Traveling has always been my extravagant, guilty’ pleasure that I pursued in whatever way I could. That’s how I found myself teaching in the Republic of Georgia. And it was fun, and full of adventures, and a great way to spend 6 months! But while I had originally decided to go back in the fall, that plan has changed.
I never want to dread traveling. Thinking about going back to Tbilisi filled me with dread. Yes, I want to see my friends and my would-be host family, but I don’t want to see that country. Or the inside of a school. I pulled up the Bible in Kartulad and had flashbacks to trying to navigate Didube station. I’m a bit traumatized. So it’s with equal parts contentedness and guilt that I announce: I’m not going back in September. As the time flies toward my would-be departure date, I feel more at ease with that decision.
But talking with friends. I’ve heard a few comments along the lines of “traveling and living abroad just aren’t for you then”. While I know they mean well, and are trying to assuage my guilt over staying home, I hope they’re wrong! I love traveling. I like making a place for myself in a different place. If I was going back to Georgia to live in Tbilisi and have a job I wanted, I would hop on a plane immediately! Afterall, I’ve lived in a few different places and I think I’ve proved that it is something I like. But while others have moved to civilized parts of Europe/Asia/South America and stayed in one place and had a ‘home’, I didn’t get that experience.
I was living in a two bedroom apartment with 10 people and access to a shower once a week. Just because I’m choosing not to go back to that situation doesn’t mean that travel is ‘not my thing’. I’ve just figured out a few more ways of living that I don’t care to partake in. Eventually I do want to live abroad. Maybe London, though, and not Rustavi. I do like my showers, after all!
For now, I’m on semi-hiatus. There is no international travel in my immediate future (though I am going to New Orleans in a few days!!) but it’s definitely still on my radar. I am staying put, with feelers out for travel in the future. Right now, I’m re-acquainting myself with old places and spaces and enjoying sweet, sweet Georgia. After all, there’s no place like home!