Balancing responsibility and freedom

Responsibility… such a dirty word. Here in my 9-5 life, I have numerous responsibilities that get in the way of my constant need to travel the world. I have a corporate job and I study part time at University. But my mind? well, that’s usually in another country somewhere admiring the birds and tasting delicious food. So how do I balance the responsibilities of a ‘normal’ life with this constant desire to sell everything I own and travel the world?

To be honest, I’m pretty terrible at it. I try my best to focus on my job and my studies. To mingle with my peers who only seem to talk about what was on tv the night before or how clever their children are. I try to see the point of owning a house, car, getting married and having those 2.4 kids that will apparently make having a mortgage worthwhile. But somehow, a scent, a smile, a sight, a breeze will launch my mind back to another world and I find myself once again stumbling through pages of travel pics and flight deals.

During a late night wine fueled conversation with my Dad, I explained that travelling alone is not the hard part. It’s coming back with an open mind and trying to fit it into a narrow mould that I really struggle with. All of a sudden it becomes painful to listen to another tale of who said what to whom, when all you can think about is that time you had to use charades to have a conversation with a pharmacist in Vietnam because I was sick and neither of us spoke English.

The way to cope is by being a tourist in my own city. Wellington is beautiful, New Zealand is beautiful. I am so blessed to have been brought up in this land and there are so many sights to share. But, it’s still a series of small islands off the coast of nowhere with a tiny population. So being a tourist in my own city helps me fill in the gaps between stints abroad.

Reality is, there will come a time when I have to be free. My life here is what I imagine it’s like to be a bird in a cage. So it will come as no surprise when I eventually leave this land behind in favour of a life abroad.

Until then, I have no hard and fast answer on how to deal with this mental conflict. Only that it helps to have a plan for the next adventure so that you have something to look forward to. And a mind full of memories to colour in the boring bits.

I hope I never stop dreaming.

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