In the last 6 weeks or so, I’ve been house sitting and travelling in Scotland and England.
I’ve been climbing hills, visiting spiritualist churches, meeting up with old friends, meeting new ones, in between the house sitting and travelling.
Here are some photos of my adventures which have filled my Facebook account. Someone commented “what a great life travelling and house sitting is!”
In Portobello, Edinburgh
A meet up with fellow house sitters, Lisa, Tony & Linda
Loch An Eilein, Aviemore
Yes, it is a great life.
But it can also lead to burnout, especially when you have done it full time with no permanent home for as long as I have (coming up on 4 years this coming autumn.) Sometimes, all is not what it seems on social media (you only really get to see the fun parts.)
Recently I have been getting the strong feeling that now is the time to find my own home and stop with the house sitting. I have reached a place of burnout in my life on more than one level and I have never felt so depleted.
The seeds of this burnout were actually sown in April 2018 when my older brother died in his sleep. We weren’t close at all, but it was a shock and something that made me feel exhausted and vulnerable, emotionally speaking.
That year I also worked hard to finish my book, the Empath’s Toolkit. The book took me years to write and a lot out of me, but it was well received and great to finish.
That same year I put everything I had into “going gazelle” (anyone reading a fellow Dave Ramsey follower?) to pay off my student loan. I hate any kind of debt and my large student loan had been hanging around my neck for a long while. My goal was to get it all paid off by my 35th birthday and I did it. I worked really hard to reach that goal.
Then I travelled around Asia & Australia for 4 months and had photos done in Australia for a website redesign. Here’s a sneak peek of the home page (it’s a big project so will be some time before it is completely finished.)
Then I got a nasty bout of flu from my young nieces which involved hospital and took several weeks to fully get over (I get post viral asthma, which can make recovery from viruses a bit protracted.)
Then I had a load of family drama, as the ripples from my brother’s death continue to affect us and something happened that left me feeling heartbroken about the path certain family members appear to be on (and had been on, for a long time, but I didn’t see it until now.)
Then I got attacked and bitten by a dog. The police got involved, I had a hospital visit as I went into traumatic shock and I didn’t sleep properly for a while afterwards. I’ve been in fight or flight since. (Emphasis on the fight!)
Then I did a house sit with a cat with dementia, that howled day and night and not much sleep was being had.
So I have found myself for weeks now with nothing to write about, all projects on hold, and entire days spent in a dizzy daze of exhaustion and an irrational sense of fear that maybe I’ll never be back to my old self.
I have fought that fear by being sociable and staying active. It didn’t help, I started to find myself unable to drive for longer than short trips or be on my feet for too long. I found myself too tired for simple tasks. My memory and concentration had disappeared, I had to make lists and write things down because I couldn’t remember anything about anything. Showering and eating suddenly felt like difficult tasks that needed to be at the centre of my day.
Hello, burnout on a scale I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before.
I am glad to say I am starting to get better after a lot of time off. However, something needs to change. And my final house sit on this long travelling journey will be in Andalusia, Spain in September, almost 4 years after I began travelling in 2015.
I plan on touring Andalucia and finding somewhere to rent for a longer period. I think my next home will be in Andalucia but I am not 100% sure yet. Brexit is a complication (will Brits be able to live in Spain anymore?) but I am sure I will work it out.
My travelling days aren’t over. I still love house sitting and travelling and plan on having plenty of holidays, for a change of scene from time to time, once I do get settled. I just won’t be exhausting myself by doing it all the time and not having a home to retreat to.
I am writing about all this because I want to hold myself accountable to my new goal of giving up the full time travelling lifestyle. I’ve tried to do it before but I’ve always gone back to being a homeless full-time traveller. But this lifestyle is no longer sustainable for me and where I am right now. It has been an exciting lifestyle, full of adventure, beautiful places, new friends and amazing pets and it’s time to stop.
I am picturing a life for myself in the future that involves sunshine, a home of my own, maybe some pets of my own(?), a garden or at least something to grow, more involvement with a community, and friendships and dating that I won’t have to leave behind like I do when I travel.
I also am writing about this because I will be busy sorting my life out – depending on how long that takes I will probably be slowing down professionally, for a while at least. I am still here for current students and answering questions in the forum, and my online courses are still open. My priority will be mentoring students so don’t hesitate to reach out to use what you have purchased if you’re a current student.
PS. I am not seeking any health recommendations or advice (which I tend to get when talking about anything health or illness related on my blog.) I’ve had a health check up and I am simply dealing with exhaustion.
Thanks for reading.