I have noticed that when most people learn that I once hosted an adventure travel tv show, they seem genuinely surprised. And it’s not just that they’re shocked that I was on ANY kind of TV show (I would be too) but especially an adventure travel show. People don’t see me as the adventuress type. And I understand why. There is a ‘home’ me and a ‘travel’ me and most of the people in my life only know the ‘home’ me.
As a twin I have also found that people often label my personality in comparison to my twin sister’s demeanor rather than to whatever ‘norm’ they would typically compare another person’s personality to. Because of that, when I was growing up I was often considered a quiet, reserved person. While I’ll admit that I am most definitely an introvert, when I look at my entire personality “reserved and conservative” just don’t fit. And a big part of that is because the ‘home’ me and the ‘travel’ me are VERY different (for the record, ‘vacation’ me is pretty much the same as ‘home’ me).
‘Home’ Me vs. ‘Travel’ Me
1. When traveling, I’m always on the go and like to walk everywhere. I seek out active excursions that have me hiking, biking, climbing and enjoying the great outdoors as much as possible. At home, I drive everywhere and very rarely find myself heading out on a family hike. I don’t even own a bike.
2. At home my alcoholic beverage of choice is almost exclusively beer or wine. When traveling I will try the local beer/wine but also find that I’m far more adventuress and will often try other local favourites – that’s how I came to be such a fan of Caipirinhas and why my typical travel bevvy is a lime Margarita.
3. I’m getting better (I think) but I’ve never been much of a shopper and that is sadly reflected in my wardrobe. I try to dress nicely but admittedly ‘safe’. Nothing flashy or too colorful and certainly nothing that would turn heads. HOWEVER, when traveling, I have been known to go bra-less, dress bohemian style and actually wear some of the colorful jewellery I have collected from my travels.
4. When I go to restaurants I tend to already know which dishes I like and stick to them. In Thai restaurants I always order the green curry. In Indian restaurants I like butter chicken, naan and aloo gobi and when stopping into a Vietnamese noodle house I only order phở ga. BUT, when traveling I have tried numerous local delicacies such as worms, fried caterpillar, witchety grub pate, crocodile, wort hog and the list goes on. Why have I become such a dud at home (where I spend 90% of my days) and save my adventures for the few times that I venture out of Canada each year?? It doesn’t even make sense.
5. When I travel I love trying new things. I have zip-lined, bungee jumped, jet boated, scuba dived, snuba dived, swam with rays and whale sharks, snorkeled, rode elephants and a camel, safaried, rappelled into craters and down the side of tall buildings, slept under the stars, floated in the Dead Sea, flown in helicopters over impressive waterfalls and in an open cockpit biplane, white-water rafted, hiked across mountains and to great altitudes and eaten bugs and grubs and everything in between. At home I like to read, socialize with friends and spend time with my husband and our girls. I would love nothing more than to tell you that I have a hobby that I devote all my free time to or that I play on a few recreational sports leagues, but I can’t……because I don’t.
I’m not sure how to explain this discrepancy entirely. While it’s certainly become more pronounced since I became a mom – moms are supposed to be consistent and responsible and not do anything to embarrass their children, right? – the differences have always been evident. I think part of the difference between ‘home’ me and ‘travel’ me is also the desire to express a side of myself when traveling that’s not as easy to express at home. Traveling isn’t typically done with groups of friends (at least not for me) and so it gives me the freedom to show a side of me I don’t always feel comfortable sharing at home and to try things that seem to require too much effort or sacrifice on other people’s part for me to participate in at home (that’s the mom in me talking).
Sadly, I feel as thought the real me is the ‘travel’ me. And so, I’ve decided that from now on I am going to BE the ‘travel’ me at home. I am going to walk more than drive (when possible) and start doing more of the outdoorsy things I love to do when travelling. That’s the type of lifestyle that I want my little girls to be a part of and to seek out for themselves. Don’t get me wrong. We take them on LOTS of excursions and expose them to all sorts of things on a regular basis but when I look back on all of those adventures, I realize that although they are fun and educational and valuable life experiences, they are all focussed on them. My girls aren’t seeing ME having my own adult adventures. I save all of those for when my husband and I have our ‘adult-only’ trips. I want them to associate being an adult and being a parent with fun and adventure too.
So, my patio drink of choice this summer is going to be an Iceberg (Corona beer topped with frozen lime margarita – divine!) and I’m going to order something I’ve never had before off every menu that crosses my path. I will take my girls on more hikes and bring them along to watch and cheer me on while I tackle a few adventures of my own this summer – sky diving and tree-top trekking.
This blog is a big part of me wanting to be more ‘me’ at home too. Travel and travel experiences are my passion. I can’t blog on travel if I’m not doing it and I can’t share stories of adventures if I’m not having them. Being the ‘travel’ me at home is my new goal and my promise to myself and to all of you. Feel free to hold me to it!
Do you find your lifestyle matches who you are? Are you different while traveling versus in your everyday life?