My Honest Feelings About Traveling the World, One Month In

May 31, 2017

It’s pretty amazing what diving head first into the unknown can do for your psyche. To say it’s all been magic over here would be a lie, but I can tell you that leaving behind everything we know has brought me back to myself in a way I haven’t felt in a long long time. I don’t believe I was some shitty person before we started this journey, and I’m not naive enough to believe that my growth as a person is done after a single month of traveling, but I genuinely feel different and better already.

Everything really began to click yesterday for me, and while I was planning on reflecting in this space after we had hit a full month of traveling, I had no idea what that would mean. I guess I thought I’d be able to share with you how it’s really been with all of my belongings fitting into one small carry on suitcase, what it’s like to be in a country where you don’t speak the language or how mine Zack’s marriage has benefited from more time together. I could absolutely share thoughts and feelings on all of those topics and more, but the shift I’m feeling is more powerful than all of that combined.

I’ve realized for some time that I’m a pretty intense person to be around, to be friends with and I’m sure to be married to, but I never really understood why. I felt as though I was always going above and beyond for people, making myself available at anytime for a friend in need and yet my turn over rate for friends has been comparable to the workforce of a fast food restaurant in a college town. Friends who I genuinely care about have come and gone over the years in my adult life and I’ve always been puzzled as to why.

Maybe it’s being in a new country, feeling lonely or maybe it’s just having more time to sit and reflect now that Zack is home with us and around to help with Owen more, but shortly into being here I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in fact the problem. I am the common denominator in all of my friendships and there had to be something I was/am doing wrong. To be honest, the whole thing hit me like a ton of bricks. Zack has had a lot of heartfelt conversations with me over the past few weeks, he’s been great at reassuring me that I’m not a horrible person but has also been really honest with me about my expectations for friendships.

The thing I said about going above and beyond for my friends is true, but what I didn’t realize until now was that it was always at a cost to them. I’ve always been keeping score and tallying up what I had done for them and making note of what they should do for me. It’s embarrassing to say, but it’s true and it’s not what true friendship is. Of course I believe that any relationship is a two way street and that if you’re consistently putting in more than you’re taking out of it something needs to shift. The shift is what I’m working on. My immediate reaction after confronting someone and not getting the response I had hoped for has honestly been to shut off (hence the turn over on friendships). It’s not healthy and it’s not productive.

It has taken some deep soul searching to realize that my expectations are what need to shift. It’s not about cutting people out of your life because they might not be able to give as much to a relationship as you in that particular moment. It’s about the ebb and flow. Taking people as they are, giving without incentive and knowing when to pull back and give them space too. It’s one thing to get rid of physical baggage, but it’s another to let go of emotional baggage. These “failed” friendships are something I’ve been carrying around for a long time and defining myself by. I’ve felt angry, hurt and confused for so long, and it feels really incredible to accept those instances for what they were, reach out if it feels right, forgive myself and move forward. It’s freeing.

My point in sharing all of this isn’t in hopes that an old friend reads this and reaches out. I want to lead by example for Owen. I want him to have meaningful relationships that thrive. I want him to have enough strength to stick through the hard times rather than jumping ship because that feels easier. I want him to give without expecting anything in return. I want him to be able to look back, in most cases, and feel confident about his actions when it comes to friendships. And I want him to be able to forgive himself when he messes up (because he most certainly will).

Leave a Comment

  • I love that you said you’re an intense person to be around and be friends with ha ha. I’m such an intense person to be married too…my poor husband I’m always harping on him to better ourselves, our marriage, save the world and travel it all at the same time. 😉 Love your honesty.

    • Chrissy, I think we’re kindred spirits. Hahah. Intense ladies for life. I’m hoping to make it to Southern Cali this fall and would LOVE to get together. We can exhaust each other and spare our husbands for the day! 😉

  • Elsie Kern

    You have become one amazing woman who believes in herself enough to better relationships and feel the freedom to express intimate thoughts at the same time. Very powerful words you have written. Awe inspiring dear one❤️

    • Elsie! Thank you so much for this. It’s always so wonderful when people comment, because you never know who’s reading these sort of things. I so appreciate you taking the time to share your support and love here. Thank you, miss you and love you!

  • Loved this post. I have realized that about myself, too.

    • It’s tough, huh? Just know you’re not alone. So happy you loved the post!

  • dear lovely one, honest beautiful friend. i’m so happy for you–to discover this, to have the time to soul search, to be brave enough to share and make yourself vulnerable, and to have such an amazing, loving husband to speak openly and honestly with you about something so important, to love you through it and help you grow. I know I only just met you in November, and my contact with you (sigh) is mostly online, but in my heart I know how rarely I spend time investing in new people at this point in my life in the way I feel compelled to invest in you–and it’s because (among other things, like my obsession with Owen and your top knots) what you say is important, meaningful, and needed in this world, and it helps those around you grow, too. xx

    • Sarah,

      This was the SWEETEST message to wake up to. Thank you for your constant kindness, support and love here. I can’t express how much it means. Meeting both you and Trish (among all the other beautiful ladies at our retreat) was something I’ll always be grateful for. If it makes you feel better, since we’re traveling, most of my friendships are the online kind so there’s not a whole lot of difference there. Thank you for feeling compelled to invest in our friendship. I feel so loved after this message and look forward to more chats (online or in person). xx

  • Diann Patton

    Hailey, I’m so proud of you for expressing your innermost feelings for the whole world to see and feel. You are a brave soul, a wonderful mother and wife, and hell – intense people rock, just sayin… ❤️❤️

    • Diann, thank you so much for this! It warmed my heart to see your name pop up on the comments. It means so much that you took the time to write this and that you took the time to read the post. Intense people, well we rock sometimes, haha. 😉 Love you!

  • I love this! And I love your honesty. I’ve had the same with friendships, and when my friends couldn’t come through, I really felt like they didn’t care about me at all. Not realizing that not everyone is capable of giving me a 100% when I want it. That doesn’t mean I am unloved. Just that they have to prioritize their circumstances first, before they can give me what I need from them. Thankyou for sharing. I l love your blog! And I love your podcasts too! Have fun traveling Europe! We would love a meet up if you visit Amsterdam!

    • Tahira, thank you so much for your comment, for reading and for listening to the podcast! It truly means so much. It’s so easy to get caught up in feeling unloved when our expectations aren’t meet, right? So glad this could speak to you in a way that makes you feel less alone and thank you for sharing that here too. It’s always nerve wracking to put your emotions out into the public and I appreciate you sharing. <3

  • I don’t know, it’s tricky. I recognize myself in this issue with friendships, too, and part of it is the way I go into them.

    I think, “if I do a lot for people, they’ll be there one day when I need something too”, but many will interpret that reflexively (and self-servingly/excusingly to a large extent) as “this one’s a giver; that’s her role; she doesn’t need very much”.

    I’ve since gone from being too generous to too guarded; it’s hard to find the ‘juste milieu’ (correct middle in French, as you no doubt know) when you’re bouncing from one to the other.

    Still working on this. It’s harder now than ever when people are so distracted in an unstable economy and short-attention-span-fostering social media.

    • Ally, I totally get this! It’s 100% my reaction to go from one extreme or the other. Working on finding my way somewhere in between is tough, but I think it’s important. You’ll get there too! <3

  • Alexis Patton

    I’ve loved following along with your whirlwind of a new life! Seeing the magical alcoves of Paris through your eyes has simultaneously made me feel nostalgic and given me a serious case of wanderlust. As much as I’ve loved your posts over the last month, I think this one has been the absolute best and most honest thing I have seen on social media in a very long time. I really commend your bravery for putting these soul search thoughts into words. I’ve struggled with similar feelings and it’s so refreshing to see someone else open up about it. Acknowledging that you may be the problem is heart wrenching and freeing at the same time. Being less intense is something I’m constantly trying to work on, and as you know, it’s tough! Right now I am just thankful to have people in my life who are willing to let me be the alpha while I figure things out.

    • Hey Lex! Thank you so much for writing this. 🙂 I’m so glad that this spoke to you and helped you feel less alone. I’ve had such a positive response from sharing this which makes me want to open up even more. Being vulnerable online can be tricky so thank you for validating my feelings about it all here. Intense isn’t always bad, and I’ve honestly never taken you that way at all, but we all have our unique traits. Working on yourself is always positive in my opinion, but you’ve gotta be easy on yourself too! Love you lady.

Theme by Maiden Sites
All Rights Reserved. © 2016 Household Mag.