At some point over the past couple months, I crossed into adulthood. I officially became an adult. I don’t mean I turned 18 or 21 or 25, it has nothing to do with my age. My mentality has started to change. I never thought this would happen to me.
I once again live in Ireland, home to some of the best beer in the world (and certainly home to the best pubs). And I love beer. And I adore pubs. When I last lived in Ireland, I was 22 and went out an average of 6 nights a week. I drank a lot of beer and sat and danced in a lot of pubs. I was looking forward to doing this again and, don’t get me wrong, I still do but I don’t have the desire to do so very often at all. All I want to do is sit at home and drink my wine. This was the biggest shocker to me – never in a million years did I think I’d be that person. I couldn’t imagine sitting at home drinking alone, never mind wine over beer?! Yep, it’s happened. I’m a wino and nights out have become very infrequent.
I shake my head at the young ones who drink multiple times a week and are always “out” as if I’m elderly, and I smile to myself and think “that was me only 4 years ago”. I am here to tell you, four years makes a world of difference.
I also can no longer imagine staying in dorm room hostels. I (not very long ago) used to love staying in hostels and said even if I could afford to stay in hotels, I would probably still stay in hostels. My, my how things have changed. I recently went away for a bank holiday weekend with a friend and could not sleep in a dorm. We booked a private room. Who am I?! (and how will I be able to afford to travel in the future?!??)
I look forward to spending my money on brunches, lunches, dinners, drinks or activities with friends or cute little household items for myself whereas previously, I couldn’t imagine regularly spending my money on such things. All of my money would go towards traveling. I was obsessed with saving so I could spend it on one thing only: travel. Travel is still very much my biggest passion and something I will never stop doing because I know I will never want to stop, but I’m now finding a way to enjoy my daily life while I work hard at university and at work – and I will of course still save for traveling (once I pay off my debts – Side note: I finally recently got a job!! I am working as a receptionist at a hotel in the city centre). I am actually enjoying having a home and creating a (relatively) new life for myself. I am so excited to know that I am carving a path to my career and in less than two years, I will actually be qualified to have a “real” job. A
job career that I will actually enjoy.
The only thing I am really struggling with is this: how to settle my natural nomadic mindset and calm the wanderlust. I am, without a doubt, living in my favorite city and in my favorite country in the world and I am really and truly enjoying every second of my life here. But I am desperate to travel again. I dream of jetting off for another four months (the exact amount of time I figured out is ideal for me to travel – any longer and I get burned out and need a break) to new places to meet new people and eat different foods. I returned from my first round the world trip only four months ago but I feel like it’s been way too long since I’ve traveled and am beyond ready again. Sadly, I cannot afford it at the moment and I have big girl responsibilities here. This is something I am worried I’ll always struggle with – will I ever be able to calm the wanderlust? I don’t think I will.
I am also struggling with this: I am exactly where I want to be, but my family is not here with me. I need (and want) to create a life for myself and live my dreams but I hate being so far away from my family. I’ll never be able to afford to go home more than once a year (and truthfully, I’ll be lucky to be able to go home that often) and that is nowhere near enough. I painfully miss the little things about home. I miss going out to dinner every Friday night with my parents. I miss grocery shopping with my mum and making sandwiches with my dad and laughing until we cry with my sister. I hate that I don’t feel at home in Florida and I really wish I did. I tried to, but I was never able to come remotely close to how I feel when I am in Ireland.
In the meantime, I am living my life and loving every minute of it here in Ireland. I am more-than-words excited for my entire family to visit me in Dublin next summer. I am also planning to do a road trip around Iceland in July. Stay tuned!!