The Home-Travel-Social Balance

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."
 - From "Home, Sweet Home" by John Howard Payne
We haven't gotten to travel much this year.  At least not much for us.  We've only left the state once all year long, for example.  How bizarre!  

We had to switch focus and really emphasize in-state adventures, almost entirely camping and nature expeditions.  Even still they were just a drop in the bucket compared to our usual MO, but we savored every minute.   I am particularly pleased to have pulled off a Megavacation at a rustic forest service cabin in southeastern Montana back in May.  Since the library was closed it was pretty easy for me to get time off work.  Matt was only able to come over for the weekends though since, as someone in the healthcare field, he couldn't get away so easily.

I miss our wider adventures like crazy, but I can now say that I've come around to life closer to homebase, too.  The vibe is pretty dang mellow and the gentle pace is refreshing.  I have so much time for sewing, writing, cooking, playing with the cats, reading, and lounging in the tub (plus house projects and chores, too, I suppose).  Actually, it is weird (though not unpleasant) having so many free evenings without travel and socializing to pull us away from home. "So we don't have anything going on tonight?  Sweet.  Let's play Ticket to Ride."  We're used to having way more balls in the air than this.

Oftentimes, in fact, we have a tendency to stretch ourselves a little too thin.  We're traveling somewhere nearly every weekend.  During the week we have a tremendously active social life, homesteadery projects, and our jobs to keep us well occupied.  We consistently "wear ourselves out with good times" as I like to say.  Between concerts and canning, brunch with the girls and weekends in Yellowstone, volunteer gigs and laundry...we end up burning the midnight oil all too often just to stay on top of this vibrant and active lifestyle.

Because we love going places and seeing people. 
Norris Hot Springs with Josh - October 2020
I can't deny that I took the curtailment of our travel and social calendar and all the related uncertainty rather hard.  We had the DC Megavacation cancelled early on in our pandemic experience which was a rough introduction to the (ugh) "new normal" of travel.  We used to see our friends out at live music on a weekly basis and now we don't.  I pitched a few fits, gnashed my teeth a lot, and shed quite a few tears during the adjustment period.

I was lonely, I guess, even with Matt and the cats as truly excellent company.  I was a little lost.  I felt like I was missing out...that life was passing by and I wasn't living it to my definition of the fullest.  I was bored--and I am never bored.  I felt unhappy spending so much time "stuck" at home.  

But, really, I was mostly looking at things wrong.  It was a matter of perspective.  I was focused on all the aspects of living that I had lost, not all I had gained or maintained.  With some reflection though, plus months of practice, I have really come to appreciate being so domestically centered.  

Because we love being home, just the two of us, too.  
Matt and his snowman take a bow - October 2020
We have always described our place as "the perfect Matt-and-Beth house."  It is modest and simple and we've made it a hub of creativity and production.  We brew and build, we sew and sing, we play and plan.  It is a blessing to have this sanctuary just as much as it is having the freedom to roam.  I'm almost embarrassed it took me something this dramatic to really hammer in that point.  I was taking my fabulous homelife for granted.

That was an important lesson for me.  I love going to the breweries downtown.  I love jetting off to the desert.  I love dinner parties with friends and family.  But, I love the quiet moments at home, too.  I love them all the more, actually, because they run in splendid contrast to each other.  They make each other shine all the brighter.

So, I'm going to strive for a better home-travel-social balance when we're back to standard operating procedures again someday.  Whenever that day is.  That's my version of the work-family balance problem.  I want to leave some nights open on the calendar.  Nights where we have "nothing" to do, but play board games and bake sourdough.  I'm going to schedule relaxing weekends at home in addition to exciting adventures near and far.  It will be good for the garden and for our psyches.  The cats will love it.

I live for cruising down the open road and boogieing on the dancefloor with my friends, but I always want to come home to my puzzle table, my comfy bed, and the best four-legged roommates ever.  To the quiet and calm.  To the great meals and bocce in the backyard.  To the simple joys of home.
A full moon backyard fire - October 2020
Like the saying goes, there really is no place like home.  The pandemic has been quite illuminating on this point.


  1. Hi Beth,
    ...I think I'm pretty much a homebody anyway...but I do love traveling and seeing new places...we've only made the trip to New Mexico since the pandemic started and that was pretty low-key...just family visiting...but we really enjoyed it...everything is just so different now...and it's always good to be thankful for what we have...
    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. Yup! Attitude is key! We both have so much to be thankful for. That is super important to keep in mind, isn't it?!

      I gather from my circle that the homebodys have it a little easier, but still...with so much change and uncertainty I imagine it is still far from easy, at least some days. Hooray for time with family though--what a special trip New Mexico was indeed!! Low-key or otherwise!

  2. Hello, this is Zoha (insta: @selffaholic) I started blogging here about a month ago but I noticed that there is no any engagement of other bloggers or people. It's so hard to interact with others. So I'm creating a community of 'Bloggers' especially for girls, on Instagram to share our blogs and engage with each other. I'm giving my link below:-
    Plz, msg me here so that I'll be able to add you to a group. Thanks :) 

    1. I am not on Instagram so I cannot connect with you there. Thanks for the invite though and for popping by! Welcome to blogging! I have made some wonderful connection here over the years and I hope you will, too.


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