“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
This is what I told myself this spring when I moved back to my hometown. This is a good thing. Moving back home is smart. People at home understand me and love me and want to be my friend! It would help me get back on my feet after a disastrous winter that left me alone and confused in a tiny little part of the world that suddenly felt scary and judgmental. I had nothing in common with anyone I worked with, my only friends were at least a 20-minute drive away, I was a little heartbroken, and it gave me very little opportunity to explore new places! Living alone in cold little apartment in central Pennsylvania was just wrong, wrong, wrong.
I moved home at the end of April and once the initial relief wore off, I tried to make the most of my time at home. I love my hometown and I love my mom and dad, but as a 23-year-old who had just lived very freely for the previous 3 years, moving back in with my parents was an interesting adjustment. Over the course of my 7 months at home, I managed to get a new job, reconnect with some of my most beloved pals and family members, revisit my favorite spots in the Philadelphia area, and squeeze in trips to London, Prague, Glasgow, Chicago, Boston and Denver.
Moving home in the spring of 2014 and the following months leading to the end of the year could best be broken up into these stages:
Moving home meant returning to a place that was welcoming, a place away from bad memories, a place with culture and excitement and things to do… a place where I could start to rebuild myself.
Traveling back to the city that still has a tight hold on my heart — London — and visiting some new places in Europe brought back that spark I had been losing over the past year and a half. When I came home in June, I started a new job, spent time with friends who lift me UP!, and let myself accept the fact that Philadelphia is where I would be for an indefinite amount of time.
The settling in
Summer of 2014 was a lot of fun: bike rides and bars and babies and smoothies and lots of much-needed family time. I bought my first car this summer — solidifying that my time at home was more than just a quick stint — and became comfortable in my new position at work. I was saving money and spending time with my friends and building this blog and doing things that I loved to do in my spare time. But as it ever does, the travel bug came back knocking at my door, and I spent some time this fall checking out new places stateside.
Living at home gave me the opportunity to save the money I would have been spending on rent and utilities. But I couldn’t let all that money sit around and burn a whole in my pocket when there were so many places to see… The wind and skyscrapers and deep dish pizza of Chicago awaited! The beaches and lobsters and history of Massachusetts were calling my name! There were things to check out in my own backyard in Philly that I had never seen. The Rockies and the beer and the clean mountain air were out there in the west, waiting to be explored! How could I resist?
I got restless. Home is home, and I’ll always need it and love it for what it is, but this free bird needed to FLY! As I said in a recent post about a constant stirring in my soul, “My friends and I have always been devout believers in LIVING, EXPERIENCING, TRAVELING, TASTING, BEING over all else. I’ve vowed to never stop chasing adventure and life and laughter and light and seasons and all of those other hippie-dippie ideals. I’ve impulsively booked flights to Europe just because I had enough money in my checking account and I wanted to; I moved back in with my parents this spring in order to save more money for more trips around the world. I am certain about next to nothing about my future — Where is my ‘career’ going? Should I be dating more (read: at all)? Do I even want a boyfriend? I want a dog. Should I get a dog? Where should I move next? Why do I get so restless in one place? Why can’t I make up my mind? Why can’t I stay anywhere for longer than 6 months?”
Home was a place to recharge, but I realized I couldn’t stay for long. I needed new horizons and it was time to get going. But where?
The next step
I was unhappy with the lifestyle I was living in — a robotic cycle of rush hours and cubicles and hurried workouts and a lack of sleep. While others may say, “Quit your complaining. That’s just the way adulthood works,” I took the millennial route and refused to accept it. I wanted to live life on (more of) my own terms, I wanted to create my own time wealth, and I didn’t want to wait until I was 65 to start doing it all. I wanted adventure and new experiences every day and a drastic change of pace.
With the encouragement of friends and a trip out west in November, I committed myself to a big life change. In 2015, I would move to Colorado — a fresh start with a clean slate and zero plans on how to succeed once I got there. Exciting, right??
The past year was a weird one — one that I’m more than ready to let go and release into the past for good. It was a year of internal growth and gratefulness and goal planning. If last year was a year of preparation for the future, this new year is the year of manifestation of goals and dreams.
December and January were busy busy busy, and honestly I haven’t written or even given much thought to this blog because… I left my job in Pennsylvania, celebrated the holidays with my entire family, drove across the country with my best friend, and moved to a new state.
Now that I’ve been here for almost two weeks, I think it’s time I get back into the blog-swing of things and share what I’ve been up to — a crazy holiday season jam-packed with parties and love, a road trip that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and my new life in Colorado. Stay tuned… I’ve got lots of fun trips planned and adventures cooking for 2015!