Here it is. That dreaded post that eventually happens to most, if not all longterm travel bloggers. The post that says they’re finally ready to stay in one place.
When I say I’m settling, I don’t mean in the way that I’m settling for less than I deserve, but more that I’m settling for my sanity and productivity. I’m settling for me, and I’m okay with that.
I remember reading these types of posts from the bloggers I used to follow religiously, and I would always feel let down, like they were a sellout somehow. That they gave up on travel. But the truth is, this lifestyle that I’ve been living for the past 4+ years, it’s not sustainable, at least not for me.
“‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard…something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.” // Emma Morley (Excerpt from One Day)
When I stepped on that flight to Hong Kong last October, I had no idea how much my life would change in the course of eight months.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” // Martin Luther King Jr.
I’ve gone back and forth about whether I wanted to write about the last year and a half I lived in Portland, Oregon. It seems to be a city that is loved by many and disliked by none, but if I’m being honest, it was a city that constantly made me feel depressed and negative on a regular basis.
I’m generally a positive person. I try to focus on the genuinely good aspects in life and shake off the bad. I tried my best to adhere to that positive mentality while I lived in Portland. However, there was an underlying nature to the city that I could not get on board with.
I’m tired you guys. Exhausted might be a better word. I try my best to spread positivity on this blog and to focus on the good, but sometimes, sometimes, I have to be honest and talk about the negativity too.
The America I left 3 years ago, is not the same one I came back to last March. Perhaps I was blinded by my love for my country, never having spent a decent amount of time away from it previously. I know this was not a sudden change, it’s something that has been building throughout the decades, probably, to be honest, since America was born. But the America I came back to last March, the one I’ve been living in for the past year and a half is unrecognizable to me now.
I believe the bad that comes with the good is important to really make you appreciate the highlights in a year. I already wrote a post on my favorite moments of 2015, but it would be unfair to just focus on the best parts, right? That’s never the whole story.
As I wound through the dark redwoods on Highway 17 with an eagerness to get home, I couldn’t help but feel a certain gratitude. Santa Cruz is one of those places that can make me feel strong emotions no matter how many times I come back. It’s home.
I have to be honest with you guys, I’ve been putting this post off for months.
I try to start and every time I stare into the blank page, the cursor blinking back at me, taunting me to begin. The truth is, Christchurch is a hard place to talk about because it’s not a place that I enjoyed. It’s a difficult statement to make for me, because it’s a city that has been through so much and one that I wanted to support and love with open arms.
But, in the spirit of sincerity, I thought it was finally time to share with you all what I really thought of Christchurch.