Does settling down mean that we stay forever?
Do we relinquish our freedom to travel when we call a place home?
We all yearn to have a place that we can call home. A place where we feel at ease. A place where we create memories. A place where we are free to be ourselves. But we believe that when we begin to settle down, this means that we will stay forever
In our society, the idea of settling down comes with negative connotations. To the majority it means that we will never leave our home and have no desire to do so. We close ourselves off to the idea of living or traveling anywhere else. These are all misconceptions that we are lead to believe. We all adjust to change and experience things differently, so to assume that we all settle down in the same way is inaccurate.
What if we viewed settling down as us having found a place where we are comfortable and we’re open to exploring?
What if it meant that we may stay forever or that we may not?
The option to leave is always open. We can stay in one place for many, many years and then up and move, if it suits us. We are able to direct our lives in the ways that work best for us. If we get caught up in what society tells us to do or how we should feel, we lose ourselves. We lose our power to think for ourselves.
As I begin to settle down in South Dakota, this idea continuously comes to mind. I never thought I would move to the Midwest or find myself wanting to stay here long term. But I came into this experience with an open mindset. I remain completely open to soaking up all that South Dakota has to offer. It doesn’t mean that I will stay forever, but that I am open to it if it happens. The idea of permanence scares a lot of people. But we are always evolving and changing. We are always moving, whether it’s physically or mentally.
So, why are we afraid to stay?
We all have a desire to travel and see as much of the world as we can in our lifetime. Whether it’s through social media or television, we are drawn to imagery of other people’s travels. We envy and admire those who are traversing the globe. Wishing that we could be doing the same but feel restrained within our own lives. The last thing on our minds is the thought of settling down. We think that we won’t be able to travel anymore. We think we will no longer devote time to creating the perfect travel itinerary. Yes, our priorities have to adjust, but it becomes another line item on our list of things to do. We have to remember that we will make time for things important to us.
Calling a place home can constrain us, if we allow it to. We have to adjust, financially, but that comes with everything in our lives. If traveling is important to us, we always find ways to make it happen. In buying our first home, my fear was that we would no longer be able to take mini trips or travel nearly as much. We adjusted our budget accordingly, but have not lost our need to travel. We plan more strategically to make sure we are able to take trips domestically and internationally.
Being able to travel is very important to both of us. It allows us to escape from our daily routines and experience a world outside of our own. It is very easy to get caught up in the stress of our lives and tell ourselves that we cannot do things. We have to take pause and remind ourselves that with some planning, traveling is always possible.