You’ve heard of the seven-year itch, but have you ever heard of the seven-month itch? No? I haven’t either. But those who have felt it, know what I’m talking about, and can tell you it’s a real thing! It’s that feeling you get when you wake up one morning and feel restless, you think, “This world is so massive and yet, I’m lying in my bed, looking at these same four walls that I’ve been looking at for the past seven months. What am I still doing here?”
You see, we love our life here in American Samoa! There are, of course, things that make life less than perfect: the dogs, the drivers, some of the comforts of our former home, and for the first time, we saw a big rat in our house last night. But overall, this was just what we were looking for when we left Mainland USA. We wanted to get away from the American Dream Bubble that we grew up in and that our kids were beginning to be affected by.
And yet, Nate and I have begun to feel that old, familiar itch, that feeling that has us looking beyond the shoreline. I was already feeling it a little bit at the beginning of this year, but after writing My Top 18 in ’18, where I revealed the top 18 places that I would most like to visit or live, I felt my wanderlust growing even more. Then, I wrote about the thing that keeps most people from taking their dream trip, and spent time researching the cost and planning stages of travel, and I knew we had to start planning something big, or I might go crazy!
Now, don’t worry, we’re not quite ready to fly away from American Samoa. We’re only seven months into Nate’s two-year contract and we both agree that we still have more to discover and learn from this tropical island. Instead, we’ve been planning some trips for this year.
Everyone asks if we’re planning on traveling back to the Mainland to visit family, and the answer is no. Much to our family’s disappointment, when we said, “Good-bye”, we said it for the duration (or longer).
While we’re living in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, we want to take advantage of the proximity to other island nations. Obviously, it’s considerably cheaper to fly from American Samoa to Fiji or New Zealand, than from Idaho. Remember my #1 place from my Top 18? (Spoiler alert!) Sydney, Australia has been taunting me from the other side of New Zealand, ever since our plane touched down here. I’ve wanted to go there all my life and now that I’m so close, I can’t let this chance pass me by.
We’re looking at all our options and, as always, figuring out where we can get the biggest bang for our buck, not just the physical bang, but also the emotional bang (life-long dream come true?). I get to research flights, accommodations, and package deals. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right, and that doesn’t include emptying our savings.
While vacations might relieve the temporary itch, I’m afraid, no matter how many we take, we will always return with the desire to repack our bags and try somewhere new. It reminds me of the movie Moana, when Moana sings, “See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me…” That call is what brought us here and it’s what will carry us away when the time comes. And so, we begin to scour our world maps and talk about where we would like to move next.
Now that we’ve uprooted our family, it will be easier to move the next time, and the idea that we could ever “settle down” again, makes me laugh… or maybe cry. I don’t see how we could ever find that one place where we feel so fulfilled that we don’t want to wander anymore.
Does that place exist?
Honestly, I don’t know.
There was a time in my life when I thought that we had found it. We bought a house and settled down, just to realize that we couldn’t stay still. We couldn’t shake the feeling that the world still had more to offer us and us it. Now, almost three years after selling our house, after many triumphs and disappointments, we find ourselves in paradise and we’re faced with that same feeling again.
There will always be somewhere in the world that we have yet to see, somewhere with different sights, people, food, culture, etc. So, we look ahead, planning vacations and future moves. Always dreaming of the next place.
Have you found your settle-down place yet?
Have you found a way to satisfy your wanderlust or make your travel dreams come true?
If your answer is no, that’s okay. Stay tuned- Over the next month, I’m going to feature fellow travel bloggers who will be sharing the different ways they have made travel work for themselves and their families. Look for inspiration. Look for the tools you need to set your travel goals, make your plan, and find your own way of traveling outside-the-box!