As you read this blog entry Mike and I should be on a plane, headed from Alicante, Spain to Oslo, Norway on the first leg of our journey. It is time for us to move on once again.
We have now been traveling internationally for three years with very little downtime. We have been traveling and sightseeing and overall meeting some extraordinary people. It has been an amazing time. It has however produced what Mike and I are calling ‘travel fatigue’.
We are weary of packing and repacking our bags; we are tired of trying to find a new place to live and spending hours in researching and exploring options; we are struck with surprise at how unfriendly some folks are when faced with a real expat and lastly we feel isolated from family and friends. Traveling is therefore no longer fun and exciting; it is hard work and a chore to keep moving on.
Before we began this adventure and before I met my husband Mike I had been traveling internationally for years. I would plan, investigate and organize my vacations well before I departed US shores. It was fun and exciting to go places I had never been before. These vacations were a chance to use my passport; a break from my 9 to 5 job and from daily household chores, a break from the weather, a change of scenery; in general a much-needed respite from every day life. Mostly however these vacations gave me something to look forward too.
Then I turned travel into a job and created The 6 Monthers. We began to build a brand and to try to monetize our blogs and our names. We searched for sponsors for our travels and for those who wanted to share our story. We built a reputation for solid reviewing and sharing of information, and we lost our passion for travel along the way. No longer is traveling someplace new exciting or fun; travel has been relegated to being work and we spend far too much time worrying about how will we pay for all the excursions we would like to do and looking so far ahead in our travels that we have lost focus on having fun in the place that we are in. Because we are always looking for the next assignment or the next web series or the next sponsor we are not enjoying the here and now.
One of the major downsides to this travel lifestyle is that we now both feel unfit. We have both gained weight as we have traveled because we have not been able to have a stable exercise routine, and a stable diet. The foods and the way of cooking we are used too (nothing fried; oven baked foods only) are not possible in many countries because ovens are not always available to cook in. Because we have to spend so much time in looking for the next assignment we also tend to spend a lot of time sitting and working instead of walking and exploring.
We are therefore taking this next year to lose some of the weight we have gained while traveling and get fit once again. And to do that we are going home; home to Olympia, WA. We have to find that home of course but as usual I’m already working on it and we have some great leads.
During our year off we will be retooling ourselves. I will most likely be looking for a job to keep me busy and Mike will spend his time exercising, volunteering, and developing and outlining our next adventure.
We are exploring a couple of new ideas that will all include travel in our lives but from completely new and different angles. We know we have proven that you really can live well all over the world on very little money and so we have nothing more to prove as The 6 Monthers.
My newest venture hopefully launched earlier this month; well the blog should be up and running and my first video will be up shortly. I am calling my newest adventure Lean, Mean and Vegan. Mike will be working on another aspect of travel for us which we are tentatively calling; The Lince’s, At Home on the Road.
And yes, we will also be looking for sponsors.
This is however not my last Reflection, far from it. I have much to remember and reflect upon and many more stories to share about the wonderful places we have traveled too over the years. Thank you to everyone for reading, following and commenting on my blog stories when the spirit moves you.
I had Mike come up with a toast that I will use at the end of all my videos going forward. It seems appropriate here to end this entry with it.
“A toast…, to new friends, to a healthier way of living, and safe travels for one and all. Cheers!”