Only in the life of a travel writer would a month staying in one place seem strange. Yet, in the past six months alone, I’ve been out of the country more than I’ve been in my cozy East Village apartment. Perhaps the most painful part of that is that I’ve never stopped paying rent. But I really have little to complain about and despite my extensive travels this year, I’ve found myself craving more time in one place. For the majority of October (minus a getaway to Punta Cana) and November (minus a jaunt to Ireland) through now, I’ve been home sweet home and completely content with my less hectic schedule.

While New York may not be the most exotic of destinations, it’s been my home for nearly four years and my love for all things crazy and chaotic hasn’t changed much. After getting through Hurricane Sandy unscathed, I celebrated my 26th birthday in the simplest way. With no power or electricity in my apartment yet, November 1st was spent escaping to my cousin’s apartment on the Upper East Side and stuffing my face with cupcakes. Having to cancel my birthday happy hour in East Village seemed like a small price to pay considering that many has lost their homes. As strange as it might sounds, I’m glad to have been in the city when Sandy hit. The city has become my friend and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.

As soon as things began to settle, I was on a plane to Ireland to visit the home of my ancestors. Upon my return I went back to my everyday routine, which as you can probably imagine is not that typical. While I adore the flexibility of being a location-independent full-time freelancer, it does have it’s drawbacks. For one thing, I have to really motivate myself to get things done. When I’m on the road, I actually work better because I have limited time each day to write and complete other projects. Now, I have more time on my hands than I’d like. Of course, there’s always something to be done but I’ve realized that my mind and body had gotten so used to working late into the night and waking up early to finish my work that it’s taken some time to switch back to normal hours.

One of the best things about being home is getting to re-connect with my friends in the travel industry. With the holidays quickly approaching, there have been more parties and events than I can attend, but I have been able to make a few including a TBEX meetup hosted by the Germany Tourist Board and a press event for Tourism Quebec – thanks to Kelley from Tripfilms for taking a picture of me mid-way through my caricature.

Besides writing, networking and catching up with friends, the past few months have really allowed me to think about my next steps on the winding path called life. I’m trying to find a balance in my life so naturally I’ve already started forming my list of New Years Resolutions. I’m also discovering that as much as I enjoy being a travel writer, there are other goals in my life that I have brushed under the rug the last few months. While I’m more than aware than the publishing world is definitely in survival mode, I still dream of publishing a fiction novel and it’s time to stop putting it off and just start writing, even if I don’t know where it will end.

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