I remember before I went nomadic, that when I visited somewhere there was always internal pressure to ‘see it all’. I was there for a defined amount of time, and there was rarely a sense of someday returning.
It was also special time set aside to experience a new environment and escape a normal day. It felt like wasting an opportunity if I wasn’t cramming in as many tourist destinations as possible, sampling all the local foods and seeing all the scenic vistas.
As a result, I always came home feeling like I needed a recharge. Vacation was spent constantly on the go.
Since combining life with full time travel, my desire to see everything has greatly diminished. Very rarely do we seek out the tourist destinations in the places we visit. And the things we do see come at a sustainable pace.
We’re not on vacation, after all. We have to manage work hours, social time, time with each other, time apart, hobbies, fitness, cooking, chores, communication with loved ones and exploring a new place.
There was a shift that happened some time ago for me, where I stopped feeling like I was wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if I hadn’t checked everything off our list. And I was curious how that would feel with a longer stay, like we’ve experienced these past 5 months on St. John.
When we came here, we thought – ‘We’ll actually have time to see it all!’. We even made a list after first arriving off all the things we wanted to do. It included:
- Snorkel at St. John’s most iconic beach – Trunk Bay
- Take a day trip to Josh Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands.
- Hike the Reef Bay Trail
- Do lots of sailing
- Refresh our SCUBA certifications
- Take a weekend trip to Tortola and/or Virgin Gorda
- Do lots of island hopping
- Rent a Hobie catamaran
- Geocaching around St. John
Well, here we are, with a week left – and we’ve not yet checked all the items off our list. Heck, we’ve yet to check a single one off our list.
Are we disappointed? Not at all. In our time here we have visited dozens of other gorgeous beaches that the tourists don’t immediately head towards. We hiked many other trails. We’ve gotten our water fix with amazing snorkeling and haven’t felt as called to needing SCUBA diving to see amazing reefs. We’ve only gotten over to St. Thomas a couple times to run errands and haven’t felt much call to leave St. John.
And most importantly, we expanded our horizons and have done countless other things that weren’t on our list.
Tomorrow, we will attempt to get our sailing and island hopping fix, by taking a catamaran charter over to the BVIs. We may just call that good.. and leave St. John with things left to do for next time. And most importantly, we’ll leave refreshed, recharged and ready for whatever is calling us next (and no, we still have no clue what we’re doing next.)
We have just simply found we’re really content leaving things left to explore in the places we visit.. no matter the pace we’re on.