The following post is written by me and brought to you by Abbott, who I’ve teamed up with to talk about living your best life.
Four and a quarter years of constant motion have shown me the world, trained me in the art of true independence, taught me more than any master’s degree could ever hope to and allowed me both the financial freedom and the content source to start and grow my travel blog into a thriving business. Four and a quarter years of conscious homelessness have made me, me. I have so much happy about, and to be grateful for.
Yet when I sit still with my thoughts I know that in some small ways, this lifestyle has also drained me, and lately when a friend asks how I’m doing – really asks, not just makes polite conversation – I find myself admitting through my smile, I’m tired.
I’m tired of rushing through each experience on the way to another. I’m tired of living out of a bag. I’m tired of never, ever feeling in control of my workload, and putting aside creative projects over and over again simply out of time constraints. I’m tired of waking up confused over what city or country I’m in.
Which is why I’m spending the next six months on Koh Tao. Last year, when I was on the brink of burnout, two months here brought me back to life. It was a beautiful time in my life. But I craved more. More stillness, more permanence, more more. And so, for my twenty-sixth birthday, I’m finally making the major transition from a fully nomadic wanderer to a travel addict with a home base.
Why? I’ve realized that my interpretation of living fully is living simply, and being on the road constantly is stretching me too thin. I want to savor the small things. I want to live in the moment. I want to pay rent on the same studio apartment for multiple months in a row.
Koh Tao has always been the place I come to recharge. In 2009, I spent a summer here and fell in love with the charms of Southeast Asian living. In 2011-2012, I called the island home for the better part of ten months. In both 2013 and 2014, I returned here again for annual restore and refresh sessions. Yes, I’ve struggled with knowing when to slow down. But I’ve always known where.
Having a base again will allow me to focus on my health, nourish creative projects, and cultivate an in-person community again. Here’s a peek at what’s changing, and what I’m looking forward to.
I’m Settling In
This move won’t come as too much of a surprise to my longtime readers, who know I’ve been slowly trying to pump the breaks on my travels for over a year now — with mixed results. The thing is, once I’m on the road, I can’t seem to control myself. I talk big game about spending more time in less places, but then my wanderlust muscles in and takes hold and suddenly I’m stuffing six cities into a month and signing three major contracts on the side and agreeing to several familial and friend obligations in between because who needs sleep anyway? (Answer: humans do.)
I’ve concluded the only way I can force myself to settle down is to strand myself on an island with no airport and few access points, and start paying rent on a place so beautiful I won’t want to leave it.
And so I have. Since arriving in Thailand in late September, I’ve secured an apartment — the longest-term lease commitment I’ve made since I left New York in 2011. I’ve bought a motorcycle. I’ve rearranged furniture. I’ve started a new tab at an old bar that has my name on a plaque on the wall, I’ve printed out photos and put them into carefully curated frames and I’ve purchased passes to not one, not two, but three fitness establishments.
I’ve always loved challenging myself to go beyond the ordinary, and for a long time I resisted settling down as I saw it as at odds with that goal. But now, I see that traveling has become my ordinary, and the true trial for me at this phase is to live with some stillness. I wake up in the morning and I know that the pillow my head is laying on is the same one it will be laying on next month. And the month after that. And the month after that. And you know what? That brings me a lot of joy.
I’m With My People
I’ve had this joke for a while that all positions are filled and I’m no longer accepting applications for new friendships. Try again next year. It’s funny because the truth is that I can’t help myself from meeting new people and making friends wherever I go – it’s just part of my DNA. Yet when I’m on the road 24/7 I barely have time to answer my own mother’s texts, let alone FaceTime with my college crew. And I’m usually on the wrong continent for a brunch date with my childhood best friend.
Five years of coming to Koh Tao means that one of my largest communities is here. I look forward to putting down FaceTime sometimes and putting in real facetime with the tribe right here in front of me. And the ones who aren’t? Staying put means time to Skype them, send them long emails, and keep in touch on a more consistent basis.
I’m Focusing on my Health
I’ve always been somewhat fitness focused, but now that I’m in one place I’m fired up to take it to another level. I want to hit the reset button on my mind and body. Recently, I kick-started a DIY health retreat – stay tuned for more details in an upcoming post – that includes yoga, hiking, pilates and resistance training, as well as fresh healthy foods and regular massages.
After years of instability it feels like a blessing to have constant access to a kitchen and several nearby healthy restaurants, to have a gym buddy, and to get into a routine when it comes to my diet and exercise.
Back when I had a permanent address I used to love taking courses and classes and workshops. Once I started traveling full time, those kinds of things became impossible. Can’t sign up for a cake decorating class when you’re going to miss two out of four classes — those fondant flowers aren’t going to shape themselves!
And so I look forward to what I might learn while I’m here in Koh Tao. Already since arriving I’ve taken workshops on Thai massage and yoga inversions. What’s next? A freediving course? Thai lessons? A cooking class? I have so many hobbies and interests outside travel — I can’t wait to cultivate some of those, too.
I’m Working Differently
I’ve had a part-time assistant who helps me with social media scheduling and other behind-the-scenes tasks for over a year now. But as my business continues to grow, I’ve struggled with how to scale it — there’s only one of me, and a lot more opportunities out there than I can handle (what a blessing!) Having a home base is allowing me to experiment with outsourcing parts of my business that don’t need my personal touch, and might even benefit from another set of eyes (analyzing Google Analytics, for example, which is far from my own strength).
I’ve recently hired an extremely qualified part-time assistant here on the island and I can’t wait to see what we learn from each other. Restructuring my business so that it gives me freedom rather than ties me down is one of my major goals for this period.
I’m Writing Differently
Right now, I’m so behind on trip recaps that y’all might be reading about the 4th of July sometime around Christmas. Frankly, that pressure to catch up to “real time” means that I sometimes hold off on publishing other types of content, or breeze past certain points of interest.
Looking forward, I’m excited to bring you guys more inspirational and philosophical content that isn’t necessarily tied to a destination, as well as more in-depth posts about the trips I actually do take – for example, more packing lists, more planning tips, and more musings on my emotional takeaways from each trip. Oh and heck yes, there will be trips…
I’m Not Quitting Travel
Does having a home base mean I’ll stop traveling? Heck no!
- In September, I visited Bangkok and Phuket on a very fun work campaign.
- In October, a business trip brought me to Bangkok, followed by Trang and Satun Provinces.
- In November, I’ll head to my neighboring isles of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan for an immigration-errand-turned-island-getaway (my visa needs to be extended in-country after sixty days, and restarted by leaving the country after ninety).
- In December, a hop across the border will bring me to a visa run slash yoga retreat in Cambodia.
- In January, digital detox trips to both Khao Sok and Khao Yai National Parks are in the works, as well as a weekend away in Bangkok.
- In February, I’m arranging a tour of the Khao Yai wine region with a group of my favorite expat friends, followed by an international girlfriend getaway to Burma.
Oh, how I love this corner of the world! Right now, I’m attempting to limit myself to just five nights away from Koh Tao per month, with some exceptions here and there. I can’t wait to explore corners of Thailand and Southeast Asia both new and familiar.
I plan to actually take some of these trips off from work entirely. I know it looks like I’m on vacation all the time to some people, but the reality is I work almost every day no matter where I am. I’m hoping having these long periods at Wanderland Base Camp means I’ll be able to get enough work done beforehand to totally switch off while I’m on the road – I might even leave my laptop behind for some of them.
For someone who has spent the last few years on back-to-back multi-month epic journeys, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to my little weekend getaways. Some of my recent trips have been such whirlwinds that I barely had a moment to savor the planning stage, catch my breath while I was on them, or let them soak in once they were over before I was onto the next thing. I’m ready for some quality over quantity.
With every new opportunity comes new challenges. I have concerns over being able to sustain my travel business while, well, doing a lot less traveling. And there are things I’ll have to get used to – paying rent on an apartment that will sit empty for 1/4th of the time I’m living in it, retraining my overstimulated brain to slow down and savor sitting still, and overall turning down my wanderlust meter a few notches.
I see this next six months as a trial period for the future. In April, I’m contemplating a six-week backpacking trip to a new country that’s long topped my bucket list (one I’d have plenty of time to plan and prep for!) and in May, I plan to return to North America for the summer as usual. But in the fall, if all goes well, I hope to either return to Koh Tao or try a new base elsewhere. It’s time for a new chapter.
I’m ready to live more by doing less.
I’ve partnered with Abbott to talk about the different ways I live fully, something I’m looking forward to sharing with you all over the next few months. Abbott knows that people all over the world have their own unique ideas on what living fully looks and feels like, and they even have a quiz to help you figure it out. Take the quiz—and then tell me what you live for using #fullosophy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Your new plans sound awesome! I’m sure you’ll be able to relax fully in that gorgeous house of yours (thanks for the tour on Snapchat 🙂 ). Having a base is great and having it in a different part of the world is even better! Enjoy your time of stillness!
Aw, thanks for watching Dominique! I need to get better at posting there more regularly.
Sometimes you have to do what feels right and for people who haven’t travelled they don’t see it as being hard work and tiring, especially with the amount of work you do on top!
Look forward to hearing more about your time on Koh Tao. X
Thanks Ellie! Yes, long term travel can be exhausting and I’m sure anyone who’s ever done it for a significant period of time can relate to the fatigue that settles in… even if it is a luxury problem. Looking forward to sharing all about my time here!
Wow, this is wonderful! So inspired by you and your travels and stationary travels. It’s all a journey! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Thanks Haley! Right now, learning to sit still is a journey in and of itself!
I love all of this… especially this: “Looking forward, I’m excited to bring you guys more inspirational and philosophical content that isn’t necessarily tied to a destination.”
As a longtime reader, I know your voice and blogging style transcends travel, and while it is awesome to hear your take on different places, it is equally interesting to hear your musings about expat life, juggling friendships, health (thinking of that big yoga post in particular) and pretty much anything else that comes with having the courage to carve out a unique lifestyle that works for you.
Super happy for you and excited to see what direction you take your blog! 🙂
Thank you Erin! That means a lot to me and is such great feedback to hear. I’m overflowing with writing inspiration, lately 🙂
Thanks for sharing! Although you’ll be doing less travel, I’m actually looking forward to reading your blog even more! I’m planning a year long backpacking trip through SEA. It’ll be great to see your take on things when you get to see the local way of life. I’m kind of tired of the same “ten things to do here” articles. It’ll be awesome to hear about off the beaten track stuff from someone who lives there!
It is amazing how much of Thailand I still have to see and explore… even in parts I’ve been to before! There are certain parts of this country (the national parks, for example) that I never would have considered on my very first backpacking trip here, but now years and a passport full of visas later I can’t wait to explore. There’s something special about returning to the same place over and over again.
I think that each person needs to settle down from time to time. For some people it happens every 5 years, for some it happens after years and years of wandering, some (like my dad) cannot travel more than a week without craving for home, and for me it happens every time after a few months trip. And just as you mentioned, I need time to take care of myself, I need a creative time just for myself, and time when I just live the everyday life, drinking coffee with my friends, doing my everyday job. So I could totally understand how you feel and in which chapter of life you are in. And I think it’s great cause it finally puts you in the first place.
You are right, everyone has a different tolerance for the change and chaos and excitement that travel brings into our lives. Mine has been high for a long time, but I am looking forward to truly savoring the trips I have ahead, instead of enjoying them in spite of my stress!
Ah, I loved loved loved this! I’ve been on the road for almost a year now and while I’ve really enjoyed it, I realized how much I prefer having home bases (just not AT “home”) — friends who aren’t moving to a new destination every two weeks, having a favorite coffee shop, a yoga studio I love. And a lot of the stuff I enjoyed about traveling long-term when I was younger, like meeting people in dorms/hostels, taking super long bus rides, etc., are now the things I actively dislike about traveling.
It’s fun seeing you and other bloggers like Adventurous Kate feeling the same way. That said, I’m moving to Australia in a few weeks and I’m very excited to be in a new place for a year and explore the heck out of the city I’ll be living in. I’m really looking forward to these posts coming up! I tend to like your more introspective ones (although I used your Central America suggestions a ton!), so yay. 🙂
It is amazing how our preferences change, isn’t it? I definitely travel different than I used to, though I love to shake things up and pretend to be a carefree backpacker every once in a while again!
You my dear are such an amazing young woman! I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with your life!!! Happy Birthday!
Oh Andi, you always know how to make me smile. Thank you my dear!
Uhm…… Better not put down FaceTime for your sister!!!!!
Happy 26. Wander on!!
Speaking of, where WAS my birthday FaceTime?
Great read. You’re so inspiring, birthday girl. And my trusty Birthday Alarm has let me know it’s today, sooo… Happy Birthday, Alex! I hope your day’s being filled with much love and sweet memories, and you celebrate to your heart’s content (though that seems to be a given)! May this next year be truly wonderful for you.
All the Best,
~ Your fellow Alex in NY 🙂
Thank you Alex! Those are some lovely birthday wishes… and I so appreciate them. I have high hopes for 26… and a good feeling about them coming true!
Having a base in one place and seeing the places around you can often mean that you get more of a grasp on a region as a whole. I can’t imagine how nice it must be to have Koh Tao as that base!
My boyfriend doesn’t feel that weekend trips/trips to places that you have been to before are ‘travelling’. I’m always away at the weekends camping/hiking etc and he says that we have ‘stopped travelling’ whereas I don’t feel like we ever have stopped, we’ve just got a home base in a new country where there is still plenty for us to explore locally.
Hope you’re having an awesome time back in one of your many ‘homes’!
Well with all due respect to your boyfriend, I disagree 🙂 Clearly, I LOVE going back to the same places over and over again. In the past I might have felt that weekends away weren’t enough, but lately I’m realizing that without attempting to juggle work and play I can do and see as much in a long weekend as I sometimes do in a week. I’m looking forward to putting that theory to the test this year!
I completely understand how you feel! Or, maybe not completely, since I’ve never travelled full time, but I understand all the reasons why you want to stay at one place for a while. I haven’t realized how many things you actually can’t do when you are on the go all the time, like the cake decorating course or going to a favourite fitness class.
Yeah, there’s always a sacrifice to any lifestyle! Taking courses and classes is one of my favorite things, so I’m looking forward to enjoying some of that while I’m here 🙂
Love everything about this except that Wanderland Base Camp is about a million miles from Angie Away Base Camp. Can we Skype soon?!
Happy birthday, beautiful wanderer!
I would LOVE TO. Texting you now 🙂
Happy happy birthday, Alex! I hope the next year ahead is your best one yet! I’m really impressed and inspired by your self-awareness, and how you’re able to recognize what you truly need in life AND to take action on it in a timely manner. Looking forward to reading more about your stay-put-but-wander-a-bit adventures!
Well, I don’t know how timely it was as I feel like I’ve been talking about doing this forever 🙂 It was definitely a challenge to finally clear my calendar and make it happen though, so I am proud of myself for that.
Great post, Alex! I love your last line, “I’m ready to live more by doing less.” I can so relate! So often we’re running from one thing to the next we forget to take in what’s in front of us. Recharging on an island you love, with real friends in (for my money) the best country to visit in the world, sounds like a pretty great plan.
Great meeting you at TBEX Asia, by the way. Enjoy Koh Tao!
Wasn’t that a great conference? Loved having it in a city that feels so familiar. Hoping to make it to Manila next year!
That’s so awesome that you’re honoring your souls desire to slow down and enjoy the moment more and have a home base. Enjoy this part of your journey!
Thank you Tammy. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to that little voice… but I’m excited to see how this goes and see if I can make it work for the future. The hardest part is saying no to a lot of opportunities and ideas, and retraining my brain to take in a lot less stimuli!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Excited to read more about your life in Koh Tao.
Thank you Kristin! I think now that the next six months are sorted it’s time to start planning our summer adventures, no?
Love love love this post! You obviously are an amazing writer and businesswoman and that will not change with your change of pace! Can’t wait to see what’s to come
And Happy Birthday!
Thank you so much for these amazingly kind words! You made my night!
I almost think I prefer these type of posts to your trip recaps. It’s when we as readers get to know you a lot more!
I think if I was to stay still in any country other than Australia it would be Thailand. It’s a very exciting home base; but I would say that for almost anywhere that has great weather and easy access to a beach. Except for the fact that something about Thailand just made me fall in love and I still can’t quite put my finger on how or why.
I’m slowing down from my trip from April-June next year while I study in Florence, Italy. I’m actually looking forward to that downtime and actually getting to know a city more than the superficial five days!
That will definitely be a nice time to recharge and travel a little deeper. And knowing you have that to look forward to will be nice when things get a little crazy along the way 🙂
I’m excited for you Alex, it sounds like exactly what you need. I had 2 1/2 weeks back home after 3 1/2 months of solo travel and now I just started on another 3 1/2 months and I will say that 2 1/2 weeks was not nearly enough time – I am exhausted already. After this stint I will be back home for about 2 months and I think that will be more sufficient. Kinda looking forward to it already!
I think having time to gear up for and wind down from trips is so important, and it’s something I’ve (for the most part) been lacking for a good long time. Excited to have that back now.
Best of luck getting settled! All the changes you’re making sound super exciting. Living more by doing less is a worthy goal for all of us.
Indeed. I’ve got a reading list to match it right now, too 🙂 Working my way through Essentialism right now!
This was such a beautiful post, Alex! Knowing when to stop and make changes to a lifestyle that doesn’t bring you joy anymore is such a hard thing to do – whether we’re talking about travel lifestyle or any other lifestyle! – but just by reading your words, it’s easy to tell just how content and happy you are with your choice to settle down at a home base. I’ve always loved your self-reflective posts that go beyond the regular travel blog and so I am really excited to read more of these philosophical posts from you in the future. There was so much wisdom in this post already! Wishing you all the best! 🙂
Thank you Melanie! I think it will in some ways be a challenging transition, but knowing that this was a must for me right now at this phase in my life will help me through those speed bumps. So will all of your supportive and lovely words 🙂
Happy 26th Alex!! I hope you had a wonderful birthday 🙂 And I think your new life/travel/work plan sounds like a great idea. And man, I can’t think of a more perfect home base than Koh Tao!!
Thanks Justine! I’m pretty pleased with this choice 🙂 I need to get back in the water soon, though — I’m not taking advantage of one of the key perks of Koh Tao, the ocean!
Good for you! Travel is so great, but there’s nothing like coming home to your own place at the end. Looking forward to reading more about your new chapter of adventure!
Pretty excited to have a home again, though I am struggling with the idea of paying rent on an empty place when I am out and about. I’m reminding myself that this is what normal people do every time they go on vacation, ha!
I was in Koh Tao for the first time a couple weeks ago and have completely fallen in love with it. I actually compare everything to the island now and have officially dubbed it my first ever ‘ I can live here ‘ place. i think I’ll give it a shot next year. If you are still around then we will have to get together 🙂
Absolutely! I can attest that Koh Tao is an awesome place to set up camp for a while.
LESS IS MORE….slow down when things are just too much! Do you ever see yourself for a new challenge? I would love to watch you, Alex in shows like Survivor or Amazing Race. 🙂
Ha, no TV for my anytime soon. Unless you mean watching 🙂
it sounds like you made the perfect decision, hopefully you this new lifestyle will help you recharge 🙂 You do have some nice trips on your list, I loved Khao Yai National Park!
I’m so excited to head there! I’m off to see if you’ve written a post about it 🙂
Happy belated birthday, Alex! It sounds like you’ve made the right decision, and I can completely understand why you’ve chosen to settle for the time being. I chose to live abroad to have the best of both worlds – being able to live in a new place, while having a home base and a bit of a routine. I won’t lie, though, I’m still constantly tempted to spontaneously book a flight to about a dozen different places at any given time! PS, I’m really interested to hear more about this DIY health retreat, and I’m looking forward to seeing how your posts progress as you become more settled!
Thanks Ashley! I know how you feel — it’s definitely a big mental readjustment to be more still and I’ve found myself pretty fixated on the little mini-trips I have coming up. I think years of constant location changes has wired my brain for over-stimulation, and it’s a little slow to pick up on the new lifestyle 🙂 It’s a period of re-adjustment, for sure.
Great post, Alex! It is so important to be gentle with ourselves when we travel. I also recently “settled down” (a very relative term) and it has been so refreshing to be able to just take care of myself! Daily yoga and being reunited with my blender are probably the best things to happen to me in a while. Hope you enjoy your return to Koh Tao. Such a gorgeous place to turn the focus inward! 🙂
Yes, getting back into yoga and a general fitness routine has been awesome. There are lots of new studios to explore here on the island, too, which means I’ve got no chance of getting bored with my workouts!
I’ve been reading your blog for many months, maybe a year and I love this post. It’s so nice to read something real about ‘full-time travel’. I also like reading about how you’ve got a part-time assistant now! How awesome that your business has grown so much to go down that path. Excited to see what is ahead for you, in all areas!
Thanks Thuc! It is an exciting change. As my business has grown it’s been exciting to learn what I’m good at and humbling to learn what I am not. I hope that being able to outsource some of those parts will help me find the independence that first drew me to blogging.
Congratulations on deciding to sit still for awhile – I think it’s a hard decision for a born wanderer, and I hope it will give you the recharge that you need! Constant motion is tough on the body and the mind (or at least on mine).
I love this question about what it means to live life fully… for me, I think it was part of the reason I decided to move back east from Portland. I loved a lot of things about my quality of life there, but I was missing my people! Most of my community is on the east coast, and I want to spend more time with them, because all the good food and beautiful mountains in the world can’t fulfill me the way that spending time with my chosen family can (though, I’d still like the food and mountains when I can get them).
That sounds like it would be a tough call, Mary, but I understand. I think I have found a great balance in spending my summers stateside and the rest of the year elsewhere. That big chunk of quality time with my nearest and dearest really fills me up!
She’s a looker, isn’t she!
Such a great post, and I can’t wait to keep reading and see how it goes xx
Thanks Sarah! Excited to share all the ups and downs along the way…
what a wonderful post, Alex. it reminds me that even if we’re doing what we love, we still get tired. after constant change and moving places for years, i’m now looking for my own little sanctuary. some permanency and stillness would be nice. good luck on the next months!!
I hope you find what you’re looking for, Janna! It feels really good to know you’re in the right place at the right time, and makes turning down other opportunities a lot easier.
Congrats on slowing down and taking care of yourself 🙂 btw I fell in love with Koh Tao when I was just there!! obsessed, so I can easily see why you’d want to stay there. and as for how hard it is being healthy while traveling so much, I completely understand it and I’ve only been on the road for a month now, so kudos to the changes! love reading your posts 🙂
No kidding! Even in one place, I’m struggling to adjust my diet, though giving myself a goal of moving every day and having the time and space to do so is a huge relief. And glad you loved Koh Tao!
Happy Birthday, Alex! A Koh Tao home base sounds perfect for you! Looking forward to seeing photos of it on here soon! 🙂
It’s been fun putting together Photo of the Week every week… and I imagine it will only get more challenging, ha! But it’s good to have something each week that forces me to get out and get creative.
Yay packing lists! I’ve missed them this last year! Your overpacking-ness is so heartwarmingly hilarious, can’t wait to get more of that 🙂
Haha, thanks Trish! This comment gave me a big smile 🙂
I completely understand where you’re coming from. After years of traveling in my 20’s, I decided that I wanted a home base for awhile. Not only was I tired of always being on the go and trying to figure out the next place or thing to see, but I also missed my family. I’ve been back home for 4 years now and I’m getting the itch to leave again. I think I will always have a wandering soul, but think I’ve finally realized the importance of having a balance. Good luck-I hope this change will be good for you!
I’m sure it will move in cycles like that for me, too. I think after six months of relative stillness I’ll be raring to go on a big six week backpacking adventure… that’s what I’m hoping for, anyway!
What a wonderful new chapter! Maybe I’ll see ya in Chiang Mai sometime! 😉
I hope so! You always have a futon to sleep on down here 🙂
It is nice that you finally find a place that you can call home. As I read your blog, I thought you will quit travelling, but I find it amusing that you already have a travel plan. This is nice. Gives you more time of yourself and to fully enjoy life. Kudos!
I could never quit travel completely! I just want somewhere to call home in between short trips, for a while. Luckily for me Thailand is a fascinating country and I still have so much of it to explore!
It’s nice to know that you already have this thought despite your age which is still young, of course. For as I read other bloggers, they are really not into finding a home yet. They hop from one place to another. I find you strong for doing this, not just for others but for yourself. Enjoy life!
And who knows — maybe I will go through another phase of doing the same at some point again, as well! But in this moment, this is definitely the right move (or not move, rather!) for me. I imagine I’ll go through many cycles of nomadic travel and having a home base in my life, but it’s good to have these still periods to refresh and recharge.
What a fantastic post, Alex! I have always found your love for experiences and exploration so inspiring (I think it was back in Feb when I commented on here that your blog had given me the boost I needed to book my solo trip to the Middle East!), but staying in one place doesn’t stop that at all. Sometimes we just need a bit of balance and can often appreciate things a lot more by taking the time to just really be in the moment. I loved this last line: “I’m ready to live more by doing less”. So true.
Can’t wait to keep reading more great posts on here 🙂
Oh, and PS – happy birthday! Hope it was a fantastic day! I will hopefully be spending my next birthday in Indonesia thanks to your past wonderful posts from there.
That’s all amazing to hear, Kat! I agree, adventure doesn’t necessarily mean being on the move. I’m looking forward to traveling a little deeper right here at home on Koh Tao 🙂
Happy Birthdizzle! Twenty-six is a pretty rad age to be.
It does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it 🙂
I think, when we do what we want in life as we grow and develop our life gradually evolves, hopefully mostly in ways that we want and sometime – the guiding force which guides us brings experiences which we don’t want but matches our needs more closely. Life is a wonderful adventure filled with laughter, love, experiences and if you look at it the right way lots of learning. If life can be reflected on in this way, then nothing is bad, some things just become experiences we wouldn’t want to have again. Being alive, getting to know ourselves, others and the world, is truly a gift we are given. If only we can accept it, in all its glory, intensity and wonder. What a privilege to be a being living a human life! 🙂
Beautifully put. I do love this part — “some things just become experiences we wouldn’t want to have again.” Well said!
Living more by doing less – yes! I have friends who also spent years traveling non-stop. By their fourth or fifth year, they began craving for home and a structured work environment. While they don’t necessarily regret living out of a suitcase, they now prefer having a homebase and set a more liveable pace for traveling.
Interesting! I would be curious to see a chart of after so many months or years, when full time nomads seem to slow down 🙂 I’m guessing I’d be somewhere in the middle!
I think slowing down, or attempting to make your mind and spirit that want to just get away would be the biggest challenge. I’ll keep rooting for you and wait for your more of your wonderful philosophical posts! HAPPIEST 26th~
So far, a few weeks in, it definitely is! I’m leaving on a little mini-getaway tomorrow, the first since I’ve moved into my apartment, and my itchy feet are pretty pumped about it 🙂
This is such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing! I love reading the other side of travel that readers don’t see, it’s refreshing and authentic.
I hope your new home and ability to stay put will help you settle, ground yourself, and find a bit more clarity in this crazy world!
And p.s. – I hope the computer thing gets sorted out soon, good luck!
Thanks Allie. I’m definitely crossing my fingers for a miracle and an early return.
You can slow down without stopping and i’m so glad you’re taking the time to recharge. I’ve been a reader for many years now and I have to say that lately i’ve struggled to keep up with your posts because you’re always here there and everywhere, and if i struggle as a reader i cannot even begin to imagine how exhausted you must be trying to keep up as a writer! Looking forward to seeing you take some well needed R and R and seeing the posts that follow as a result! Sometimes our greatest inspirations come when we have the time to really think, and Koh Tao is a beautiful place to do just that! xo
Thanks Amy! It has been lovely to stay in one place for a while and enjoy some stability, even if I do still feel overwhelmed most days (I hope that will dissipate a bit by the time I’m heading off again!) I really look forward to doing a kind of mental and emotional “before and after” evaluation at the end of these six months.
I understand the difficulties of the travel lifestyle and am glad to hear your future plans! I hope you’re already feeling recharged and are ready to take on the New Year as a more healthy (body and mind) you!
As always best of luck!
Hey Alex! Thank you so much. Almost two months in and I’m loving life with a home base more than I imagined. Already thinking of where I might settle down in the fall 🙂 Thank you for reading <3
I hear you on the slow down. After a year and a half of travel my husband and I are back in the US for a few months. It feels great. We will be back in BKK in January if you want to grab a glass of wine.
Hey Jaime! I’ll mostly just be down here in Koh Tao in January but might pop up to BKK for a few nights at some point. Instagram is usually the best indicator of where I’m going to be — just found you there 🙂
This sounds like the perfect arrangement for where you are in life right now…I do hope you are able to leave the laptop behind a few times as it can be quite liberating!
Would love to hear more about this yoga retreat in Cambodia…still firming up my plans for a spring visit.
I leave in three weeks… can’t wait! Time is definitely flying by already.
Super exciting I must say. Globetrotters like you can surely relate well to your post. It’s quite natural to get tired of travelling at some point and one needs to relax at one location for a longer duration of time. Surely, with such a stay, you will be more energized to fulfill your desire of exploring new places.
That’s what I’m hoping for, Anup. So far, it’s working! I’m more excited for my little upcoming short trips than I have been about my travels in a while. And I hope by the time April rolls around, I’ll be excited for a big one.
Wow! So excited for whats to come! It looks like we will be coming towards your area while you are in Cambodia *cries* but I’ve been a loyal reader and can’t wait to use what I’ve learned from your blog on this upcoming adventure!
I totally understand wanting to slow down, I also travel for work about 8 mo out of the year and while it’s to places like Europe and Mexico, it’s still work and I never really get to full unwind. It started out slowly to build up these past 10 years but in the last 4 or so years I feel like it’s been non-stop. The more established I got in my career the more I got sent out and the less time I got to spend at home. It will be wonderful to read about how you balance and adapt your career to a ‘slower’ pace while maintaining your career and providing excellent content and I’ll continue to use your blog as a resource for my upcoming vacation yay!
Hey Mai! I can totally relate. Work travel is great, but there is still that “work” bit in there no matter how you shake it. Enjoy your upcoming vacation, it sounds like you really deserve it!
Good for you, Alex! This all sounds excellent, and really good for you! I wish you the best in your endeavors.
Thanks Jason! This will be one of my biggest adventures, I think 🙂
I totally loved this post!
Thanks for being authentic and explaining the people out there that travelling around the world doesn’t mean being constantly on vacation. Quite an annoying misconception sometimes!
All the best for your future plans, it sounds great.
You will love Khao Yai in February, a different face of Thailand. I love this area and its vineyards (not necessarily the wine…but I’m Italian so I’m fussy about wine!) If I can, I’d suggest you try the Banmai Chay Nam Museum & Restaurant in Pack Chong area. I’m pretty confident you may love it.
Thanks Claudio! I’m actually now going twice — once to camp in the National Park and once to visit the wineries. Can’t wait!
I’m planning on heading back to Thailand at the beginning of February to settle in one place for a bit myself! Now I’m definitely going to look into Koh Tao as an option (and read all your other posts on the island as well). I’ve been on the road for the past 14 months myself, and I too am tired. I am itching to get back to focusing on my health, so a place that would allow me the opportunity to get in daily workouts, fresh fruit, good food, diving, and yoga is definitely what I’m looking for! Basically a DIY health retreat (since I can’t afford to do those fancy ones)!
This is a great place for it, if you can avoid the distractions (AKA nightlife) that is also very present here 🙂 Best of luck finding the perfect fit!
Wish you were there in June when we are coming over but I’m super happy that you are finally having a little rest & recharge. Much earned & deserved. Hugs to you & Janine 🙂
That would certainly be fun! Glad to hear you’re headed back, no one can stay away for long 🙂
I’m Divyanshi from India. I saw your blog listed as one of the best by some girl on pininterst…since I have been intrigued immensely by the whole idea of a travel writing, thought I’d give it a look and MY GOD! Look at your gypsy soul!
What you do is a dream for many and I’m sure you have dreams apart from and similar to this in your life,
I just want to let you know that you’re truly great!
Nice to see people like you Alex!
God bless you, always 🙂
Any plans for India?
I can show you around! Ha! 😀
Aw, thanks Divyanshi 🙂 You are so sweet! No immediate plans to visit India, but I’m sure I’ll get there someday.
Alex! Loved this post! Thanks for explaining with such clarity that being on the road is not easy, and extremely challenging, specially if you’re traveling “fast”. I haven’t found my “relax & recharge energy” place yet, that’s why next year I’m planning on going to SEA and I’m definitely checking out Koh Tao!
Well, clearly I’m biased but I think that’s a great location 🙂 Good luck finding your R+R spot!
I love all your photography. What do you use to edit? Do you make up your own actions or have some that you use often? Very beautiful and colorful. Ive been playing with PS6 for a few years now. Always something! BTW, I think its awesome what you do!
Thanks Samantha! I LOVE playing around with different photography actions, some that I download and some that I create myself. I took a couple photography classes in university and went through a phase of reading tons of photography blogs, too!
You know when you stand on a sandy beach as the waves splash over your feet.
As you wiggle your toes, you slowly feel as though you’re sinking into the sand…
That’s what this post made me think of 🙂
Beautifully put. I’ve been loving life in one place, for a while!