Sure, I guess you could say we’re always traveling in life. I guess you could say each day is new and offers new places and people and experiences be it in a foreign land or in your own backyard. I guess you could say everyday is an adventure whether you’re inside sitting at your desk or standing outside staring at the hope-and-opportunity-filled horizon.

As I said…I guess you could say that
But to be honest with you, the life and times of a traveler who isn’t traveling is much easier said than done. I’m smack dab in the middle of that life and those times that lack the luster of travel, and I guess you could say that while I have been keeping the adventure alive, I do feel like a piece is missing.
I guess you could say that for a traveler who isn’t traveling, you have to put a lot more into your life and times to create that luster and adventure that used to come so naturally when you were stepping on uncharted soil every day back when you were off exploring.

After a one year stint living in Beijing, China and traveling throughout South East Asia I returned 6 months ago to America. Even as I type this I can’t believe I’ve been back for half a year. And as I look into the future I know I have another 6 months until I travel abroad again indefinitely. And suddenly, the way in which I identified myself for a year is gone.

Suddenly I feel like I WAS A TRAVELER.


If one identifies themselves as a traveler, what’s a traveler to do if they are not traveling?

Martin Luthar King Jr. shared his ever-lasting wisdom with us when he said, “If it falls to our luck to be street-sweepers, sweep the streets, like Raphael painted pictures, like Michaelangelo carved marble, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, and like Beethoven composed music. Sweep the streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth would have to pause and say … …Here lived a great street sweeper.

We each live out many roles in our lives be it as a worker, a friend, a parent, a child, a lifestyle. These are the ways in which we define ourselves, and to not do what it is you identify yourself as will forever carve a pit in your stomach that will never fade until you are finally doing it.

I AM a writer.” “I AM a runner.” “I AM a loyal friend.” “I AM someone that makes people laugh.“I AM a loving partner.” “I AM wild and crazy…enough.” “I AM someone who gives 110%.” “I AM an entrepreneur.” “I AM a traveler.” ….” THIS IS ME. THIS IS WHO I AM.

So, if this is how you define yourself and how you live your life and how you ultimately feel like you’re really living your life to the fullest, well, to  not be doing it would be the most flawed way of living your life possible.


As the Rolling Stones once sang, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”

Myself… I want to be traveling. I want to be exploring new places with people I meet at hostels the night before over a few beers and talks about the meaning of life. I want to be arguing with cab drivers about not ripping me off through language barriers. I want to be seeing something crazy everyday that makes me smile, or pisses me off, or gets me thinking. I want to stand on soil I’ve never once stood before and see something so amazing in and of itself that life just somehow makes sense at that very moment.


Us travelers who currently aren’t traveling could sit around in limbo and say to ourselves, “Well, I’m not traveling the way I want to be traveling so therefore I must accept that my life simply won’t be as exciting right now.”

But then we wouldn’t be listening to the ever-lasting wisdom of sexy, big-mouthed McGagger.

The thing is, sure, we won’t be experiencing the exact same luster and adventure we get from our travels in other parts of the world, but if we try sometimes, we get get the parts of it we need that keep us inspired.


Look here’s how it is… if you are not doing what you define yourself as you are not living. If we are travelers, we must do everything we can to stay a traveler even if we’re not watching the sunset on a foreign beach or learning the subway system in a foreign city.

So, here’s my call to action to myself and to you should you be a traveler whose not currently traveling: Turn your Backyard into The World.

Come up with 3 small to big adventures you can take yourself on to get your identity back. Plan them. Make them happen. Make it apart of you.

I’ll start..

1.) New Hobbies: I’m currently living in a new city until I move abroad again. St. Augustine FL – home of beautiful beaches, an old, Spanish-style downtown, and great margaritas. I’m picking up a surfboard next week and teaching myself to surf / meeting cute surfer boys in the water to teach me as well.

2.) New People: I’ve started the St. Augustine Fun Stuff MeetUp group. Myself and my almost 100 members do fun activities around town from hiking to bar crawls. I will do more of this to get that “hostel hangout” feeling again.

3.) New Places: I’ve never lived in Florida before and have an entire new state to explore. After I get my motorcycle license in 2 weeks I’m going to plan a road trip down to the Florida Keys where I’ll go scuba diving for 2 days. Or, maybe I’ll road bike it down and get someone to sponsor me.

So, now I ask you, my fellow traveler who isn’t currently traveling… what will you do so you can keep your identity?

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About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

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