Mixed Bag of Emotions About Life After Travel

I didn’t realise it was possible to feel almost every contrasting emotion at the same time: joy, sadness; unencumbered, boxed in; lost, found.

Surely there has to be a word that describes this mixed bag of emotions. It swirls around me almost every minute of the past week as we slowly re-enter the real world after traveling for 18 months.

We couldn’t have chosen a better place.

Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast is the balm for a soul moving through a tumultuous change. It’s bohemian, edgy, but not razor-sharp edgy, more feminine and soft. It’s got the vibrancy my soul needs, yet the quiet solitude it seeks.

Sunrise at Burleigh Heads - Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Waking up to sunrise in Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

There’s an energy here that begs you to be present and thrive, to embrace and live with full velocity. I wrote about how it was calling me a couple of months ago in this post; I now know why.

You’re always being guided to the right place. If you just step back, listen, and get out of your own way enough so you can follow, divine flow has its chance to work its magic.

I’ve been running of an afternoon around the headland. On those runs, the unencumbered bliss hits, and I sprint through the joy and breathe in the exquisiteness of being alone in the lushness of the forest.

forest trail
My new running track in Burleigh

I drop the girls off at school, and the fear constricts my breathing. I don’t want to be separated from them.

What will happen to our bond? How can I still protect them? What moments am I now going to miss? Am I making the right choice? What if school destroys their zest, curiosity and free-spiritness?

I release them with a hug of excitement for the friends they’re about to make and the exquisiteness they’ll feel with their independence.

See how twisted the emotions can be in just one moment?

We packed up the camper trailer for the last time yesterday. Relief and joy spread through me as I bid adieu to a cramped space that no longer fits our expansive goals.

I felt slightly melancholy. The reel of memories ran through my mind as Craig, and I slowly packed up, the girls not with us to help.

I missed seeing them ride around the park with their new friends squealing and climbing trees. Their freedom now slightly gone too with rules about what colour headbands to wear and strict times for play.

I know I’ll miss the birds calling me to wake, a slight evening chill, kangaroos jumping around our home and starry skies watching over us.

Pretty Beach campground, NSW
Memories from Pretty Beach campground, NSW

I miss the girls while they’re at school, but it feels good to have some space and get things done without constant interruptions. I’m flying through my list of tasks and I feel unencumbered again. Free to grow and create.

We’ve moved into a holiday rental apartment for nine nights before we move next week into our 6 month long-term rental. It’s the longest we’ve stayed in one place for 18 months.

I spend the afternoon packing away our things and putting everything in its place. I stare at my wardrobe, with my dresses and coats hanging up, and I say, “I love you wardrobe. I just love you.”

18 months around Australia living out of a suitcase allows you to feel a deep connecting love to a wardrobe, lol.

I start to prepare dinner, I have space to swing a cat and I know exactly where everything is. Nothing is wrestling another item for space. My brain is happy as it’s not trying to uncover, detect, or solve, it just knows where to go. I feel safe, comfortable, free.

Experiencing the whole spectrum of emotions in one moment is a sign we’re moving into a world that embraces more balance and more knowing.

We know what we want. We know what works best. We know what brings us stability and security. And we know how to create a lifestyle that still maintains a sense of freedom, joy, connectedness and purpose.

The mixed emotions are held in a bag woven from a deep sense of peace and profound gratitude.

Reentry can be tough, yet blissful at the same time. Find the bag of peace and gratitude to help move you through it.

This post was the newsletter I sent out to our email subscribers this week. If you like this type of content then make sure you sign up here.

I loved this reader’s reply to me: “I would have described it as a type of yearning – knowing new good things are around the corner, but knowing you will never be the same after all your travels, and knowing that you will never quite fit into pedestrian life….its a yearning for what was and for what is still to be – all at the same time.”

You may also like

You may also like

About The Author

4 Powerful Ways to Travel More & Create Better Memories
Want to know how we've made a lifetime of travel for 24 years? Insider tips and updates! 
This is what gives us incredible memories to share around the campfire. Join our community for insider tips and updates!
Scroll to Top