3 weeks in.

This blog post has been ruminating inside my head for a few weeks now. I’m struggling with not wanting to write it because I don’t want you to know how I’m feeling. I feel shame and guilt for feeling how I’ve been feeling. I started out this journey wanting to share about everything that was going on for me, but when push came to shove, I wanted to just hide and hope you think I’m having a good time.

So with that, I’ll write this.

Let me start by saying: I am having a good time. I really am. What I don’t want you to know is that it’s been a struggle on so many levels.

I feel guilt about saying those last few words. “It’s been a struggle on so many levels.” I feel like you all have expectations of me that this trip should be so incredible. That I’m living the life. I’ve heard people are jealous of what I get to do. I feel like I “should” be feeling a certain way: bliss, joy, contentment, peace, excitement, adventure. Right? Are you thinking that’s exactly what I should be feeling?

Because of this story I have of how I “should” feel, I now wonder “what’s wrong with me”. Yep, then more guilt comes in “you’re a life coach, you should know how to coach yourself out of this slump. This is your dream. You know not to make yourself wrong.” The self deprecating goes around and around. Luckily I have been working with my own very patient and loving coach. We are exploring and discovering what is going on for me.

Of course it’s not just one thing. Here’s some of the things churning in my head:

  • It’s so freaking hot. I literally can’t sleep, think, keep a cool head. I noticed when the heat reduced even by 3 degrees, my whole life shifted. Weeks of 30+ temperatures day and night have taken a toll on me.
  • I’m living in a small tiny room (every where I go) with the same people 24/7. This doesn’t work for me. I know I need my space, time alone and connecting with other people. Luc doesn’t really understand this at all because he doesn’t need the same for him – he would be happy being together without a break – ever.
  • We fight and fight over the stupidest stuff. Which causes so much disruption in my head. I can’t think clearly, I wonder if we are actually cut out to travel together for the next year. This makes my head spin more.
  • Luc needs to see way more than I need to (even spending just one afternoon in New York in our suite had him going stir crazy). I need to “be” way more than he needs to. This is really a compromise (I don’t like this word as it doesn’t seem very empowering) in our relationship. He needs to stay still more often, I need to do more, more often or he goes off and I stay home (which I’m content with but I doubt he is).
  • Lack of sleep, speaking and thinking in French way more than I have in years, eating at the same time every day, not being able to eat what I want (when I went to work 8 hours a day I got to choose what and when I ate – what a novelty). Two days ago, I was given the gears about eating potato chips when I should have been eating grapes…
  • The 9 hours time difference now between here and Canada… I’m not going to say that I’m not feeling this difference… There is only a small window now between where we’re both awake. It’s roughly from 7am-2pm PST (4pm-11pm here). Which means a lot of the communication that I have is around 6-8pm here. Right at dinner time. And I want to be connecting with my family and friends over video chat or phone call… this presents issues with us doing things.
  • We just had an argument about how it’s felt that I don’t like French culture because I said I don’t want to eat Ratatouille. Then it was because I don’t like how the French drive (sorry but you guys are fucking mental), the bread (don’t know what this is about)… I’m feeling out of place all over the place.

This is life on the road. All of this is new to me. I’m actually feeling quite alone even though I’m so not.

The irony is that this “should” be the time of my life. And I’m struggling. I’m really trying to understand being a different way. This is the breakdown before the breakthrough (god I hope it comes soon).

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or even judge me for feeling this way (you are but I don’t want you to). It’s not as easy as saying “snap out of it”. I’m sharing where I’m at because I promised I would share the ups and the downs. And it’s not easy sharing when you’re hurting or feeling out of sorts with the world when you feel that others have expectations of you.

But it’s what’s true for me.

I’m working through it. Not stuffing down the emotions. Practicing choosing me and what’s important to me. Practicing being present. Reviewing the blocks that I have identified and how those blocks are getting in the way of joy. Seeing where I’m not integrating my whole self in this journey.

Writing this already has me be more present to what is so for me.

If you’ve ever felt like you should be experiencing something that you’re not, please share in the comments below. I’d love to learn from others experiences.

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Donna
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Donna

Hi Robin…. I absolutely loved your honesty in sharing what you feel and what is going on inside you. I believe you have conquered one of life’s most difficult experiences – exposing oneself of ones own feelings – so personal and so private. For me it is always wonderful to travel with family or friends but I too need my own alone time, a stroll, reading a book or just having a snooze – tiime to unwind. I admire you for sharing so deeply. Love your story and look forward to the rest of your journey.. Much Love to you.

Greg Jonuk
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Greg Jonuk

Travelling with another is not easy. It is an exercise in give and take and trying to find the best out of the take part. For example, I accept that my wife, Terri, is a one shift traveller, unless there is a Tourette’s sufferer in the hostel room (that happened in TO last fall). She accepts that I’m a two shifter and sometimes a three shifter and I won’t be around much in the morning or evening. I get that she likes to shop (mostly window shopping). When she ducks into a store, I duck into a bar or walk… Read more »

Sheila Leclerc
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What a refreshing post. To read about real experiences out in the world instead of the surface level “it’s all good” stuff. Thank you for being vulnerable, authentic and in the unknown. It’s amazing how many expectations we set on ourselves ALL THE TIME and then beat ourselves up if we feel or achieve differently (less) that we expected.
Thanks for letting in all of the emotions and sharing your rich journey. Love to you

Donna S
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Donna S

Hey Robin, wow! is what I have to say. It took courage being honest and not painting that perfect picture for us. In a world of carefully chosen social media posts to create an illusion of a rosy, dream-like life, it is refreshing to see someone opening themselves up to strangers the way you are doing with this post & entire blog. I don’t know you well, but I have seen you overcome struggles and it is clear from the comments that you have an awesome support system of family & friends. I too have experienced intense crankiness on trips… Read more »

Lisa Burke
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Lisa Burke

Robin…what am amazing post; i don’t think it is others’ expectations but our own (at least with me) that frustrate/ motivate/ guilt us/ should us…thank you for your honesty..it is all about exploration, both in and out….hugs…

Linda H
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Linda H

This honest, bare–all blog shows just how strong and brave you are Robin. No judgement here, just empathy and understanding. As much as I enjoy travel, I’ve reached my limits before and totally get what you are feeling. Thank you for sharing. I hope the weather cools down, you get some alone time, and you feel more at peace. Sending love to all of you!

Brianna
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Brianna

This is a beautiful and powerful post. Thanks so much for your vulnerability. Congratulations on just being with all of this and not making it wrong. It just is. And this will make those unpredictable, perfect, blissful moments even better when they show up. This trip isn’t about a perfect family vacay, it’s about experiences and learning and love! All of which you are getting! Sounds pretty perfect.💕😘

Terry Simard
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Terry Simard

Hi Robin, no judgement here . The heat would do me in and I would not be projecting my happy face either. Travelling with a companion, no matter the relationship , can still bring moments when we ask ourselves what the heck are we doing, “this” for. Whatever the “this ” is. Luckily for you, the Camino awaits with its own challenges, but there are many opportunities to mull over life and the various aspects in it. Travel, like life, has it’s ups and downs but somehow, I feel, travel makes the highs and lows more extreme. Sending hugs xxx

Mamu
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Mamu

Thank you for being you. Maybe this is preachy but…..Wanting to feel joy is natural but it’s a “should” at this moment and we know about shoulds. Being with what is without resistance will move you through to other places quicker and others opinions of you are their problem, not yours. Giving you a virtual hug. 🤗 ❤️❤️

Heather
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Heather

Wow Robin. You may think you are going to be judged (and unfortunately some probably will) but what I read was a blog of empowerment. You are so brave in sharing your vulnerability. If we could all be so open and honest as you I think we could kick judgement in the ass and learn to support one another on a whole other level. Thanks for sharing Both the ups and downs. Take care.

Robin Farr
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Robin Farr

I don’t judge you at all for this. You say others have expectations of you, but you also had expectations for this trip. It’s what we all do – plan for and eagerly anticipate something that will be an amazing opportunity, but we often forget that this is life, not a fairytale. You’ve changed up everything – your surroundings, your routine, what you eat and do, who you are with. It’s a big adjustment. And I think having acknowledged that is the first step to finding the right rhythm for this experience, which will probably involve having a deliberate conversation… Read more »

Lezlea Scott
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Lezlea Scott

Hey my friend… thank you for sharing your struggles with all the changes you’ve been going through. Please try and not feel so hard on yourself as everything you are feeling is true to yourself! You are ‘allowed’ to not like certain foods, or want to munch on potato chips… you are allowed to dislike extreme heat and be cranky! You went from a pretty decent routine to one that is literally foreign to you. Being cranky as have no sleep and wanting alone time is, imo, perfectly acceptable and completely understandable. Breathe… enjoy the sunset, if you don’t want… Read more »