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Why Traveling the World Isn't as Perfect as it Seems

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I am writing this entry enroute to Taipei, Taiwan where I will be spending two nights and then taking off again to Vietnam where I will be possibly for the rest of the year.

It amazes people how I am able to give up everything and go. There is a sense of freedom that people around me envy (especially you stay at home mommies). I know because they tell me so. They live vicariously through me and my Instagram pictures and Facebook posts. They even tell me they want to be me. I am not flattered by this as my ego would like me to be. In fact, I want people to know the truth about this life.

I pay significant prices for my freedom, and I do it willingly. Freedom is extremely important to me -- I daresay it is one of my highest values. I don't like feeling trapped in boxes, labels of good/bad/right/wrong or even a relationship status. I enjoy feeling free to roam, wander, explore, and enjoy all that is around me.

What this entails, however, is that I must be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Spirit prompts me often about what is the next step for me based on the person that I am seeking to be and experience and demonstrate. Spirit is guiding me there, but I set the intention. To be ready to leave at a moment's notice means I don't have deep attachments. What this looks like in real life is this: I am in a relationship that can be best described as a non-relationship and will probably stay that way for some time, maybe indefinitely until someone gets tired of the other not committing. I have no children and I'm not sure if that will ever change. I left my marriage five years ago and several relationships after that in search for freedom. I don't own anything expensive or permanent. I lease my car. I don't collect material possessions like I used to because that would mean more things to pack up, and it would feel like a waste as I discard it. When I return home from a trip and open that door to my home, no one will be waiting.

This is the price I pay, and I choose it consciously. It's not that I want to be alone, it's simply that I want freedom more than I want to experience a relationship or motherhood, for example. Because I do at some point, want to be in a relationship or be a mother, but right now I have decided that what is more important is my freedom -- freedom to express myself, freedom to take any road I want, freedom to eat without having to compromise on what restaurant to go to, freedom to choose a movie without having to check in on what another person wants. Freedom to seek the learning opportunities I want to carve out of the world -- and just go.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my life. But if you think this life is easy or if the grass is greener on my side, I would ask you to consider the whole picture. Because while I choose freedom over relationships and security, I am also choosing to sometimes feel sad that I don't have the marriage with the kids and the house that I can come home to and call my own. I am choosing to go through periods of time without seeing my family and friends. I am choosing a path that can feel isolated at times.

What I am suggesting is that there is no room for envy in our lives. We choose our paths, and each path has critical tradeoffs. I used to be the kind of person to stew over the choice I didn't make, the one I left behind and the regret I would feel of the "what if" alternative. My girlfriend Taimane taught me a good lesson about that once -- surrender to the choice you make.

I choose this life of freedom and travel and exploration. It is entirely who I am in this phase of my life. I absolutely love it, and I consciously know the price I pay for it. I honor that choice which means that I live this life fully and completely because I pay the price every day when there is no one to call me to tell me they love me or that they will be waiting when I return. I live this life fully because to do otherwise would be to pay that price in vain. And as I honor it and the tradeoffs I make, I surrender to this path I have chosen, refusing to look back and wonder about the what ifs, had I chosen something differently.

See related post on Why I am Leaving Hawaii for Vietnam