I feel like I’ve been stressed for days.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t exercised for the last four or five days (I’m away in Switzerland/Germany/Austria, meeting up with my sister and her husband–just left their company yesterday). I brought my running shoes, intending to hit the hotel gym in Munich, but that would have been the day after we went to Oktoberfest, and did I mention I either have gotten to be a super super lightweight or have some kind of sensitivity to something in beer and wine and some foods? So yeah, hooray illness. Definitely didn’t make it to the gym. Today I’m in Basel and trying not to stress about the future (I can’t even manage to get my regular freelance work done while I’m away because the internet doesn’t work in places where it’s supposed to work and yes I should be working right now but goddammit I can’t concentrate for all the stress). So, sorry internet, you are getting the complaining “woe is me” writing-as-therapy post that is not even a little bit interesting.

I’ve come to a point in my life where I’d like to establish myself somewhere, and unfortunately my visa will be expiring in January and so I will be returning to the States to start over once again.

What do you do with an MSc in Creative Writing?

I’d love to finish writing my [first] novel (here’s hoping there will be more to come), but I’ve just started this new travel site that I do love, but it’s sapping all my free time and energy and I’m afraid there won’t be any payout. This is the part where I have to tell myself to just get on with it. In the past, I have struggled to get through rough patches of projects because of the little voice in the back of my head (This will never work out. You will never make money from this. Why do you even bother?). But I know this project is worth it. I know if I can silence that voice and just get on with it I will emerge successful.

But the bigger question is this: what do I want out of life?

Do I want to be stationary or itinerant? Every time I think I want one or the other, I start to get antsy. I love having a place to call home. I know that I need a home base. But I don’t know if I can stand staying in one place forever, every day of every year, and give up living in other countries, experiencing other cultures, living an adventure like the protagonist of a novel. And that’s another thing — it’s hard for me to tell if this travel thing is what I want to want rather than what I actually want. I know I enjoy temporary adventures, but to be completely honest, every “new” place I go looks a heck of a lot like other places I’ve been. Every new city I encounter reminds me of Montreal, or Portland, or DC. Every bit of countryside is like Montana, or West Virginia, or Asheville. Is there really that much difference between them all to make it a necessity to see everything?

People say that traveling makes you appreciate the place you call home, and I have experienced this appreciation more than ever on this trip. The problem is: where do I call home? On this trip, I have been most nostalgic for Wilmington, but with a longing to return to Edinburgh as well. It is hard to believe that by the time I return to the States in December, it will have been almost exactly a year since I’ve been in my home country. I’m starting to feel like a part of a community in Edinburgh, and now I wonder: what’s the point? Why am I putting myself through this? To integrate into a city, to become a true citizen of a place with the knowledge that I cannot stay? I’m only making my inevitable departure more difficult. And as much as I love Edinburgh, I don’t think I can handle living there forever, even if visas weren’t a problem (with my freelance work to support me, I wouldn’t necessarily need a work visa).

And every new “home” I make just becomes somewhere new to miss. I still miss Montreal, more than three years after I left, and I know I will miss Edinburgh as soon as I get on the plane.

So what, then? Back to Wilmington? To what end? I wish I could take the Edinburgh community with me to the sunny coast of North Carolina.