CRUISE DAY 2: We've been on this FABULOUS ship for just 24 short hours and I'm already IN LOVE with cruising! Today is one of our "at sea" days (we arrive in Santorini, Greece tomorrow...eeek!), so D and I are going to spend the day exploring the ship, drinking Mai Tai's, and lounging by the pool with a bunch of rowdy 50-something-year-old cruisers we met at the Sunset Bar last night. Holy cow...early retirement makes old people awesome! Ahem, retract that last statement. My mom might kill me for that one. 50 is not old. Far from it. That was just the Mai Tai's talking! ;) Anywho, I'm wasting precious tanning time. Expat Bonnie here knows a thing or two about living far from home, and she's got some wonderful tips for finding happiness in your current surroundings to share with you today. I'm keeping a few of those tips in my own back pocket! Off you go, Bonnie!
"But still the clever north wind was not satisfied. It spoke...of towns yet to be visited, friends in need yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought" - Chocolat
My name is Bonnie Rose and I blog at A Compass Rose. I chose my blog name to reflect myself and my nomadic journey. I was born in England to American parents and grew up moving around military bases in Europe until I was seventeen years old. I am now thirty years old and I have yet to ever live in one place for more than three years at a time. For the last two years I have been living the expat life with my family in England. I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK), a military brat (and former military wife), an expat, and a global nomad.
I chose the quote above, a line from Chocolat, because it has always struck a chord with me. I am always moving to a place, moving away from a place, or off on a trip exploring new lands. I have been asked frequently if I can ever find peace in one place without having to move again. To be honest I do not know the truth to that question. I have said recently on my blog that I am the most content now in my life in England than I have been since we moved to the US in 2000. However I have moved four times since relocating to England in 2011 and have only been in our current city since this past Christmas. The metaphor of a north wind calling me to new places is quite the reality in my personal story.
Finding Happiness when Restlessness Strikes
Whether you are a fellow nomad like myself or find yourself in a new land (currently or in your future) the urge to go somewhere else may arise. For some this could be due to culture shock and wanting to return 'home'. Perhaps you have never moved outside your city but from reading travel blogs are aching to go abroad. Whatever your reason may be for feeling restless I have compiled a list of ways to find contentment in your current location when the practicality of moving is not your best option.
|With my husband, our sons, my sister Zoë, and my mum aka 'Nonna' at Christmas when we moved to Bath, England.|
1. Go back to school. Enroll yourself into school or sign up for a workshop. Sometimes all we need is a sense of direction. Perhaps this means embarking on a new career path or finishing a degree. Perhaps it is as simple as taking a night class for a new hobby you have always wanted to try. Even just trying something completely new to step out of your comfort zone can be the difference of wanting to runaway and finding your new path. My husband found his new path after the military by enrolling for a masters programme abroad in England. For me, now that we are here, I have wanted to take an adult ballet course or get back into horseback riding (a childhood passion I once enjoyed). The point is to expand your mind for learning and let the new opportunities and relationships that will occur from it take place.
|I work as a photographer but for a hobby I started taking weekly self portraits.|
2. Read a Book. I love to read because it is within a book that you can transport yourself to a new world or reality. Tolkien has always been a favourite of mine since my dad used to read the Hobbit to me as a small girl. Now I like to escape to the top of Solsbury Hill (ref to the Peter Gabriel song) outside my back garden and read when I need an escape. Join GoodRead online to see what books your friends are reading or find a local book club that you can join. The latter could be a great way to meet new people as well.
|Sharing my love of Harry Potter by reading it to my boys. Their reward for each finished book is to see the film for the first time.|
|By learning a new language you break down a barrier to be opened up to many more relationships.|
|Last Autumn my BFF, though miles away, sent me her crust recipe and I made my first pie.|
|Normally I would walk past a pile of leaves, but when out with my kids in London it became a playground filled with laughter.|
6. Play the Tourist. It is really easy to take things for granted when you live somewhere. The easiest way to see your current surroundings through a new light is to pretend like you are only just visiting for the first time. Grab a tour guide book or go on a bus tour of your city. Experience the places you have seen before and explore the places you have yet to see. Perhaps there is a new restaurant that you have yet to try out. Or that museum you have been meaning to check out, but have yet to go inside. Grab your camera and document your day out.
|My kids picked up local maps and guides from the rail station and we went off exploring.|
|I (third from the left) attended a Live Blogging Show at Bristol Fashion Week and met new bloggers and friends.|
|I found my happiness by falling in love with my husband all over again as we experience the new life as Expats.|
10. Go on a Mini Break. While the definitions of a mini break can vary from person to person given your means and time allowances, just getting a way for a little bit can help bring you focus. Perhaps you are a busy mum who can only just get one day off to be pampered at the spa. Or perhaps you are a couple who can escape to the mountains for the weekend. Whatever fits your lifestyle, find a way to get away from the normal day to day life to recharge your batteries.
|While living in Brighton we took a mini break to Lewes, where Anne of Cleaves had a house, and stayed at a luxurious B&B for our anniversary.|
I hope you have enjoyed my top ten ways you can help ward off restlessness and that it helps you fall in love all over again with your current location, with life, and with those special to you.
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*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk