“Settling Down” Can Be Its Own Adventure

March 27, 2014

USA Life

Previous adventures revolved around nonstop travel experiences, adjusting to life in a different country, scoping out the craft beer scene in Europe and more. But as of five days ago, I’ve taken on a brand new adventure, one that doesn’t involve flying anywhere. Instead it keeps me grounded, closer to home. Introducing Barley, our new nine-week old Labradoodle puppy…

Barley collage of photos

Nonstop Travel > Settling Down. The Reality.

Lifestyle changes are never easy. Travel was my life the last few years. The check-in process at the airport became as much of a routine as brushing my teeth. I learned to pack like a pro, squeezing in the perfect supply of clothing and toiletries into a small carry-on suitcase, always proudly avoiding the extra baggage fee. I devoted hours every week to travel research treating it like it was my full-time job as I scoped out new amazing places for Jim and I to explore together.

In January, that travel stopped “cold turkey” . Our weekend routine became consumed with getting set up all over again back in the US – making sure we maximized the family time we missed out on while living so far away, while also checking off necessary tasks like finding a place to live, buying furniture, and waiting patiently for our possessions from London to make the way across the Atlantic Ocean by boat and arrive at our new home – all in between continuous snow storms!

Snowy Jersey City I didn’t think much about the fact the I was “settling down” until recently when I realized our daily conversations changed.

Last year our discussions about what to do on the weekends were filled with conversations like, “Let’s fly to Italy this weekend, or to Germany. Or hop on a 2 hour train ride to Paris. Or maybe a car ride in the English countryside.” Our big activity this Saturday might involve spending the day with Barley at a park or taking a car ride to stop at one of many large American shopping plazas for pet food, groceries and for an added bonus maybe a drink at TGI Friday’s.

Quite a change of pace! On the other hand there’s something wonderful about settling down and there are always ways to keep life exciting, so here’s some tips I want to remember for myself, and hopefully help to inspire others as well…

Don’t forget to love the little things in life.

Whether you’re already settled down or still moving, the little joys of life should never be forgotten. Like that memorable first slice of New York pizza I ate when I first moved back home to the US after two years away.

New York Pizza

Appreciate the comforts of an entire day at home.

A relaxing day at homeOver the last few years I longed for the comforts of home, and there were times I wished I was watching an American football game, enjoying a home-cooked dinner and drinking a beer with my husband in the comforts of our living room instead of in a foreign country away from many of the traditions I was used to. A few days ago we had that ideal lazy Sunday, and sadly Jim and I both felt a sense of restlessness (Isn’t it true that you always want what you can’t have?).

This Sunday, I promise to enjoy the opportunity I have to spend time with Jim and our new family pet – without anything else to do!

Challenge yourself to find a new weekend activity to keep things interesting.

Anyone who knows me or Jim or has read any part of my blog is aware that a large portion of our time is spent in search of the next greatest brewery or beer bar operation…

Jim & I at Oyster & Craft Beer Fest

This activity is still a major part of our lives (and more to come on this soon as I’m in the process of developing a business idea from this passion), but we will not be frequenting our local craft beer spots as often now that we have the responsibility of taking care of a young puppy.

Breaking the old routines can be fun if you use it as an opportunity to challenge yourself to come up with a creative new idea. That activity can be as simple as organizing a card game, visiting a nearby town you’ve never spent much time in, or finding a slightly different approach to continue doing the things you love (for us that might mean hosting a craft beer tasting dinner at our apartment with friends instead of going out!).

Cherish today. 

While it’s great to reflect back on the past and recall all those fun memories when life was a little different, it’s not smart to obsess over them. Enjoy and appreciate the present.

Settling down is an adventure of its own, and it’s up to you to embrace it and make it exciting!

Jersey City skyline

View of my home area: Jersey City skyline from across the Hudson river in Manhattan


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About Tanya

I’m a freelance travel and beer writer and a passionate and energetic 30 something - determined to enjoy life and see as much as possible along the way. Recently I lived abroad in London and traveled to 20+ countries within two years! As of January 2014, I'm back in the USA, and currently living in Charlotte, NC. But before all of that, my roots were set in small town America, where I spent the first 23 years of my life living, going to school, and working in the state of Pennsylvania.

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