I used to love that question. For the last 4 years, there has always been an upcoming trip for me. From interning in the Dominican Republic after graduating from high school, to my most recent summer month working in Tokyo, Japan, I’ve always had some new locale marked in my calendar.
But for the first time in a long while, I’ve had to answer that question with, “nowhere.” I don’t have any upcoming trips, exchanges, volunteer or work opportunities scheduled anywhere around the globe. Most people get anxious when they have a big trip coming up; I find myself getting anxious that I don’t have one.
I’ve settled into a pretty good routine here in Vancouver with work, school and social things. I go to church. I visit the library. I have a neighbourhood grocery store, and an infinitely cheaper grocery store a short bus ride away. It would be more than fair to say I’m comfortable with my Vancouver life as it stands.
And usually when I get comfortable, I get that itch to go somewhere new and try something slightly uncomfortable and unknown. I usually scour travel deal websites with abandon and don’t stop until I’ve found some obscure contest or job posting. I’m usually open to that next adventure.
But this time, I’m not feeling the itch to leave. I’m not on travel websites or scrolling through (too many) destination guides. I’m not blindly applying to jobs I’m unqualified for, just because they happen to be set in insert cool city name here. And I think it’s because instead of going somewhere new, I’m trying something new. I’m committing to live in an awesome city for at least two years. I’m starting a full time job. And I’m going to be signing a proper lease on a new place. A part of me is scared that I’ll get too comfortable and forget to leave again. But honestly, I don’t see that happening.
So for now, I’ve traded in Lonely Planet guide books for the IKEA catalogue and weekend breaks to the cheapest European cities for new restaurants and gorgeous views around Vancouver. I’m excited to try this “settled” thing for a while, knowing my version of settled will probably still involve a few globe-crossing trips whenever I have the time (and excuse).
Okay, I lied. I do have a family trip coming up this Christmas, so I guess that counts as where I’m headed next. I’ll be back in Toronto mid-December for job training and then take off with my step mom’s side of the family for a week in the Dominican. We had a few awesome days together at the cottage this summer and I’m excited to do that again but with more sun and more open bars 🙂