I remember the first time I went on a trip abroad with my family I was seven years old. It was summer just before my first year at school and my mum and dad decided to take me on an adventure to a place I now call my second home, Germany. After that, the trips have become more frequent, experiences more & more fulfilling and my unchallenged desire to travel was born. I used to spend my school year in Lithuania, then fly to Germany during every school holiday where my father was working at the time.
Later on, when I was in Grade 11/12, I knew I wanted to go someplace new to get my education. That’s how I ended up studying and now living in the United Kingdom. You probably think, what could you be possibly struggling with? Travelling around and seeing everything our beautiful Mother Earth has got to offer is an experience many people would die for and I agree but together with many advantages come challenges that will push you out of your comfort zone. How a legendary Rocky once said, it ain’t all sunshine & rainbows. So let me tell you 5 things I struggle with as a frequent traveller and a resident outside of my native country.1.Settling Down Ain’t Easy
As a traveller from a very young age I have never thought I will struggle to settle down and to dedicate the next 10 years of my life to something very grown-up. How wrong I was about it! Today buying a house sounds very terrifying to me and when people ask me why I’m still renting a flat instead of paying a mortgage, I find myself speechless… because how do you know where do you want to live for the rest of your life? I don’t think I am ready for the destination yet, I’m still on my way and I don’t know if I am even halfway through my journey. You know what constantly runs in my head? Will I ever be ready to settle down? Will I ever have a feeling of completion when I open the door of a house that I own and say “thank God I’m home”?
2. Socialising with people who haven’t seen the world is complicated
It ain’t about how far I’ve been or how many times I’ve travelled, I’m not trying to brag about it but, believe me, having a conversation with someone, who’s never lived abroad or has actually travelled outside of 5 star resorts, all-inclusive buffets and private transfers, is bloody hard. How can you explain homesickness to someone? Or what about my constant complains that when the time comes to update my passport I will have to go all the way to a Lithuanian embassy for it… Or when I first came to the UK and met a few people who were in their 20s and didn’t even have a passport. Like what? How do you even live?3. Taking things for granted
I catch myself very often not realising how lucky I am to travel as much as I do. How blessed I am to be born in a family who didn’t believe that settling down in a small country were their calling. Sometimes I talk with my friends and colleagues about my trips like I talk about my breakfast, just the usual stuff but it is not. Travelling is a luxury whether you are travelling on a budget or not. It’s a luxury to be able to leave all your work behind and see things, taste things, smell things.
4. Feeling less of a grown-up out of all of your adult friends
You come to that age when friends you grew up with starting creating families, having babies, buying pets and you are out here creating travel maps, trip itineraries and looking for the best place to exchange money. I always wanted a dog because I grew up with one in my household. But having my own dog? That means settling down, flying less and growing up more. And I can’t even commit to owning my own car because finance contracts are too long for my wanderlust soul… Am I even an adult?
5. Struggling to define your own identity
Travelling around the world, living in different cities and countries are exciting and adventurous but after a while you start questioning yourself – who am I? Where do I belong? People and their behaviours seem to surprise you and sometimes even shock you no matter where you visit. As a Lithuanian born, I was raised between two countries – Lithuania and Germany and for the last 5 years I have been living in the UK. I’m not Geordie enough, not German enough and even though I hold a Lithuanian passport, I’m not even sure if I’m Lithuanian enough anymore… That’s when things start to get hard because you can’t pin yourself to one culture or one country as the life you built around yourself is based on pieces of different cultures. So when people ask me where I feel most at home, I don’t know if I have an answer for that. Apart from that “home is not a place, it’s a feeling” kinda malarkey.
Anyone else out there struggling with these five things or any other things as a traveller? Share it with me!If you would like to find out more about my travels, please don’t hesitate to follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook !