I was in Miami, the sun was shining and I did not know what to do. I had a hard time sleeping and still woke up before the alarm. I actually had no need to set the alarm but did so nonetheless to get up and be productive. Well, that was naively optimistic.
I disabled the alarm, turned around and rushed down just in time to grab the last waffle from the free hostel buffet. I opened my laptop screen, stared at it blankly, watching the little line blink up and disappear each second, waiting for me to type. I did not type, I went back to bed.
I did not know what was wrong with me. I had been so efficient, so organised and keen on working on my blog and everything surrounding it. I think it had swallowed me whole and I could no longer see the forest for the trees. But I refused to acknowledge it I knew it. But I can be quite immune to reason sometimes.
The Danger of New
Every day new impressions. A daily dose of people you’ve never met before and from tomorrow onwards will never see again. New sights, new countries, new cultures. With everything new on such a constant basis, new becomes a routine and routine becomes a strange concept.
New is an opportunity but also a threat in that it is utterly exhausting. Even though normal is good new is exhausting. And doing it for a long time and without a pause can lead to depletion. My energy levels had been so high when I started. I churned out a blog post a day, sometimes writing a week in advance and being already so far ahead in my travels, my family was confused about how the adventures online matched the ones in real-time.
I was happy, I was excited. Now, I am in a much better place but the energy is gone. The excitement is as well. I have already told you about in other posts, how all these impressions somehow become boring in a way. The first two weeks I was in Seoul, I just made myself comfortable at the hostel table and worked away. I missed the wisteria season in Tokyo because I felt the blog was more important than the actual experience. No need to tell you there was something with that thought.
Master of Deceit
For one, I was under the delusion that if I didn’t work like a maniac on my blog, nothing decent would come of it and I would have been a bad blogger and would have been doomed to fail. I am a workaholic, I am too ambitious for my own good and I defined my success and happiness levels through being busy or validated. That’s not healthy when you’re a blogger and your world revolves around social media, a maelstrom of fakeness and facebook syndomes.
But it can also lead to amazing things, such as falling magically into the world of blogging and meeting fellow bloggers who suddenly shared all my worries and blogger problems and just plain understood. A blogger lifestyle is entirely different to a 9-5 job. I felt it more than ever when I got back home over summer and my productive periods fell into the regular dinner and TV time, for which I had no longer any priorities (food, though, was still one).
I did not meet with friends as I was busy staring at a blank paper armed with a pen, hoping to have inspiration struck but it evaded me. I then tried to sign up for online workshops, hoping to get som more insights. Sign up I did but using it I did not. I had this extreme barrier in my mind and I did not know how to untangle the weirdness within. All of this sounds very abstract and it was. It still is.
Solution too Easy. Realisation too Hard.
But the thing about all of this is simple. I have been trying too hard. I have lost my way. My blog is not what I like it to be. How it should be, I do not know. I have many ideas but no execution. I need to extract myself and do what I fear the most: settle. I need to settle for being grateful for what is there and ignoring my drive for perfection. I need to settle for the fact that I have not done everything I should have but did the most I could with the ways I chose to do. But most of all I need to move and literally settle down someplace.
Now, that is always scary. I might have been stationary in my home town for 25 years and lived abroad for around half a year each time, but I realised I get very grumpy and the travel itch flames up real hard when I face a stay of more than three months. So I am taking baby steps. A dear friend of mine has come to my aid when I needed her last year.
She has triggered the idea in my of travelling the world solo and becoming a travel blogger and now she has yet saved me again from venturing down the path of denial and sheer mule-like stubbornness. In other words, I am taking a step into my past and continue my life in Malmö (for a while).
Now, if you didn’t know, Malmö is the capital of Sweden’s southernmost province, called Scania. It is the third largest and probably most diverse city in Sweden. It took a long while for me to warm up to it (probably because the Swedish winter was so cold and Swedish people only come out once the warm sunrays hit in spring) but then I, like the first heralds of spring, I rose and zipped through the cobblestone streets on my bike and floral etui dress in an Audrey Hepburn like fashion to buy roses on the farmers market. Cheesy, absolutely, refreshing, totally.
And so I am making a new home in an old one and try to calm myself down, realign my values as well as my blog. We’ll see. No worries. No stress. What I will focus on most, however, will be my freelance career, which I have been trying to build on the side but travel has been too consuming and too familiar. And even though I am used to change I abhor the routine and so getting back in that will be scary. But scary is an adventure and we all know how much I like those.
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
And so I resolved to take a blogging break for January and maybe Febuary to work on new and exciting projects (with probably the occasional post inbetween – sign up for the newsletter to be up to date). So stay tuned and don’t forget to check out my social media channels, where I will also feed you colourful travel photos, random thoughts and observations or talk to you one on one.
And so despite my inner demons, I got out of my sheets, put on my shoes and with weary eyes made it to South Beach in Miami before the sun. Sitting down with the fine sand scrunching underneath my weight I positioned my camera on my lap, ready to pounce on the first rays. The dense cover tried to ruin my plans but when the orange orb appeare and pushed away dark and looming clouds, I knew everything would be ok. And for a moment, even the busy surfers stopped catching waves and just embraced the growing calm within.