What Are You Bringing Home?
After nearly a year of travel in Asia, I'm back home. I've been here for about 1 week and I'll be staying for a month or so before heading to Mexico.
The food in the fridge is just as I remember it, the neighbors still talk about the same things, and walking through downtown feels just like it did when I left last January. Not much has changed.
For me, the biggest changes are internal. After a year abroad, I'm bringing a lot back with me to Monterey that I didn't have when I left. If you've ever gone on a long trip you may have seen the same changes in yourself!
1. An Interest In Joining The Community
When I lived at home I didn't take advantage of many of the awesome things to do in Monterey. I had no idea that people were jumping in to a million different activities all around me.
After going on mountain treks in Vietnam, learning to scuba dive in the Philippines, and joining a German speaking group in Hong Kong, I've learned to use sites like Meetup.com to find exciting activities wherever I'm staying. I checked out a few opportunities around here and in the next two weeks I'll be hiking, canoeing, playing volleyball, bowling, and meeting local entrepreneurs.
2. Great Habits
You learn how to take care of yourself when you're traveling full time. If you can manage the uncertainty that travel adds to your life, you can do a much better job once you're home.
While I was traveling I built up a solid fitness routine. Now that I'm home I'm able to keep it up pretty easily. I think that my mom did my laundry last time I was home but now I do it on my own. I'm also better about not leaving a mess in the kitchen!
All of the daily habits I built up while traveling are still with me as well. Learning German and Spanish comes naturally and I don't forget to network with other people in my business or listen to educational books.
I'm a lot more confident in myself than when I left at the beginning of the year. I got down to living on $1 per day and I made it out alright. Now that I'm back home I know I've got nothing to worry about.
Two years ago I read a lot of books but I hadn't put much of what they taught into action. This past year I was able to test a lot of the theories rattling around in my head. I got a 'reality check' and gained perspective. I've learned a lot of lessons, sometimes the hard way, and that's increased my confidence in a few major aspects of my life. This is true even if the lessons taught me that I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
4. My Business!
My first business didn't work out so well, but the second is growing. I started working on this one when I was in the Philippines and brought it with me to Hong Kong, China, and Vietnam! Now that I'm back home I can still plug away at it and watch it expand. (If you'd like to help my business grow and also get some really cool spiral incense, visit my Jasmine Incense page here! Thank you!)
I started this business while I was traveling and it's totally uninterrupted by my return home. All of the work I did in Asia is still making a difference back in California. Just because my business is location independent doesn't mean I need to travel all the time. I can come back home for a month without any hiccups.
When you go traveling it's normal to find that not much has changed when you come home. Life goes on as usual, for the most part.
You will probably see really big changes in yourself, however. In my case my confidence grew, my habits improved, I've got a business now, and I'm actively jumping with my community.