Before starting Bohemian Trails and pursuing a career in travel writing, I worked a 9-5 job and often found myself craving alone time. I’d leave work and head straight to a concert or fashion event and not arrive to my apartment until after midnight. I’d wake up the next morning and start the same routine. Granted, this routine was exciting but it left little time for…myself.
I worked at an international record label so naturally, it was a social environment and luckily most of my co-workers were pleasant to be around. However, I’m an introvert my nature and found myself sometimes leaving the office during my lunch break just to walk around or sit on a park bench. I craved alone time and since my life was busy before, during, and after work, it was hard to find time for myself.
Fast forward to nearly a year later and I can’t believe how much my life has changed and I’m grateful to say that these changes are all positive. My ultimate goal was to find a way to do what I love most: travel and write. I wanted a lifestyle where I could live wherever I wanted and where I didn’t have to report to an office each day. After working harder than I’ve ever done in my life to launch Bohemian Trails, find paid writing gigs and market myself as a brand, I’m finally starting to see the rewards of my efforts.
Yet, now that I spend most of my time alone, I’m often in need of more social interaction. After a summer spent visiting family back home and then traveling to South America and Mexico, I could not wait to return to New York City to see all my friends. When I first moved to New York more than two years ago I knew absolutely nobody and I was forced to make friends the hard way – by putting yourself out there and leaving your shyness at the door. I managed to make quality friends who I was eager to re-connect with upon my return.
I’ve been back in New York now for about four months now and I’ve barely seen any of these people. Most of them came to my 25th brunch party but one-on-one time has been limited. While I wasn’t necessarily expecting people to fight over my time, I also wasn’t expecting that I’d be the only one constantly reaching out. I could blame it on the busy schedules that all New York City residents have, but I’ve found that when you want to see somebody or do something, you find a way to make it happen. It’s sad in a way, although I don’t fault my friends for having other priorities.
I first wondered if this was happening because I have a boyfriend. I’ve had friends in the past who had trouble balancing their love life with their social life and as a result, I felt ditched as a friend. Because I’m sensitive about this, I’ve tried really hard to not be that girl and to reach out to my friends whenever I can. At the same time, it’s hard to keep extending my hand and receiving nothing in return. On the other hand, there are times when I feel too anti-social to see people myself, so perhaps it does go both ways.
So who am I spending most of my time with? Well other than myself, I’ve been meeting people at my Spanish classes and at my local coffee shops. I’ve also established new friendships with people in the travel industry – both in person and online. It’s nice being located in New York because a lot of travel related events take place here. I regularly meet with Galding, NOFF, Tripfilms and other bloggers.
What I never expected was to establish solid friendships through social media and emails with other bloggers. Spending so much time alone yet having this support system has been invaluable to me. Maybe these new friendships have formed because my own priorities have also shifted. I’m working for myself now and working harder than I ever imaged I could. Meeting other people in similar situations helps me think that maybe my dreams aren’t so crazy after all.
My only hope through all of this is that I continue to appreciate the truly important people in my life and never give up on trying to re-connect. This bohemian will be traveling a good deal this year and I’m determined to maintain my friendships at home and make new friendships abroad. Despite feeling lonely sometimes, the New York City streets somehow soothe my saddest thoughts. This is the same when I travel. A simple walk around a new city or town helps me in ways that other things can’t.
At the end of the day I’m happier than I’ve ever been and the people I value most in this world are who I keep close.
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