Today, I would like to know how fellow travelers deal with adulting.

Well, that’s a tricky sentence. People aren’t really split into two categories, travelers and non-travelers. (Sort of like how they aren’t split into two categories, people who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t. As much as I hate to break it to Bob Wiley. Sorry, I just have to throw in a What About Bob? reference every once in a while, or there’s a void.)

And people who don’t care for typical “adult things” aren’t any less of adults.

But here’s something I’ve been struggling with:

I’m very goal-oriented, and that comes with pros and cons. The pros are that I’m motivated, I’m adventurous. And I seek out opportunities rather than wait for them to come to me. The way travel fits into this is that I never find myself sitting around thinking,”Hmmm, I would like to go to Asia. If the opportunity ever presents itself, I’ll go.”

Instead, I think, “Hmmm, I would like to go to Asia. Maybe I can go in the spring or summer. I’ll carefully look at ticket prices, my work schedule, and destination options so I can plan a trip.”

I think that is a cool quality about myself.

HOWEVER, there are the cons that come with this goal-oriented personality. I’m antsy. I’m impatient. I’m always looking to the next thing, which makes it hard to always live in the moment. All of this probably means I’m a little ungrateful for what I have at any given moment. (Although despite all of this, I frequently find myself overwhelmed by thankfulness for all that I have.)

All of this has contributed to my love for travel and adventures.

And all of this has contributed to my struggle to be content with normal adult life. Going to work every day. Staying in one place. Completing household chores.

Surely, these things are necessary to a balanced life.

So, fellow travel maniacs, have any of you struggled with transition from your nomadic lifestyle to your life as a “real adult,” for lack of a better term?

I don’t know if I’m being unrealistic and immature when I still dream of all the things I want to do before “settling down,” or if I just want different things than many other people my age. We all want different things, don’t we? We all have different priorities.

Maybe I just need a balance. And if anyone has thoughts on how to achieve that balance, especially mentally, I’m absolutely all ears.

More blog posts on self care:

Why We Should Travel Alone

Let’s Take Care of Ourselves

Travel Less Often, More Meaningfully

3 thoughts on “Becoming an Adult is Taking a Mental Toll on Me

  1. Hi, I’m a traveler too, but I am 70 now. First, I think ‘achieving balance’ might be a bit of a myth, and I wouldn’t focus on it too much. It’s just another “goal” of yours, designed to make you feel inadequate and less present. Sometimes you will feel somewhat balanced, and other times you won’t. That’s life. The stronger your inner core, your self knowledge, and your true deep involvement in what you are doing now, wherever you are, the better you will feel.
    You are blessed with great physical energy, and sometimes that comes at a certain price. The price might partly be a feeling of needing more experiences , or being impatient, etc…the things you list. My best recommendations would be immersion in slow yoga classes with a good shavasana at the end, and taking up meditation as a daily practice, if you haven’t already. Observe your impatience with slowness, lack of movement and change, and grow to understand it better. Valuing slowness might open you up to new ways of seeing the world, what is going on in front of your nose, and hearing others better.
    As you well know, our culture doesn’t promote what I am talking about, except in lip service…so most of us don’t have training in these ways.

    1. I love this advice! You’re right … forcing myself to achieve balance is just one more way I’m putting pressure on myself.

  2. Yes , fcuk balance and go on enjoying life to the max. If you ever have kids, you would only have to throw ‘balance’ out the window again, as there isn’t much for twenty years. You are a joy, just as you are, and I look forward to hearing about Athens, a place I have thought about moving to, though not very seriously. It looks like a great place for cool, open-minded, creative folks to live.

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