Escaping & Returning

Just typing the word “escape” pulls on some heartstrings and makes my head start to swim a little bit. But I’m finally taking a deep breath and speaking (well, typing) my mind on this little corner of the internet again. 

I’m putting this post out there for a couple of reasons:

  1. First and foremost, I want to start writing again. I finally feel the pull again after a very long time.
  2. I want to be totally candid about this kind of stuff. And if you feel like this too, maybe it will help to read.
  3. I feel like this is going to make me more accountable somehow. Maybe it’s a way to feel more in control. I don’t know. But I’m asking you all to help me!

I’ve been doing a lot of escaping since we last had a chat. And I don’t mean literally escaping to wild, international destinations either. This fact really sent me for a bit of a tailspin.

As someone who is creating content to hopefully inspire a group of people to get outside and travel, it’s not very inspiring to not do the thing that sparks you. You know what I mean?

Let’s zoom back to August. Yes, August of 2017. A new podcast is created, which I love and adore and really need to get back to. At the same time, I also head off to Utah with one of my closest pals to explore the national parks out there. Oh and also I quit my job the Monday after I return. 

So it was a lot at once. A lot of really great stuff, but a lot nonetheless. I gave myself the space to stop creating and settle in Philadelphia while I adjusted to a new routine, and I still stand by that decision. The fact that it’s now March of 2018…well, maybe I didn’t need that much of a break.

Then there’s this whole lack of travel in my life. And get ready to shout “holy, privilege!” because I know. Back when I started this blog, I was a miserable grad student. I decided to start traveling to make myself happy - but really what I was doing was escaping my daily unhappiness.

 Having a particularly lousy semester? Looks like I'm escaping to another state for a week.         Still don't feel like I belong in Philadelphia? Might as well escape and run away on another trip.     Having another quarter-life crisis about what I want to do in life? Let's run away again!

Even when I wasn’t traveling, I was on Instagram scrolling and scrolling…and scrolling so desperately to escape the feeling in my head that I wasn’t quite where I was supposed to be in life. As my blog started to grow, it was an excuse to be on Instagram more. It was an excuse to escape more. I started a job after grad school and those feelings of "Wait, wait, wait! This isn’t for you!” didn’t go away. I stuck closer to home and fell in love with being outdoors because nature acted as a refuge. I started shouting about how everybody should be able to experience this. I refocused and redesigned my blog (with the help of an amazing team) ready to write and podcast my little heart out.

And then I took that new job in August. And while (spoiler alert) I still don’t feel like I’m 100% where I’d like to be, I am so. much. more. content. All of a sudden I didn’t need to escape. I only knew traveling as an escape so I stopped doing it.

I haven’t been traveling, therefore I have nothing to create, therefore nobody has any reason to listen to me, therefore it’s better to escape from this little blogging thing. 

Although, maybe “hiding” is a better word for what I’ve been doing. 

Do you want to know why I still don’t have any posts about Utah on this blog? Even though I had an incredible trip, every single time I went to write a post I felt so guilty. Guilty that I hadn’t visited more of the state parks. Guilty that I didn’t visit a lesser known bunch of national parks. Guilty that maybe I was adding to the problem, rather than being an outdoor steward.

My mind essentially went on overdrive and told me not to write the post because I was a fake and I was doing everything wrong. 

So instead of trying to use my voice for good, I hid.

WHICH IS SO THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO.

I'm ashamed that it's gone on so long. But instead of continuing the cycle, I'm breaking it. In the next week or so, keep your eyes out for a post on Utah (at least) and my recent trip to Florida! I'm trying to stay more consistent with Instagram too, even though I can give you a list of eight million reasons why I think I should give up. But come on by and say hello! Make sure I'm actually over there!

Another project I'm particularly jazzed about is Season 2 of Sunshine Chasers! This week I'm sending out a batch of e-mails inviting some incredible people on the show. I feel like I've scratched the surface with Season One, and I cannot wait to dive deeper with the next season. If you know somebody who fits the bill and would be on board, shoot me an e-mail and connect us!   

But the thing that I'm really craving?

Redefining my travel. 

I've got nothing on my travel calendar right now. Zip. Zero. It's giving me some severe anxiety. But I'm trying to reframe it as a way to relearn how I like to travel. Not to see it as an escape. Who knows what that will look like? But I'm excited to take you all along on the ride!