May 20, 2023
As someone who loves to travel, I’ve often been asked whether I consider myself a traveler, which would suggest I’m not a homebody. Traveler or homebody? Which am I, and do I have to choose? I don’t believe we have to choose between being a traveler or a homebody one over the other.
I do both very well…smile. And I get benefits from both lifestyles. So you can enjoy the best of both worlds with some balance.
Before I dive into each lifestyle’s benefits, let’s define what it means to be a traveler and a homebody. A traveler loves to explore new places, cultures, and experiences. Yeap, that’s me. They thrive on adventure and crave the excitement of seeing the world. Check. On the other hand, a homebody enjoys the comfort of their home, finds peace in routine, and prefers familiar surroundings. Wait, that’s me too.
As a traveler, I experience new cultures, meet new people, and see the world differently. Traveling broadens my horizons, challenges my beliefs, and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Way out, sometimes. It also is an excellent source of inspiration for me, helping me to see the world in a new light and sparking my creativity.
But the benefits of traveling go beyond just personal growth. It helps my mental health by reducing stress and boosting my mood. I plan my trips well in advance because having them on the calendar gives me something to look forward to. For example, I usually have a trip planned in March to get me through the doldrums of winter. I’m likelier to keep active and fit because touring is not for the weak-legged. Traveling is also a much-needed break from the daily grind; it is the only time I am completely unplugged. No laptop, no phone attached to my face. It allows me to recharge and return to my routine with renewed energy.
While traveling is great, something must be said about staying close to home because I love it just as much. As a homebody, I enjoy the comforts of my space and routine. And I feel a sense of stability and security.
Like traveling, staying close to home is a great way to manage my stress. I’m in a comfortable and familiar environment, so it’s great for my overall well-being.
Oh, the last one. Being a homebody is the best financial counterbalance to being a traveler. As a proud homebody, I tend to save money by avoiding the costs of eating out, like when I travel.
While being a traveler can be exciting, it’s essential to approach it with intention and mindfulness. To master the art of being a traveler, you must be open-minded, flexible, and willing to embrace new experiences. It’s also important to research ahead to make the most of your trip and avoid potential pitfalls.
On a trip to Shri-Lanka a few years ago, I was a bit too tolerant of new experiences that when my husband and I sat to eat a meal of freshly caught fish on the beachfront, many red flags were telling us not to go there–you know the Anthony Bourdain moments–but we stuck it out and ate food that could have made us sick. Dirty. Anthony Bourdain would have walked away, I’m sure. We were overkilled in open-mindedness. Being flexible and open to unexpected opportunities is essential, but not regarding your safety.
Mastering the traveler-homebody existence means being organized and ready to go. I don’t have to think about “preparing” when I make my travel plans because I already am. I have a whole shelf in my linen closet packed with travel-ready stuff.
Being prepared means that traveling never encroaches on my home life. I am a homebody right up to the night before I travel.
If you’re more of a traveler at heart, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of being a homebody. My travel experiences are all around me when I’m home. I have some souvenirs from my travels on shelves or couches. For example, I buy pillow covers as souvenirs. I like experiencing shopping around the world, especially in home stores. (I guess I’m a little homebody while traveling.) And pillow covers are so easy to find and pack easily in your suitcase and are a great way to cozy up your home and remember a recent trip.
My home is also my sanctuary where I spend quality time on my hobbies, with family, and relaxing and recharging. My routine includes working in my office most of the day and curling up to a good book or streaming a good show at night. My home routine is warm and comforting, and it’s something that’s taken me years to create for myself, and you can too. So whether your home is right, you shouldn’t feel like missing out on anything.
So, how do I balance being a traveler and a homebody? First, I’m mindful of my needs and desires. If I’m feeling burned out or need a change of scenery, it might be time to plan a trip. I don’t have the luxury of taking off when I feel overwhelmed, so the trip is planned for when I can. But, as I mentioned earlier, having it set on the calendar helps keep me upbeat and optimistic.
I’ve never felt overwhelmed by travel because I don’t travel as often as I’d like e. So I take longer trips .vs frequent and short trips. That’s the balance that works best for me.
But if I need a change of scenery fast, an overnight stay in another state will do it. For example, I’ve done overnights in upstate New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. It’s a great way to unplug without investing much time or money.
As I wrote this blog, I noticed that the traveler and homebody sides of me are equal. When traveling, I am still a homebody because I enjoy simple pleasures. And when I’m home, I am a traveler because I’m planning my next trip while I’m bundled up in my blankets. They coexist well.
There’s no right or wrong way to live your life. Whether you’re a traveler or a homebody, embracing both sides of your personality and finding a balance that works for you is essential. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of both lifestyles and create a life that brings you joy and fulfillment.
Are you a traveler-homebody kind of person? Why not join our community and connect with others who share your love? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences and help you find the balance that works for you.
Angela Atelier is a New Jersey-based portrait and personal branding photography studio in Perth Amboy, NJ, empowering women everywhere to live their best life. Want to learn more about how we help women discover themselves through portrait photography? Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.