THOUGHTS : On Missing TJ Maxx & Bel Air Cantina


It’s true. As beautiful as my life and surroundings are here I’m starting to miss bits and pieces of ‘home’. I question that word ‘home’ a lot. I don’t make much of it as I feel like you can make your space comfortable no matter where you find yourself. I grew up in a couple of different cities and never felt much peace in any of them. Surprise, surprise I move to the other end of the world for a while. But maybe that’s a lesson in itself that you don’t need to be comfortable by any means to feel alive and fulfilled - I know I have enough in every sense of the word. But I want to see more, I want to experience more and make more places on the map feel like another home.

I’m making it to my month #3 mark here in Byron and I’m definitely feeling comfortable and immersed into the lifestyle here. I’ve learned so much and am grateful every day to be woken up by cockatoos or a screaming 3 year old. Guess which I prefer? But I find myself missing the weirdest things. Chicago comes to mind a lot. Like visions of skyscrapers when you look up for too long and your neck starts to hurt. I’m surrounded by sand all the time but I wonder what the desert sand feels like blowing on my face. I’m curious what the rain smells like climbing a massive hill somewhere in Asia. I’m itching for something adventurous and new and I haven’t even been here long. Is that the travel bug you hear so much about?

Money is a huge factor and I’m taking it much more serious now that I realize I want to do more long term traveling, life after Byron. Plus, I know I’ll owe Uncle Sam a good chunk come April 15th (thank you Benelux customers and all your generous tips that have led me here!!!). It’s exciting and anxiety prone to realize you don’t have as much money as you do desire to travel. But I’m focusing on ways to make money, ways to save and how to experience other cultures on the cheap. Much like how I found myself here to begin with - helpx.net - a beautiful resource!!!

What I miss about the states is the convenience and freedom I had. It seems like I had so much more free time. Maybe it’s because I’m living with a family full time and have off the weekends, which is polar opposite to what I had back home. Maybe it’s the menu prices here for nachos ($19 AUD) compared to next to nothing, now I’m realizing, in the US of A. I don’t miss the attitudes of co-workers or the complaints about the weather or the non-anonymity of Milwaukee. What I find amazing about Byron life is that I only need an hour or so of freedom to feel completely replenished. That ocean really knows how to feed my soul (as do the strong and beautiful long blacks). A 30 minute walk at sunrise and seeing other girls on beach cruisers or dudes toting their surfboards towards the Pass is inspiring.

And it’s free.

Here’s to from now on seeking the beauty of my surroundings with an open heart and desire to explore the unknown on a budget. To seeking solace in being alone. Being free.

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© 2019 by Kaleigh Atkinson