Working From Home After Traveling Constantly (Encouragement)

Passport in purse.

Bills and coins from different countries tucked in one drawer, just in case.

Adapters and converters to suit any socket – pre-packed.

A fluid calendar and easy-to-reach bright pink mini suitcase, with a larger matching option depending on the trip.

This was how life looked for me, not so long ago. Just before I started this blog, actually. Writing can therapeutic; don’t let anybody tell you different.

Travel has always been a part of my life – well, ’til now.

What about you?

Since most of us are staying home right now, countless planes are parked out and global hotel occupancy is on the balding side, the word ‘travel’ has…changed its flavour and glamour recently, to say the least.

If just a few blinks ago, you considered yourself a globe trotter and got used to sharing colourful stories to amazed faces with awe-struck eyes, the script has officially flipped and you might be getting more nervous side glances than warm embraces right about now.

Through music and my mum’s then longterm airline career, traveling by plane became a norm for this former hot footer.

To date, I’ve visited 20 destinations; some more than a few times.

oh, and I forgot to add Denmark, Bahamas and Grand Cayman to the list! I can’t really count Italy, because I only got as far as the airport.

From growing up traveling as a ‘stand-by’ passenger to flying coach, first class and even sitting between pilots, plane rides were as casual a thing as a car drive.

So, when I went from walking around with passport-in-purse on an average day ‘just in case‘ a booking for an overseas gig came in, or when I ‘needed a break‘ to then working mostly from home in Barbados…it was a big challenge that I didn’t greet with much grace.

I learned that I wasn’t as patient I’d thought…or as committed to enduring the seasons of life in one place well.

Travel was an adventure, yes – but it was also a form of escape, so I could get what felt like a ‘breather’ and return home refreshed, with some cool photos to post on Facebook too. But that technique only ‘works’ for so long.

one of the many things i love to see, that we don’t really have in Bim – fresh flowers being sold along streets. Yes, we have flower shops but you’d have to know where they are to see flowers on display/for sale like this. A pic from Cannes, France when I went for M.I.D.E.M

At a certain point, I had to call it like it was – I was a hot footer. Always on the move. Someone who couldn’t – who wasn’t committed to taking care of the tedious but who more leaned to the adventurous.

Even when home in ‘Bim,’ running a 24hr vocal studio, I’d somehow carve out time for 5:30am snorkeling or beach walk and 3-4 hrs of dance classes 3-4 times a week, with studio or coaching sessions and the occasional gig in the mix.

Somehow it felt like if I kept on my toes that I’d dance through life light, with no baggage or attachments to ‘weigh me down.’ Sounds so romantic and free-spirit-like. Come to think of it, “free spirit” was something I was referred to countless times.

As poetic as it sounds, I knew deep down inside that travel was both a part of my joy and job, but it was also a running technique sometimes.

To travel fans reading this – can you relate? Any of this sound familiar to you?

Let’s face it, seeing different places, eating food with signature flavours, hearing different musical riddims, shopping for items that are way too pricey at home, meeting fresh faces and speaking foreign languages is soooo much fun!

But, try doing that constantly, whether for work or enjoyment and you can eventually:

  • wake up one morning not quite sure which country or city you’re in and not so enthusiastic about whatever the answer is
  • return home exhausted and in need of a vacation after your vacation or work trip
  • struggle with a sense of belonging from time to time
  • get caught up in price and people comparison

On the other hand, we can sometimes over-romanticize about living this or that place or having access to this service or that currency with the sweet exchange-rate. Speaking of cost of living, here’s a post about that.

Maybe you, like many, were just about to take a trip somewhere, before this global crisis and curfew situation started. Maybe you’re a ‘Travel Influencer,’ touring musician or Travel Blogger and now not quite sure what to do or where to grow from here.

Just a few pages ago, it was all about was ‘livin’ ma best life‘ and now we’re all reminded that we are ultimately not in control of this world and life is not a party; it never was.

All I can tell you is, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, your tendencies, the way you connect with others and what matters most, in this global stay-at-home season.

growing cilantro

If you’re anything like me, you might discover that you actually enjoy some of those things that seemed so tedious, intimidating or time-consuming before – like cooking, cleaning, gardening, or resting for refreshment.

One thing I remember clear as day, is how the concept of ‘rest‘ seemed like such an eye-rolling almost-repulsive word, when I was a hot footer.

I get it – constant travel can look and even be glamorous to us and others, but please don’t compromise your health and wellness to try to impress others or yourself.

A life of travel would have seemed so glamourous just a few weeks ago, then – just like that, it became more dangerous than anything else – so much so, that airports are empty, many planes are parked, and cruise ships are still lined up and bobbing around Barbados, within eye-sight as I type this.

You are more than the things you get to do.

After traveling (for music work) every weekend for 2 years, I moved to the quiet countryside of the island, on a farm in St. John, and started hiking, fishing, growing food…and blogging.

view of the South East from boat boarded at Consett Bay. Did this a few times a week for a while, when living in the country. Thanks to ‘Barber,’ the captain who is over 80.

And that challenge and journey rekindled my love for writing, but most of all, it showed tendencies (towards restlessness) that needed addressing and reminded me to always remember the quality – not speed of life.

I also have more appreciation for the experience of having been able to travel, and still look forward to visiting relatives and friends who live all over the map and singing onstage without rushing from airport to hotel, stage and back.

I hope for more well-paced trips that aren’t only about business…but whatever my portion in this life, I want to be grateful.

Still learning, but am very thankful for the lessons that came with pressing pause on a life of travel to appreciate the discipline and adventure that comes with taking care of the home you’re in, and waiting well instead of always being quick to vanish when things get tough or repetitive.

Had I not gone through that tempo change when I did, I’m pretty sure I would have bitten my nails down to the bone right about now.

Do I sometimes miss traveling, eating delicious food from different cultures, free fancy hotels, big stages and speaking Spanish in everyday situations – yep.

But we don’t have to complain about the things we miss, especially not now, because none of those things is a practical or appealing option at the moment anyways.

So while we are where we are, let’s be thankful – we might pout sometimes, but there’s still a lot to discover when it seems like you’re in one place…

How about walking to the balcony to get some fresh air, re-decorating the least-used room in the house/apt. to resemble a place you love visiting, strolling or swimming at the beach during the 6-9am window (here in Bim) or going in the garden to water those seeds you just planted so you can…

enjoy travel in a new way today.

And when the curfew eases up wherever you are, make a note to enjoy beautiful places that might have been missed or taken for granted before this.

Related post: The Work-From-Home Lifestyle and How Modes And Means Of Travel Build Entrepreneurial Endurance

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Thank for reading and have a sweet rest of the day!

Feel free to send a message if or when you’re coming to Barbados. My family has a bed & breakfast within walking distance of the sea on the south coast, and you’re very welcome. P.S: please leff ya shoes at de door

photos (c) Joywithin

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Indra is the Coordinator and lifestyle/career writer of Joy within. She shares content management tips for creatives, refreshment reminders for everyday life, entrepreneur interviews and a bit of Barbados. The singer, blogger, publishing consultant and breathwork coach works mostly from home after pressing pause on a life of travel. As a teen she almost gave up on life; now as a woman saved by grace, she's living joyfully with purpose, encouraging the overwhelmed and helping aspiring creative entrepreneurs launch well and keep up with content. Follow 'Joy within' blog for firsthand updates on new posts and podcast episodes.

5 thoughts on “Working From Home After Traveling Constantly (Encouragement)

  1. This is something I intend to do when we go back to some kind of normal again. Maybe travel close to home at first (in the UK) and see how it goes. A great post thank you for sharing xx

    1. Hi Kelly Ann, thanks for reading and sharing. Good idea! Close to home travel to start with. I think I’ll do the same too. Hope to see you here again soon.

  2. A fantastic article and great post Indra! As someone who had been constantly traveling since my childhood, I can relate. Now it’s little treks to the garden center, grocery stores and around my home. Thanks for the encouragement. Much Love

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