I feel like just yesterday I broke my NYC lease without any plans besides a month-long AirBnB booked in Killington, VT. I didn’t have a full-time job, really no plan or direction, just hope that a change of scenery would be able to help give me clarity.
And boy have I gotten more clarity than ever.
Within this month, I [safely] traveled to three new states, got a new full-time job, started said job, started seriously focusing on writing my first novel and have been better about writing on this blog. Let’s be real though. It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows.
Let’s talk about some problems I encountered.
- Loneliness. I’m pretty extroverted but I appreciate having my own space and time alone to decompress after a long day. After moving to two cities (NYC & Nashville) knowing only 1-2 people and being an avid solo traveler, I figured that I would thrive being in a new area. Well, I did, but also was not expecting to be overwhelmed with loneliness. Being alone in a cabin in the mountains is much different than being alone in an apartment in a bustling city. Shoutout to all the friends and fam who checked in on me, answered my (near daily) calls or watched my “Snapchat” vlogs when I just needed to talk to someone, anyone. Work has also helped with this because I spend most of my day speaking with clients. But sometimes you just wanna have a socially distant dinner or something with a pal, ya know?
- Missing physical things. Okay this one may sound petty, but I missed a lot of basic physical things that I took for granted in my normal life. Fave candle? Didn’t think to pack it. This one specific cardigan I love to wear on chilly nights? Didn’t know that I was going to want to wear it while listening to Folklore. A book that I’ve had on my shelf for months but suddenly got the urge to read? Of course didn’t pack it. [Note to self: pack more books on next trip.]
- Unknowns. I had a lot of anxiety over where I was going once I left Vermont. Like I literally spent days on AirBnb and the CDC Covid tracker trying to figure out my next [safe] move. I have my best friend’s wedding in October so I knew that I had to go somewhere I could drive to in 1-2 days and preferably somewhere that wouldn’t require me to quarantine when I came back.
- Time to think. Jeez, this is the most difficult part of all of quarantine. I have had so much time to THINK. I’m someone who prefers to push all my emotions to the side and distract myself. [We all have coping skills like this, right?] Being alone has given me so much time to think about my whole life but especially my future, which let’s be really, no one can plan anything in the future right now. Sometimes I just allow myself to spiral about everything — past, present and future. And being alone just adds to that.
Let’s chat about some of my fave parts of my first month on the road!
- New surroundings. Although I can’t picture myself not living in a city long-term, like I said, being in the quiet of the mountains has been the reset I needed. I will miss sleeping with the windows open, letting the cool air cool down the condo. I won’t miss driving 30+ minutes to go to the grocery store though.
- Quiet Time. Hypocritical I know, but at times the quiet really opened my mind to the creativity I have in me that I have psyched myself out to believe my ideas were worthy and worth harvesting. When I had quiet and could reflect on positives in my life and how far I’ve come and where I can go from here.
- New Routines. Being in a new place gave me the space and time for new routines. Since coming to Vermont, I wake up earlier, I stopped drinking alcohol, started journaling in the morning, going on long walks after work and started writing almost daily. Maybe these habits won’t all be sustainable long term because different seasons require different priorities but I am thankful for the time to establish new routines that I plan on bringing with me.
So what’s next?I [finally] decided where I’m going next! I’m headed to my beloved Nashville for a month and I can not wait! I had a lot of nerves about going to Nashville, where Covid cases are higher than in the northeast. In all transparency, I need to go to Nash for my mental health and well-being. I need the [takeout] food from my favorite restaurants, to [safely] visit with friends, and go to yoga and spin classes. I’m not going to be out at Broadway and midtown bars [though I do love them] or going to any highly populated areas. Since I moved to NYC weeks before the pandemic hit, I’ve felt like I have had no sense of home or any familiarity since February and never had the opportunity to make NYC home. I’m just excited for the comfort of familiarity, being able to drive to grocery stores I know, and feel some comfort in this whole crazy mess that is 2020.
After Nashville? I have no idea. I’ll be heading home to PA for my friend’s wedding two weeks before so that I can fully quarantine and keep everyone at the wedding safe.
If you have suggestions on where to go next or tips for #nomadlife let me know!