How do I know I’m officially an adult?

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!!

4 thoughts on “How do I know I’m officially an adult?

  1. Glad you discovered the vino, it’s the best thing of getting older, you just don’t appreciate it at a young age I think 🙂 When I turned 25 everything changed. Partying from Friday to Sunday was no longer possible and my priorities shifted. Even my travelling style changed – more luxurious accommodation (I share your view on dorm rooms!) and I now prefer slow travel rather than rushing from one sight to the next. Holiday destinations are now based on food and wine, rather than partying and shopping. It’s great though, I don’t feel I’m missing out at all and every once in a while when I think I need to prove myself that I’m still young I will go out and party – and pay the price for it over the next 7 days! 🙂

  2. A great way to fulfill your wanderlust when you can’t go far is exploring your own country that you live in. Honestly, you don’t even need to leave your city, or region! Sometimes when I need to find something new but don’t have any money or time to go for more than one day, I just drive without direction for an hour until I find something new. It happens more often than I’d ever expect and I find myself asking why on earth I had never been to these places that I just discovered before!

    • Thanks very much for your comment 🙂 That is a great suggestion. I do this often – especially here in Ireland. The only thing that’s missing for me when I do this is the cultural differences – that’s what I really crave!!

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