Many people my age are starting to settle down. Getting real adult jobs, getting married, and having children.
And if I’m being honest, the thought of that is terrifying. But that is the norm, or to me it seems like it is.
When I was in Nepal I was often asked if I was married, if I had children. After all, I am at the age where most girls in Nepal would be getting married.
When I went to Chicago this fall, the immigration officer was surprised when I said I was traveling alone. He said “Alright then, have fun” in the most skeptical tone when I said no, I’m not meeting friends there. Yes, I’m traveling alone.
Last year in New York I felt people staring at me, eating alone in a restaurant, with a book in my hand. Maybe it was all in my head, but many people do a double take when you show up to a restaurant alone.
And now, I have plans to return to Nepal in the spring. For nearly a year.
Once again, putting all of those typical life things on hold.
Because I would rather jump on a plane than jump into a relationship.
I would rather explore the world and find new places to explore every few months, rather than feel stuck somewhere.
I don’t want to factor other people’s plans into my life. I don’t want change my travel plans because someone else is coming along and wants to sleep in, or do something just because they want to. And more than that, I don’t want to stop traveling just because someone else is in my life.
I love my life. I love my adventures and I don’t want to sit at home and wait.
This isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with staying home. Most of my family doesn’t totally understand my desire to travel and see countries they’ve never even heard of. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to be in a relationship and be happy. It’s okay to be single and be happy. It’s okay to travel the world. And it’s okay to settle down.
I don’t judge those people who got married at 20 or 21. I don’t judge those who are engaged or who are having children.
Because who knows, maybe I’ll meet someone incredible on my adventures. Because I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t keeping my eyes open for someone who could fit into my life.
Or maybe one day I’ll come home to stay, and that’s when all of those things will fall into place.
But in the meantime, I’ve got trips to plan, people to meet, and planes to catch.