperately needed and enjoyed), I still managed to learn a lot about myself, which really is, in my opinion, one of the greatest things about getting away. Getting away provides a new perspective not only on the world, but on your own life and what you're doing in it. For years and years I've gone on vacations and thought to myself, "Ugh, I don't ever want to go back home, to that life that I've grown so used to." This time it was different. This time I thought to myself, when I was so many miles away from home, "I miss my life. I love my life." Now, this wasn't because I wasn't having a good time -- I most certainly was. This was, I believe, because over the past few months of my life, I've learned to appreciate what I have and to really cherish it. I've learned that if there's something I really don't like about my life, I have to change it (and, for the most part, I have). In doing this, coming home to this life was a joy and not something to be dreaded. I had a wonderful time where I was and yet I know I will continue to have a wonderful time, here, in my home, doing the things I love to do.
Being in a different country living a different lifestyle for a week taught me a lot. And, yes, it was quite a different lifestyle for me -- no work, no plans, just carefree days of fun, which was very, very different from my little organized life of To Do lists and working every day and planning, planning, planning! One of the best things about this particular vacation was how different it was from my normal life. I had no plans. I had no schedule. Hell, I didn't even have a clockin my room! At first it was unsettling (both the clocklessness and not having a schedule), but then I relaxed and settled into it and I remembered college and what it was like to wake after a twelve-hour sleep, unfazed because I had no definite plans for the day. I remembered what it was like to just relax, to just be in a moment and not think, "Oh, I have an appointment soon!" The time away, brief as it was, taught me a lot about myself and about life and I'm going to share these little pearls of wisdom with you...I can't say that these words will apply to all of you, but one of the things I read on the survey I offered last week (and please do take it if you haven't already) is that my readers want to hear more about me. So, here you have it -- here are the things I learned on my travels to England...
Lessons Learned from a Week Away
- I don't need to have access to email, but, man, do I love it when I do.
- I love my cousin more than words can say (even though she can drive me nuts like no one else!).
- I have a lot of trouble living in a room without a mirror or a clock (hmm...that must mean something...)
- I love all dogs, but there's nothing quite like my dog (I love you, Bella!).
- I can still sit and read for hours and hours with my cousin and feel like we're communicating somehow.
- I might hate to admit it, but I really do love my routines and feel unsettled when I'm out of them.
- I can somehow spend a ton of money without having much to show for it.
- I may not see my friends every day but I miss them every day I'm away.
- I say I don't like to sit through movies, but when faced with a 7 hour flight I can watch 3 movies in a row.
- I want to believe I can live without TV, but after a week without it, I don't know if that's true.
- I never, ever remember to take enough pictures when I travel.
- I feel much more lost than I should without the ability to send text messages.
- I have the best, most loyal blog readers in the world who kept reading when I was away.
- I know now that jet-lag is a real thing and it pretty much sucks.
- I miss the freedom and laziness of college, but wouldn't go back to a job-less life for anything.
- I don't think I'll ever get over how great it feels to see my family when I've been away.
- I love blogging and a week without it was harder for me than I thought it would be.
- I enjoy relaxing, but I still have a very hard time doing it properly.
- I might bitch about it from time to time, but I really do love my home and my country.
- I remember a lot about who I am when seen through the eyes of a childhood best friend.
- I love sunshine and warmth always (how do the British stand the rain and chill?!).
- I am incredibly lucky to have my life and the opportunity to travel to a new country.
Traveling to England was great, mostly because it was so great to finally spend some quality time with someone who has known me my whole life and who, in reality, has been one of my best friends for the past twenty-five years. Spending time with her was like going back to childhood while staying in the present. So much of who we are is the same, and, yet, in so many ways we have both grown so much -- into such different and yet similar people. My cousin's friend said to me on more than one occasion while I was visiting, "You are so similar, yet so different. You are so much alike and you are also so different." As similar as those statements were, they came out of her mouth with a sense of wonder, as if she were really saying, "How is it possible that two people could be so different and so similar at the same time?" I often wonder the same thing, the same amazed and slightly confused look on my face when I think about my cousin and I -- so, so different and yet so, so similar. We have always been this way and, it seems to me, will always be this way. There is comfort in that, knowing that there is someone, halfway across the world, who is my opposite and my double, who is me and yet so not me. Already I miss her and look forward to reuniting again.
Now that I'm back from my travels, I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging again. I'm going to be reviewing the surveys this week and I may be developing new plans for Positively Present based on what you -- the reader -- want to get out of this site. Though I started the blog for me, I am so overwhelmed with happiness knowing how well-received it has been after only six short months and I want to make the blog a great experience not only for me, but for my readers as well. Thank you all for your comments on the posts when I was away. It really did mean so much for me to read them all (and I did read them, even though I didn't respond to each one individually) and to know that people were still reading, even while I was away. And speaking of being away, I know that August is a common time for people to travel, so I want to know...
Have you taken some time to travel lately?
If so, what lessons did you learn from your travels?