On finding balance when traveling. (In La Paz, Bolivia.)
I have trouble concentrating on more than one thing at a time. It’s not really in some ADHD way, but it’s that I get so into something that it consumes me. I get my mind on something and I don’t want to think about anything else, do anything else. It’s all I can focus on.
Sometimes it’s work. Sometimes it’s partying. Sometimes it’s watching a series on Netflix in one sitting.
It’s hard to find a balance. To want to do more than one thing at a time.
When I arrived to La Paz, Bolivia, I was struggling with that balance.
I had a freelance job that I needed to work on, so I sat in the hostel common room staring at my laptop all day. I had a personal project that I wanted to get ready for launch, so I sat in the hostel common room at my laptop all day. I ate an embarrassing amount of meal’s in the hostel’s restaurant. I drank only once, on my first night, despite staying ten days in a party hostel. There were a few days where I didn’t even leave the hostel. I didn’t have any desire to talk to anyone. (OK, it didn’t help that I was in a hostel where one day three backpackers were walking around the hostel bar in blackface… makes it hard to want to be social…)
I had little motivation for anything else.
Sure I could have said that I’ll work for x hours, sightsee for x hours, and spend my night actually talking to other people. But no, I sat at my laptop all day, zoned in. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. I barely forced myself out for a museum, a walking tour, a street fest.
Sometimes, I guess, it’s necessary. And sometimes it is necessary to take a break from travel to recharge. But, lately, I’ve felt myself pulling away from others more and more. Being more content to stare at my screen than anything else. And it makes me wonder, then, what’s the point of traveling if you’re not really traveling?
Tom @ Waegook TomSeptember 22, 2014at8:59 am
Eurgh, I feel you on this one, Val. I feel like some places I’ve been to, I barely scratched the surface, instead staying indoors, surfing the interwebs and not really doing much (Budapest springs to mind for this). Finding a balance can be hard, it’s something I sometimes struggle with as I can get too consumed in certain things. Hope you’ll find some equilibrium soon!
Randy packSeptember 22, 2014at10:28 am
I love your photos. Please spend more time doing that!
AliSeptember 22, 2014at10:32 am
First, those llama fetuses are CREEPY.
Balance is tough, no matter what it is you’re trying to balance. You DO need a break from the sightseeing and travel-y things. And since you have actual work to do, you need to make time for that too.
I’m starting to think that true balance isn’t really possible. You can’t have more than a couple of priorities at once, otherwise how is it really a priority? So if you need to take time to work and you don’t get to go sightseeing, that’s ok sometimes.
rebeccaSeptember 26, 2014at12:33 am
its so hard to find the balance but your priorities don’t seem so bad.. work is work and in the end you need it to travel right? good thing you have that focus, I would of sturggled