By Caitlin Kelly
We’ve printed, framed and hung a few of my Nicaragua photos.
Jennifer — the blogger who was on our team — and I have scheduled a phone meeting to plot our next adventure.
I’ve finished my malaria pills and my stomach, after a quite rough week, is back to normal.
We’ve left behind glowing red hibiscus for bare brown branches, 33 degrees Celsius (98 F) for 33 Fahrenheit, soft sunsets for pelting, cold wind-driven rain.
“Real” life begins again.
I wish it wouldn’t!
As many of you fellow travelers and adventurers know, re-entering “normal” life after a profoundly moving, challenging and fun adventure, whether personal or professional, can feel really unsettling. As one friend, who knows Nicaragua well after serving there in the Peace Corps and writing several country guidebooks about it, wrote: “Double culture shock. It sucks.”
My greatest challenge now, after 30 years working in journalism, isn’t money. We have no kids and have saved decently for what we hope will be a retirement with health to enjoy it.
It’s challenge. Or lack of it.
I tweeted the other day my motto: Challenge is my oxygen.
By which I mean, I feel suffocated by the tedium of much of the paid work I produce, even for Big Name publications like The New York Times. I work hard and do it well, but learn very little new about the world, or my craft or myself.
I know a few of you:
have each made some major life shifts.
I admire your bravery and boldness!
I’m not sure what my next steps will be, or if they’ll head in a new direction or if that will even be financially possible.
I do feel enormously grateful that WaterAid chose me to join their team and tell some of their story. I hope add more of this sort of paid work — overseas, using my language skills, working in a team, working on projects that actually make a real, quantifiable difference in others’ lives — to my life, even a few times a year.
How about you?
Are you ready for — or have you recently made — a re-set in your own life?