One thing that I tried really hard to do in the UK was cultivate healthy habits.
I tried to do this for a lot of reasons: to become physically healthier, mentally healthier, and to create a routine wherein I could creatively produce on a regular basis. That last one especially is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I figured what better time than four months unemployed?
I definitely succeeded in two of those three – the physical sadly was the one to go and I entirely blame Britain’s mad Cadbury game – and I feel a big change in confidence and self-esteem compared to when I left Canada in January to my present return in May.
Being back, I’m making it a greater point than ever to stay on track (redoubling my efforts on eating healthier and exercising to make up for lost time).
Because one thing I’ve noticed about travel is that I fall into a rut when I come back home. Why? It’s comfortable and it’s easy. I return to the bad habits I’ve spent twenty-two cumulative years developing in my childhood environment.
But no more. I’m making a public declaration to hold myself to the higher standards I’ve worked hard chipping away at. My indulgent week of having my favourite foods after being abroad is over. The weather is warming enough to go out and be active. As of yet I still have no job and therefore time to create.
This doesn’t mean I’m going into a life of deprivation – I mean I just binge watched Game of Thrones to catch up and made a butt ton of homemade sushi.
But the bottom line I’ve discovered is that traveling a lot means you are buffeted by the changes around you. While it’s good (sometimes imperative) to be flexible in new places, it’s also dangerous to surrender your agency to the unfamiliar and constantly allow yourself to be shaped by the whims, ideals, and identity of others. I kind of think of it as one of those if-you-don’t stand-for-something-you’ll-fall-for-anything situations.
You shed selves every time you move and eventually you start asking the big questions of, “Who am I?”.
So this healthy initiative I’m holding to is more about finding out what I need in life to be me no matter where I might be. I’ve traveled with nostalgic keepsake items to dress up my living spaces, but nothing makes me feel more at home away from home than a routine.
Perhaps it’s the Virgo in me, but having my bed made, my clothes folded, and a blog post posted by the end of the day are things I’ve found that makes me feel good. I can carry that inside me as a sounding point just the same as I carry skills like painting, yoga, and cooking.
And sometimes it’s using these weightless things that make you feel the most grounded.