Two months in. Today I practiced my self-care. Which apparently involves eating a cheeseburger, lots of walking, Pokemon, and quiet time. I had an epiphany on my way back to the Shrine of Remembrance. The difference between traveling and visiting a place as a tourist. After reading Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, I would previously associate the term “tourist” as the stereotypical American with a fanny pack, hat, and sunglasses taking pictures but never seeing what was in front of them. I started to call myself a traveler and on this trip I wanted to experience each country instead of just existing here.
While I have been traveling pretty quickly and I don’t wear my fanny pack, I realized I still wasn’t truly traveling in the moment. I let myself be too concerned with going here and there and seeing this and that so I could share everything on my blog. But the truth is, that pace of traveling will burn you out just like everything else. So today I stopped, I took a step back and I began to look at the bigger picture. I realized that this trip, that I have been planning for over a year is my now. I stopped thinking of this adventure as a secondary element to my life and made it my present. I have always had a problem with thinking too far into the future and focusing on the past without ever being mindful of the present.
Giving myself a week in Melbourne was actually a better idea than I thought. While at first, I started to feel antsy and ready to leave, now I feel like I am actually properly traveling through Melbourne rather than just visiting as a tourist. It’s a hard feeling to put into words, but this morning walking down familiar unfamiliar streets, actually knowing where I wanted to go and blending into the crowd as a local … I felt it.
On the other side of today, I wanted to focus on myself. I couldn’t stand feeling like I was missing something on a trip that is suppose to be the most exciting part of my life. I decided that today I wanted to just go with the flow and say Yes to what I want and No to what can wait until later. I walked back down to the Shrine of Remembrance, like I said. I took photos because it was beautiful but then I put my phone down and just sat on the steps. I sat there quietly and thought about all the craziness that is going on in the world.
I went to a place called Royal Stacks for lunch, which is basically the Australian version of Shake Shack. So you already know it was delicious. I walked back up the street and stopped inside Lush and am currently spending the afternoon inside the beautiful State Library of Victoria. So in retrospect, today was about familiarity and doing things that I enjoy and that make me happy. And now after all that, I feel at peace. Tomorrow will still be tomorrow, but today I am happy.