Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Eleventh Tale: The Pros and Cons of Wandrin'

As many of you know, I am currently in St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, visiting some of my oldest and dearest friends. Given the situation I'm currently in, one can only imagine the feelings of temptation that arise in regards to "settling". Just like any woman, my
ovaries are probably starting to tick a little, and sometimes the thoughts associated with this phenomenon are more along the lines of comfort over adventure.

However, I DO still have that travel/adventure bug in me, and it just doesn't seem to want to go away, ovary-ticking and all. Given this conflict of, um, head and heart, I decided to compile a pros/cons list for traveling, and one for "settling". :D. I intend to be brutally honest, so watch out.

Traveling: Cons
- the act of traveling itself (sitting on an airplane for hours, etc.)
-trying to figure out directions to places
-getting lost in foreign countries
-not being able to talk to people b/c of language barriers
-living out of a suitcase
-sleeping in crappy beds
-having to budget money all the time
-getting ripped off by locals
-having to start all over again wherever you are
-having to share bathrooms with other people (and decades of crud. I should
mention that this is my absolute least favorite part of traveling)
-meeting attractive foreign men
-missing friends/family

Traveling: Pros
-getting to experience amazing landscapes, historical sites, museums, parks, buildings, etc.
-trying new/awesome types of food (this is a huge one for me)
-making new friends from varied cultural backgrounds
-completely experiencing another culture as natives do
-learning new languages
-being an ambassador for your own culture
-overcoming logistical challenges on your own
-gaining confidence from being able to overcome those challenges
-feeling independent and strong
-getting to try new activities
-meeting attractive foreign men

Settling in St. Louis: Cons
-being bored
-missing out on many of the aforementioned pros
-being surrounded by "things", possibly learning to value those things more than experiences

Settling in St. Louis: Pros
-having my own bed (you can tell this is #1 for me, call me
the Unsinkable Molly Brown)
-being surrounded by good friends/closer to family
-living in a diverse community
-having the opportunity to date someone steadily without worrying about where I will be in 3 months
-feeling a sense of comfort and security that only a home can provide
-investing my money instead of throwing it away

So, interestingly enough, it seems that I value NOT being bored so much that traveling is where I turn to. This is especially true because when I get bored, I also tend to get depressed and anxious, which in my book is no good. So if I were to settle, I would need to have constant projects at a job that kept me challenged. I have to say that I know something about myself: I value having a sense of security more than any traveler should. However, I have found that when I am able to stay in a place for at least a month and not be essentially
living out of my suitcase, I feel much more secure about living wherever I am and tend to enjoy the experience more.

One thing is for certain: the lifestyle I have chosen isn't for everyone, and it certainly isn't for the feint of heart. I have to say, though, that even with the temptation to stay, my heart still wants to see far away places and experience different cultures. I guess it's good to be aware that the possibility of coming back here still exists, but God willing, St. Louis will still be here should I ever choose to take that route. For now, the jury's still out. :)

Thanks for reading, God bless,
Love you all!
Xoxo, Anna

P.s. I wrote this all on my iPhone so I apologize if there are any spelling/syntactical errors. :)

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