I won’t lie: I’ve screwed up this year.
By my own expectations, at least.
And I’m not sure quite how to feel about it (maybe you can help me out)!
See, the big travel fail is this.
I didn’t travel!
…Well, OK I did travel. Spent a lovely few days in Guatemala City, as a matter of fact. And, I recently returned from a trip to Canada.
But I haven’t travelled nearly as much as I’d planned.
Check this out:
Yeah, that never came to fruition.
And it probably won’t come to fruition this year.
My Grand Plans
When I arrived back to live in Mexico City back in May of 2018, I knew I wouldn’t be travelling again for a little bit.
I wanted to get settled. Find a decent apartment — something more permanent as opposed to Airbnb. Focus on work.
And essentially I did all that. Eight months later I was all settled in. Even bought myself a couch for the new place!
2019. I’ll hit that road again. Keep my base here in Mexico City, but do some travelling, I thought.
3 trips. That’s what I wanted.
A week somewhere.
Two weeks somewhere else.
Maybe 10 days somewhere else.
Along those lines. I reckoned at least 1 month out of the country a year, not including venturing back to Canada to visit family.
What Actually Happened?
Well, things started off OK.
In January, I kicked off the year with a trip to Guatemala City with friend and fellow blogger, Latam Capitalist.
It was a good time! We checked out a hot springs, spent a day in the picturesque colonial town of Antigua and enjoyed some Guatemalan nightlife. A short trip, but needed — it’s always nice to get away to stimulate creativity, see things in a different light, speak to different people, etc.
I came back energized, thinking I’d hit another country in a few months.
But I didn’t.
I got back and nestled into a routine. Became comfortable. Not necessarily a bad thing, but after a couple weeks I stopped thinking about any potential new trips. A few months rolled by during which a few friends came to visit, I decided to move out of my apartment into a different one in a better neighbourhood.
And, before I knew it, it was time to go back home to Canada for my mom’s birthday.
Then it was, well, now: half way through the year and I’ve not jetted off to a single exotic Latin American destination.
Why did travelling fall off my priority list?
A few trips a year is more than doable for me, and as y’all know I like to travel!
Well, I did some introspection last night and I think I’ve got to the bottom of it.
I had some guests and visits
This sounds like an excuse. And to some extent, it is.
But I did have some planned visits from friends living in other countries. I also had some new folks I met through my blog as well as friends or friends. These visits were spaced out enough. I could have snuck in a trip or two in between ‘em. Thing was, I didn’t want to work on these little trips I’d planned to take. And I wanted to front-load my work so I’d have time to spend time with the friends that were visiting. Would it have been possible to travel? Yes. Did it work out? No.
Which brings me to my next point.
Work, Work, Work!
Upon returning from Guatemala, I wanted to change my work situation. I’d wanted to change it for awhile, but I really started thinking about it after the trip.
One of my highest paying clients would give me extremely tight deadlines. We’d locked horns about this a number of times, but they wouldn’t budge (or put me on a retainer). At the time what would happen is this: Hey Vance, we need this (insert massive project here that would take 40 hours) in 5 days.
These projects could arrive at any time, thus making it difficult to make travel plans. I could only do so if I gave them plenty of notice.
(I no longer work for this client)
Why did I put up with such an unfavourable work situation, you ask?
This was a mental issue.
Fear of being tempting into that digital nomad lifestyle!
Almost no matter where I go or return to, especially big cities, whether it’s considered “nice” or a “shit hole” by objective standards, I got this thing in my head saying “man, you should do a few months here. Really see what it’s like.”
I can’t help it. I always do it. Even during that last trip to Guatemala City. I imagined myself doing six months there, meeting people, learning about Guatemala.
It’s a psychological thing I have.
When I returned to Mexico City, I told myself I’m done with the grass is greener stuff. Mexico is great. The visa is easy, you’re close to Canada, the people are friendly. Settle down, focus on making money and fostering relationships. Bond to the city.
But I still have that bug in my head.
Let’s consolidate this.
Or, rather, let me consolidate it for myself. Writing helps me clear up my thoughts.
At the end of the day, I didn’t travel because I didn’t consider it a pressing matter.
Do I regret not travelling more?
Surprisingly, not that much.
As per the title, it’s a travel “fail” in the sense that I made plans and didn’t complete them. But I wouldn’t say it’s a failure in the scheme of life.
The travel itch is still powerful, but it certainly has dulled over the years.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older.
I mean, sure, there are many a nights I lie in bed, thinking: Damn, I wish I spent some time in a third rate Latin American city staying in a downtown hotel drinking at strange places…
But would it have made my year any better?
…Actually, yeah perhaps it would have.
(Maybe I need more hobbies).
One associated regret is not being able to bring you guys more posts. I’ve come to enjoy telling you folks about my random trips. Although I’m content living quite a simple, peaceful life here in Mexico City, it does make it more difficult to generate ideas for articles.
En Fin, while I’d like to tell you all my travel aspirations for the latter half of this year and into 2020, I’m not going going to make that mistake again…because I don’t know if any of them will happen!
And, I guess I’m OK with that.
Thanks for listening.