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I Don’t Want to Be a Backpacker Anymore

Balangan

 

I don’t want to stay

in another cluttered

noisy dorm room.

 

Balangan

 

I don’t want to ask

and answer

the same tired questions:

 

Balangan

 

“Where have you been,”

“Where are you going,”

“Where are you from?”

 

Balangan

 

I don’t want to interact

on a level

of continuous superficiality

with people

who I will never see again.

 

Balangan

 

I don’t want to drink from a bucket

dance with teenagers

or sleep with earplugs.

 

Balangan

 

I don’t want to track every penny

haggle over a dollar

and lose opportunities

because I’m too poor.

 

Balangan

 

Maybe, I don’t want to be a backpacker anymore.

 

Balangan

 

I want to experience a place

without the limitations of the cost;

luxury cocktails on a rooftop

and dollar noodles in the street.

 

Balangan

 

I want to take hot showers

and sleep in real beds

then walk in dirty dusty markets

and lay awake on overnight trains.

 

Balangan

 

I want silence and isolation

I want quiet and calm

so I can process and express

the chaos I just saw.

 

Balangan

 

I want to spend my time

with people

who inspire me to do more

who really want to know me

and be known in return.

 

Balangan

 

I want to create

a sustainable business

that supports me and those I love

without the destruction of consumerism

without the stress of the modern world.

 

Balangan

 

I want the comfort of knowing

it’s ok for me to complain or to cry

without losing my ability

to soothe myself from the inside.

 

Balangan

 

I want to give back

to the places where I visit

change their lives like they changed mine

instead of constantly searching

for how I can survive.

 

Balangan

 

I want the chance to find love

to have a relationship

perhaps even a home;

without the monotony of normalcy

the boredom of what I’ve known.

 

Balangan

 

Maybe I’m asking for too much

maybe I sound spoiled

but if I’m being real

I want a life with everything

 

Balangan

 

 I want to have it all.

 


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Comments

  1. Great post. I want it all, too! I’ve been stuck at this computer since February 2012 (and for about 10 years prior as well) and can’t deal with much more of this! I’m glad that you point out that you don’t want to “go back” but go forward. You’re tired of being a vagabond, but that doesn’t mean you need to return to any form of rat race. Mane feel that those are the only two choices – but there are many, many more choices if we choose to believe and follow our desires! We were made to follow our desires from the day we came out of the womb, then lifted our head, then crawled, then walked… and on and on! Follow your wildest dreams!!!

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 2:59 am

      Thank you Jennifer! So glad you understand and embrace the spirit of the post :)

    • Bill Dwyer Says: December 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Robert Plant once commented on the quiet pleasures of the hearth and the excitement of the road. He said he appreciated both and was grateful he didn’t have to choose between them.
      I hope you find a way to have both as well, and I suspect you will. You’re thoughtful and creative and open to things.
      I hope we see a book from you eventually. I look forward to both the writing and the photography.

      • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Thank you for your kind words Bill. This is my first trip without a “base” to use from time to time. Perhaps I will find one here on Bali sooner than later.

    • Anything you put out in the universe subconscious or conscious you will get. Be careful what you wish for. Have no doubt, feel it to the depths of your being, you can have it all! Thank you for the real honest insightful blogs, I resonate with many. Love and light always!

      • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        Thank you Nicole, and yes excellent point. Expressing the things I do want to myself and the universe is something I’m working on. First I need to really think about what they are 😉 I hope it doesn’t come across like I don’t want to travel anymore or live simply or off the grid. I do want all of those things. I just also want to build lasting connections, have the time and the energy to work on personal projects, and feel that sense of “home” sometimes. <3

    • If everybody wants to have it all, and i do not see why they wouldn’t, what is left for the rest of us!?

      • Camille Willemain Says: February 4, 2015 at 1:07 am

        Your comment assumes a world of scarcity, whereas I believe in a world of abundance. If we eradicated fear and saw that that we are always taken of care of, we see that we all already “have it all”… and more. The key is a shift in perspective and in deeming ourselves worthy to receive.

  2. I realized this only one month into the backpacker lifestyle. haha… Maybe because I’m 28. I realized that I want to travel but with money. Now the question arises, How?

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 3:02 am

      I’m realizing that to have any of these things I need to stop and stay a while in places along the way. To make enough money, to advance on projects, and to develop meaningful relationships. I don’t need much money, just enough to not feel limited or deprived.

      • Haha its funny, I just arrived in cairns Australia and instantly wanted to leave, but now ive found a job and everything is working out for me to stay here a few months and make some money… haha oh the way things work out. Learning a lot anout what I really need and whats the most efficient way to live. :)

        • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

          Let me know how it goes down there for you! It’s true that sometimes when we just stay put for a little while, magic things can happen.

      • Heading to Costa Rica (pavones) with family the month of January/February…..come stay with us:) Your first blog about Costa Rica is how I learned and subscribed to your posts. We have farm and ocean view rental….you sound like someone I could be friends with:) Cheers to creating the life you want in 2014!

        • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

          Aw thanks Nicole you are so sweet. Costa Rica certainly feels like home and I miss it dearly. Please go to the Pavones yoga center and give Indira a hug for me after taking one of her phenomenal classes up on the hill <3

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Also, it makes a huge difference when you travel in places where you don’t NEED money! Chill beach towns are much more enjoyable on a budget than glitzy cities 😉

  3. I’d like to live at The Four Seasons, wear a white robe and drink champagne, but I’d rather be in Puerto Viejo.

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 3:02 am

      Hahaha I think we all feel that way! After a few days in a clean hotel in the city I’d take the cockroaches and the mold to be in Puerto Viejo any day 😉

  4. I want it all too! It’s inside every human being. (at least, in every human being that every day try to improve himself and going forward) One year travelling it’s so much. But probably you need it. Now your mind is opening to other dimensions, perhaps. to other places. Maybe to one place in particular. But don’t be afraid, you’ll find your path like you’ve always done. However, I must say you’re making an important experience, at the end you’ll know yourself better, and you’ll manage all your experiences in the right way. Good luck!Cris

  5. “without the monotony of normalcy
    the boredom of what I’ve known.”

    That is such a beautiful sentiment! I feel exactly this way – I want so much in life but when we remain stagnant, we give in to normalcy. My whole life I was told that I’ll do so many great things – eventually be a top executive at a great company and make lots of money and have a family and live a “normal” life…but I don’t want any of that. I want to explore, travel, grow, and love. Keep doing what you’re doing – whatever makes you happy! You’re an inspiration – so thank you :)

  6. I just got home from living abroad as an au pair for one year and a nanny during the second… anyway, by the end I really was aching for a more “permanent” situation. However, I must say, everyday my heart hurts for the thrill of living abroad and the subways and sights and history I don’t run in to everyday in Kansas… But, I always forget how young we all are, that there is still time for wandering and time for settling, and that sometimes you need time to regroup. But follow your heart, dear friend. I am planning to explore again soon, but must say, have learned so much from being back “home” and saving my money.

    I suppose I’m just rambling, but what I want to say is just “listen to your gut!”

    XOXO,
    Anna

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience Anna! I’ve too noticed that it’s easier to appreciate things when they come in contrasts. For instance, I was so tired of crazy dirty cities in Vietnam, then I chilled out in quiet Hoi An for nearly two weeks so by the time I got to Saigon I actually really enjoyed it. Now that I’m in Bali I’m hoping to find a place with my vibe again where I can refuel myself and get back on track with building my dreams. Best of luck to you building yours!

  7. This post really struck a chord with me. Not necessarily because I can relate, but because this sentiment is nearly counterpole to my gripe about business travel. As a corporate pilot, I’ve seen a good portion of the world from the window of a 5 star hotel. After the novelty of luxury wore off, what remained was a feeling of emptiness and sterility. After a while, the nicest hotel rooms feel like a cell. I’ve caught myself, in my hermetically sealed junior suite on the 30th floor of wherever, knowing that life is going on outside, and yearning for the liveliness and grit of a hostel or the familiarity of a friend’s couch.

    In my ongoing travels, I continue to learn the value of home, and what it truly means. That’s not to say that I rue my travels, far from it. But, I’ve come to the realization that time away makes the time at home that much sweeter. So says this road dog, at least.

    • This American Girl Says: December 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Andrew. I too choose a hostel over a hotel and street food over a fancy restaurant. Also, I’d choose a crazy street market in Kuala Lumpur over Whole Foods and being dirty in the jungle over a luxe spa in Vegas. So, I can completely relate! I’m still searching for home, but I know that sometimes you have to stay put somewhere long enough to really discover it.

  8. yes, just yes. you’re an inspiration.

  9. ru kidding, i hate stupid girls like you, travel the world sleeping around (as you see it falling in love) what a load of shit.. how lucky are you for the generosity of people in these places. you are not put on this earth to have fun idiot.. contribute to society or get off planet earth. people work so hard to achieve and take care of there family and girls like you can travel around because you got tits seriously.. i hooked up with allot of you types.. trust me, i have no respect for your stupid attitudes.. and you are sad lonely fools. PFFT

    • Nice! What is it you do to contribute to society, troll other peoples’ blogs so that they may be as unhappy as you? Great service you’re doing! Sorry life is no fun for you, but that’s no reason to pollute the internet with your BS misguided, unsolicited opinions about how life should be. Pathetic.

    • Matt S Rodgers Says: December 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Project your hatred of self onto others much?

    • You should have no respect for yourself. If you sleep with people you despise, then in all honestly, you should despise yourself, which I’m sure you already do.

      Some people sleep around, who cares? Obviously you’ve enjoyed your fair share of casual sex with people you despise so how dare you judge someone else’s desire to fall in love? And how dare you project your own feelings onto someone else. Some people are positive, enjoy life, and will find love. I doubt you ever will because you’re an ignorant prick. Get a life.

    • Where do you get off making comments like that, roshan! You quite obviously do not know Camille!!

    • People like you are so close minded, they are the death of “society”. Please go talk trash to your like minded friends because no one that follows this kind of blog cares for small minded people like you.

    • Above comment obviously meant for Roshan. Not Camille

  10. Matt S Rodgers Says: December 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Love it! Knowing what you want is the first step.

    Amor Fati
    Matt

  11. When you create a business in a place you don’t want ruined you increase the precedent for others to follow suit. They always do. Then people miss a certain convenience so they import it to sell and before you know it your paradise is gone. But as long as you get what you want then that makes it all right. This has been an interesting journey following you until now. Why am I not surprised the narcissist finally showed her true colors. The best place in the whole wide world was super rustic Koh rong with flea bites between your toes. I’m gone.

    • This American Girl Says: December 20, 2013 at 7:24 am

      I think you misunderstood the sentiment of the post. It wasn’t about developing in paradise nor abandoning the simple life. It was about living without limitations and about being open to seeing the world differently than how I’ve experienced it in the past. My hope is always to connect more deeply with the world around me, the people I meet along the way, and with myself. I’m just getting older and this trip is really making me realize it.

  12. maybe you shouldn’t waste your time blogging your little heart out, and you should quieten yourself, realise you don’t need to be heard by a million other hipsters twats who want the same material immaterialism as you, shut up and get on with actually really finding what it is you are looking for , you’re not going to find it blogging to other people with a desperate modern neurosis of needing to be heard and acknowledged and affirmed.

    • If you have all the answers in the world, why are you wasting your time commenting on a blog post like some hipster twat?

      This blog can serve as an inspiration to people who are trying to find something different – perhaps another outlet for creating the life they want to live instead of just becoming a drone of capitalistic economies. Your negativity is horrid and you should reevaluate yourself before you project your issues onto someone who is just sharing her positive and heartfelt thoughts. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    • Why are you reading this blog website, rob??

    • why be so negative rob?? if you dont like this blog, go away. simple as that. I am finding many inspiring articles and beautiful photos! keep on keeping on Camille!!

  13. maybe i don’t want people like you in my world

  14. hey you: really enjoy your thoughtful posts. wishing you a blessed Christmas and holiday season. traveling through your eyes. be well.

  15. oh. and I am now soo in love with amy. my new hero.

  16. Ah, such hurtful words here. There is much behind them that says abundantly more about the commenters, not the blog author. Keep exploring your soul in the thoughtful way you do, Camille. Your willingness to share your vulnerability is a benefit to those who read your blog. Know that we’re out here, cheering you on and admiring your path.

    • This American Girl Says: December 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you Linda. I truly appreciate your support. It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but I know that in life nothing is ever personal.

  17. Jealousy comes in the most mean & hurtful packages, as you have seen from some of these comments. I read your blog post yesterday, but re-read it today trying to figure out why anyone would come on here and attack you the way that they did. I am shocked. I have been a reader for some time now & truly hope that you decide to keep sharing your experience with us. There are many more people quietly cheering you on, than people who are trying to break your spirit because you decided to show people a less positive side to the life YOU are living. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful pictures & words with us.

  18. I am also a long time reader of yours and am always incredibly inspired, moved, and amazed by your honest, introspective posts. After reading some of the hateful comments, I felt I should pipe in and let you know that I really appreciate you being so vulnerable and opening your heart on here. I often find myself pondering similar questions you pose, and this post is no different. It’s nice to feel a comforting sense of camaraderie in our journeys. Thank you for this post, and all other posts!

    • Camille Willemain Says: December 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you Annmarie, your support means a lot to me. I write the things that I need to hear with hopes that others see something in themselves and feel less alone. I’m so honored you relate. <3 <3 <3

  19. Venus Beamish Says: December 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Rob and Roshan,
    Obviously you do not know Camille because your mean nasty comments do not even make sense to anything she wrote about. By being disgusted by whatever she said that somehow offended you only makes you look like a ridiculously mean hateful person. Spewing venom online and being able to hide does not make it any better. Try being nice to people in this world. You might like yourself a little bit better. Seriously!

  20. I love your blog, and admire your openness and honesty. And your photography is terrific. Don’t change!

  21. Haters gonna hate. They always do, miserable bores that they are. You keep on being you girl, and keep letting your bright light shine. I miss you xo

  22. Camille,your honesty about your experience is part of the journey that you share with others. it may not be what some readers want to hear. It might dispel a fantasy that you wove without intention, or be a harsh reminder to some, of their own struggles with dreams and finances. No worries. It takes awhile to find that sense of belonging. You are brave to share the process. We are all narcissistic with our efforts to grow into healthy people with a happy sustainable lifestyle. You are just going on record with yours. That will make you a target sometimes for unhappy people. Let the ugly words roll off,we know the loving generous person you are. And yes,I have no doubt that you appreciated every act of kindness on the road.
    Your long time reader,
    Joan

  23. The most feeling I have felt expressed in so few words in a long time. Beautiful images and imagery.

  24. […] I hit publish, I never anticipated my most recent post would cause such a […]

  25. I hope you aren’t feeling the weight of some of the nasty comments on here. Exhale it away! I am one of the many people constantly inspired by you. Stay strong! Xo

  26. Amy Montgomery Says: December 23, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Camille!!! I am in the depths of Botswana with limited Internet. I have just caught up on your blog posts… As you know I read every post & love love love hearing your true voice. Ignore the negativity – embrace the positive & keep being you. Never change…. X

  27. Hi Camillie Ebba from the bus in Koh Chang. I enjoying a lot reading your blog and you inspired me to write during my travel aswell. How you feel with the backpacking issues I completely understand I suffer also of that somethimes, and I have Carlos! I think it’s your first Chakra that might need some grounding, When you are on constat move we are caught up in the “survival” part and sometimes we need grounding in order to grow and see a meaning. Do your reikie and very slow Hatha/Yin practice, build a sand castle that will help you to balance your first chakra. Why dont you take a teacher training in India? Then you can work and still travel just a thought… I can recommend some places if you like.. Big Hug <3

    • Camille Willemain Says: December 24, 2013 at 4:33 am

      Thank you for your comment darling! Where are you now?

      This is excellent advice about balancing the root chakra. I’m in Ubud now hoping to get back into my yoga practice and also giving myself some reiki.

      Big hugs to you and hope our paths cross again somewhere in this beautiful world <3

  28. so you don’t want to be a normal, everyday person. I don’t either but this is life kiddo. It ain’t all rainbows and lollypops. cry me a river.l

  29. The comments about narcissism may come from the numerous “beauty shots” of yourself in bikinis that you posted. To some people they might come off as a bit staged. That’s the only reason I can think that they would call you a narcissist. Your writing is insightful, vulnerable and relevant. You have a true gift.

  30. […] I write articles that some people don’t like, or perhaps when I write something that no one responds to at all, I remember that the purpose of […]

  31. Your pictures are SO beautiful !! Is it okay to ask what camera you use?

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah! I use a canon sx170is point and shoot but use “miniature mode” for the blurred effect.

  32. This poem moved me. Loved it because I can relate.

  33. Great story, great poem. It describe exactly the path i followed the last 12 years. Starting as a backpacker and now i have a pepperplantation in Kampot/Cambodia.

  34. I’d say one way to travel while getting away from backpacking, and getting involved in a community of of travelers that really wants to get to know you is to move on to a boat and sail it around the world. That’s what my husband and I have been doing for the past year and a half. But even that isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Sigh..it is hard to find the perfect way to live a life of travel.

  35. Very well put. I struggle with the same thing now, after a year on the road. Volunteer projects here and there help me feel like I’m contributing and a part of the community vs feeding capitalist tourism and just temporarily observing… But not ready to hang up the backpack and settle back home yet either. Still not sure what the right answer is for me. Your answer will probably be different. :)

    (Oh, and YES about answering/asking the same questions over and over – why does no one ever want to know my name?)

    • Camille Willemain Says: April 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post Jen. Recently a traveler I had just met asked me “so, what are your hopes and dreams for your life?” Wow, it floored me. Amazing.

  36. Nice Post, I just read about your time in Cambodia. Thanks for seeing my country more than just regular travelers.

    About not wanting to spend time in a dorm getting asked same old questions. You may try couchsurfing. Traveling through that, you get more insightful of locals.

    Thanks for writing amazing articles.

    • Camille Willemain Says: April 28, 2014 at 3:10 am

      Thank you, such a compliment that you like my blog :) Couchsurfing is a great idea and I definitely plan to do it in the future. When I first started traveling 2+ years ago the whole backpacking scene was new and exciting to me. Now I want to learn as much about the local culture as I possibly can. Are you living in Phnom Penh? Perhaps see you there when I return 😉

      • I have been on couchsurfing for almost 2 years, I met some of the amazing people through it, some of them ended up being friends. I have learned different cultures too. Yes, I’m living in Phnom Penh.

  37. Met you on Little Corn Island. Glad you are still traveling! Good luck and never fear the naysayers :)
    Hasta,
    Troy

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks Troy :)!! It was so great hanging with you guys on my last night. Ahhh Little Corn what a special place huh?? Hope to be back there one day!

  38. stop backpacking Says: April 30, 2014 at 8:30 am

     
    I don’t want to stay
    in another cluttered
    noisy dorm room.
    **Stop backpacking then.
     
    I don’t want to ask
    and answer
    the same tired questions:
    “Where have you been,”
    “Where are you going,”
    “Where are you from?”
    **Stop backpacking then.

    I don’t want to interact
    on a level
    of continuous superficiality
    with people
    who I will never see again.
    **This is an unfortunate daily fact of existence, but again, stop backpacking.
     
    I don’t want to drink from a bucket
    dance with teenagers
    or sleep with earplugs.
    **Stop backpacking then.

    I don’t want to track every penny
    haggle over a dollar
    and lose opportunities
    because I’m too poor.
    **Stop backpacking then.

     
    Maybe, I don’t want to be a backpacker anymore.
    **Now you’re making progress

    I want to experience a place
    without the limitations of the cost;
    luxury cocktails on a rooftop
    and dollar noodles in the street.
    **Stop backpacking then

    I want to take hot showers
    and sleep in real beds
    then walk in dirty dusty markets
    and lay awake on overnight trains.
    **Save money, plan your holidays and get a hotel. Stop backpacking.

     
    I want silence and isolation
    I want quiet and calm
    so I can process and express
    the chaos I just saw.
    **Save money, plan your holidays and get a hotel. Stop backpacking.

    I want to spend my time
    with people
    who inspire me to do more
    who really want to know me
    and be known in return.
    **You clearly aren’t getting this from back-packing.

     
    I want to create
    a sustainable business
    that supports me and those I love
    without the destruction of consumerism
    without the stress of the modern world.
    **This is a self-contradicting statement. Businesses cannot survive without consumerism.

     
    I want the comfort of knowing
    it’s ok for me to complain or to cry
    without losing my ability
    to soothe myself from the inside.
    **You won’t need to complain or cry if you can soothe yourself from the inside. Get a teddy bear.

    I want to give back
    to the places where I visit
    change their lives like they changed mine
    instead of constantly searching
    for how I can survive.
    **Stop backpacking then

     
    I want the chance to find love
    to have a relationship
    perhaps even a home;
    without the monotony of normalcy
    the boredom of what I’ve known.
    **Stop backpacking then.

     
    Maybe I’m asking for too much
    maybe I sound spoiled
    but if I’m being real
    I want a life with everything

     I want to have it all.
    **You don’t sound spoiled, you just sound like you have an over-inflated sense of self worth and a desire to constantly think “me me me” whilst complaining about backpacking. Most people would like (and will never get) a life with everything, but they don’t go posting terrible prose about it.

    Stop backpacking.

    “They’re Not the Worst Problems, They’re Just Mine
    Am I an Attention Whore?”

    Yes

    • Simple-to-the-point responses. And that is why they are so completely brilliant. Truly, after having kept up with her the last few months, it is ironic that I find this post, reiterating my precise sentiments. Thank you, whoever is behind this post.

  39. I love this post, Camille. So resonates with me. I don’t consider myself a real backpacker even tho in some destinations I do travel with a backpack, like now in Central America. Anyway, the ”stop backpacking” comment made me laugh. If you get this kind of negative comments, it means you are doing something right haha.

  40. I’m the same!! I want to travel long term, don’t want to travel long term, want to leave Brazil, don’t want to leave, I can’t decide!! Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I love your blog!

    • Camille Willemain Says: May 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Thank you so much dear :) At the end of the day I love my life but everything has ups and downs and we all experience challenges on the road. Good luck deciding what you want, that’s always the first step!

  41. Mmmm, this so resonate with me!

  42. Amazing post girl. As always you are such an inspiration. We create our realities so whatever makes your heart sing do that. You do you, who cares what any negative people think :)

  43. […] I was “an inspiration” made my day and confirmed that I was on the right path. Then I published posts that drove controversy and was called anything from “self-indulgent” to “slutty” to “narcissistic.” I wish I […]

  44. I enjoyed reading this. The reason is because traveler vs. roots is an on going civil war for me. I had been living outside my home town mostly abroad for 4 years. Then I experienced my quarter life crisis at 26. I life my nice job in Asia and moved back to my home town. I decided I would have better luck establishing roots there with friends and family for moral support. I went speed dating 6 days after the plane landed. I was on a hunt for Mr. Right. Most men didn’t make it past coffee. I ruled them out on thing like do you have a passport? After a while I grew tired of it. I found myself extending my vacation on my one year adversary of moving to my home town. I went two months paying rent and sleeping in my bed twice due to my love of traveling. I feel like moving home was an over correction. But at least I know now that this place isn’t right for me and I am tried of looking for Mr. Right I would rather be planning my next trip. I still live in my home town 1 year and 1 month now. But I see myself taking the next great opportunity out of this big city. Yes I still talk to the opposite sex but I’m not obsessed. I hope this helps.

    • Camille Willemain Says: July 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience Eva. Sometimes coming home is when we get the greatest clarity!

  45. Your thoughts are amazing, Camille. Don’t ever change! 😀

  46. GREAT POST!!! You CAN have it all…kuddos to you girl. I know just where you’re at and totally feel you.

  47. This is such a beautiful post! I don’t travel enough to feel sick of hostels and the backpacker lifestyle, but I can definitely see how you’d feel that way after living in SE Asia for a while. I’m starting to feel like that about my life as an expat in China. I used to enjoy the crazy cultural differences, but now I don’t really feel like putting up with the pollution, or getting jostled, or the constant honking. I went to Taiwan a month ago and I think it’s definitely more my speed. Thanks again for you post, it was great to see something so thought provoking with so little words.

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Sure thing Richelle! You know, something I’ve noticed is that there are places where it feels so good to just be (for me, Costa Rica) and there are places where it feels challenging to be (for me, cities in Southeast Asia) and there is sooooo much to learn in both. If you feel called to, give yourself the opportunity to be somewhere for a while that just feels really easy and good, we all need a break sometimes! <3

  48. […] know who I was. I questioned everything about my lifestyle. It shocked me to realize that maybe I didn’t even want to be a backpacker anymore. I gave myself to a guy who I knew couldn’t give me what I needed because some part of me needed […]

  49. Beautiful post as always Camille! Your words speak so truly to me. I’ve never considered myself a ‘backpacker’, I feel the world far too deeply for that and as I write this in a hostel in Sydney, as I try to live the life I wanted to last year before I got sick. Thanks for reminding me it’s ok to think a little differently and feel whatever I need to xx

  50. Hi Camille,

    This article really struck a chord with me. I too am trying to find the balance between feeling settled but not bored, and exploring without being lost.

    I returned to my hometown in January after traveling solo throughout Spain for 7 months. I was tutoring in Mallorca, working on a yoga retreat in Granada, and then an au pair for a lovely family in Madrid. The contrast of home allowed me to reflect on my the intense travel experience but it’s such a contrast that I still crave that intensity. Ultimately, I’m finding the rhymthm of my life.

    I am planning to travel to Central America this summer!

  51. Hi Camille, this is really beautiful and makes me wonder if it really IS possible to have everything, a balance between being settled and independent. I used to travel all over the world, in between jobs and education, with budgets ranging from almost nothing to flashpacking. Looking back, the budget never really made the difference, though. Today, I’m married with a kid, managing life as a working mum in the city. I dread the wasted hours in rush hour traffic, the dead time in front of the computer and non-sense meetings, I dread being too tired to work out and not being able to stop for a spontaneous after work drink. And travelling with a toddler is just not the same… I wouldn’t trade my loving husband and my beautiful son for anything in the world, but if we could just set up camp in a Thai beach cottage for the rest of our lives, I guess I wouldn’t mind. It’s not that easy, though, to find a way in between. Enjoy every moment of this independent and adventurous life you chose for yourself! One day, you can hopefully make it work for a family as well. Wishing you a all the best, Kathrin

    • Camille Willemain Says: December 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you so much Kathrin for sharing your story with us <3 I remind myself every day that anything is possible that I allow to be possible. Still searching for my balance and knowing that it’s a lifelong journey. xoxo

  52. Oh Camille…. I can so relate to this. I still like to travel cheap, but comfort is more important nowadays… I’m getting older I guess.
    PS: I love your photos and the layout of your blog. You’re very inspirational! Happy New Year!

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Aw thank you so so much Sabrina! Wonderful hearing from you! Hope to meet you on an adventure one day :)

  53. Hi Camille
    Love the way you expressed your feelings. Very brave and wow…so many comments.
    I think we should never stop trying to have it all.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kristin

    • Camille Willemain Says: April 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you so much Kristin :) I had no idea it would be so controversial when I wrote it! But clearly it’s something many people can relate to whether it triggered them negatively or positively.

  54. Camille, I just read this post and some of the comments for the first time. I think it is totally normal that as we get older, many of us want more comforts (at home and when travelling). As for the superficial conversations and the same old questions from other travellers, and the backpacking lifestyle in general….I think much of this stems from the fact that *most* people do most of their travelling after uni and then settle down. So most of the travellers you will meet, especially if spending a lot of time in places like SE Asia, are going to be young and still not really sure of who they are or what they want from life, and they are going to take many of their cues from what everyone else is doing….in terms of the questions they ask and what they do for ‘fun’.

    I’m almost 35 and still travelling when I can. I don’t like to backpack anymore either, in that I no longer want to stay in cheap hostels and such (I still carry a backpack : ) Travelling as you get older comes with different challenges, I have found. It can be harder to find other travellers to hang with when you want company, as most travellers seem to be very young backpackers, couples who don’t want to socialise with a single lady, or families. I often wondered where the heck the other single, 30-something, female solo-travellers were when I was in Asia – I met one in 18 months!

    Anyway…..just wanted to say hello to you really, and keep up the good work. Getting clear on what we want and don’t want in life, is important. There are all kinds of travellers and all kinds of challenges that come with travelling. Still glad I’ve done it and am doing it. And when you’ve travelled rough, you appreciate the comforts much more, I reckon :)

    Take care lovely, smiles :)

  55. i believe live is a journey as well as a test. If you master all quests live gives you and if you master fear power and death you’ll find enlightenment. you’re then prepared for eternity. If you arrive in the very center of your self and in the very center withing all of us nothing will matter anymore. You’ll be connected with everything everywhere at everytime. The only thing left will be love and love gives us everything we need no matter what.

  56. Shahram Says: June 29, 2015 at 8:54 am

    well said. very touching and informative site.
    .

  57. I like your wants, the post came across as a beautiful poem, BUT!!! ….

    You also sound like a spoilt westerner …. look at what you have already and what others do not have. Syrians, Palestinians, Tibetans. I want… i want… i want… maybe you could try to still your desires and just be! xo

    “Desires cause suffering, the absence of desire is Nirvana” – The Buddha

    • The wants of one do not minimize the wants of another… and you’re best able to help others and the world in general when your own needs are fulfilled as well, as suggested in that old psychology standby, Maslow’s hierarchy

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 1, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Haha, yes I totally agree! I wrote this years ago, and I when I looked back I was like eek that sounds entitled. All that said, it was what I felt, and obviously something that resonated with lots of people. Sometimes we’ve gotta show are dark pockets too, to acknowledge that they exist, so that we can transmute them with light.

  58. I love your post, I think it is beautiful and so relevant (though I realize now it is a couple years old!)

    I am SHOCKED by all of the mean and negative comments criticizing you and minimizing what you have to say. But you seem like a positive, optimistic, amazing woman so I hope you don’t let it affect you… because I know there are many more readers like me who love to hear what you have to say. And obviously you touched the haters enough to make them pause and comment! 😉

    Knowing what you don’t want is a powerful step in discovering what you do. I hope you’re on your way to finding it!!! xo

    (and the images you’ve used are beautiful)

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 1, 2015 at 7:50 am

      Thank you sweetie! I wrote this a long time ago, and back then those comments did get to me. But they taught me how to hold onto my truth and not be so affected by the opinions and triggers of others. Thank you for your support <3

  59. So backpacking means staying in hostels? I think you can still go backpacking without staying in hostels. Maybe the title should be “I don’t want to stay in a hostel anymore”? Hehe :)

    • Camille Willemain Says: September 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

      LOl most definitely, and not even just that more like.. “I don’t want to sleep in dorm rooms anymore!” I wrote this when I was very broke backpacking in Southeast Asia a couple of years ago.

  60. Having just returned to my little hometown after 3 years travelling around the world …sitting at the laptop applying for jobs I don’t want whilst wearing 3 jumpers and a scarf in September, this is exactly the read I need

  61. This post hits close to home. I haven’t been on the road for years but it’s been a while since I’ve been home for longer than a week. I do want a base while at the same time having the continuous adventure that backpacking gives. I want to develop my relationships and work a job that pays me well and still travel the world. Currently on a mission to find that balance. I hope you do too!

    • Camille Willemain Says: October 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

      Thank you sweetie! I have! The key is to find a base somewhere that feels really good to you (for me it’s Costa Rica). xoxo

  62. Remaining true to yourself and your desires–not anyone else’s–is important as a traveler. Remind yourself why you started traveling in the first place. Was it to escape everyone else’s expectations and to paint your own path?

    Well, if that means painting another path that veers off of this one–then paint it! Even if that means falling in love, getting a job, buying a house, and settling into one location for a while.

    The point is that what you do is always exactly what you want to be doing.

    Allow yourself to be yourself.

  63. Thank you!!!! It is so nice to hear someone voice the same things I’m feeling (literally all the time). :)

  64. I am so glad that I meet teachers in my life. The people who we meet (in the real world and online) leave part of their soul in our hearts. Thank you Camille :)

  65. My favorite post of the lot. Yes, yes, and yes! I’ve been on the road for a year now, and I feel the same. Now to find a way to make it sustainable. Thanks Camille! So glad I came across your website. Love.

  66. Thank you for this great article. I agree with every word. Actually I never wanted to be a backpacker because I can not stand the noise in crowded dorms. But what would annoy me the most today, would be the superficial conversations. I love to travel solo and sometimes I hardly speak for days. But at least I have the time for my thoughts…that is woth much more, in my opinion <3

  67. I feel you so much! The last 3 weeks I was traveling trough Costa Rica and before that I have read all your story’s. Now I understand and feel every single word that you are writing. You have a beautifull soul and your speak right to people’s heart! Thanks for being a part of my trip! For the first time in my life I had the feeling that I was on the right path and i felt so exstremely happy, paradise excist, for real and there are no rules or systems.
    So for now I am going to quit my job and I am comming back to become a yoga teacher, because costa rica showed me that this is my path. And maybe one day our paths will cross..

    PS, I wish there was this sign that you can put on: I am in silence, how nice would that be!?

    <3

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Awww that is so beautiful I’m so happy for you and grateful to support you! Oh so there issss a sign like that!! It’s a red ribbon that means “in silence” though only yogis would know what it meant 😉 Maybe you can invent one! xo

  68. I love this! It reads more like a poem as opposed to a blog post. Very simple, but anybody who’s traveled for an extended amount of time could definitely relate! I just randomly found your blog and I really do love it!

  69. Love this! Felt like this many a-day, and for some reason always find myself back on the road… Wonderfully put :)

  70. Christal Hopkins Says: November 26, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    YES!! I have launched into location independent life providing lymphatic therapy and lymphatic workshops… I Love your blog & find you SO inspiring

  71. Christopher Says: February 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Way

    Please see above link for how to make your dreams come true.

    Thanks for all the blog posts, you are a good writer and I will be in Puerto Viejo next month finding my own middle way.

  72. “I want the chance to find love, to have a relationship, perhaps even a home; without the monotony of normalcy, the boredom of what I’ve known”- This is the part that struck a chord with me. Beautifully said and just so true. Someone who says “hey what country would you like to see next week”, pure bliss.