The Dragon Rages On

Like Riding a Bicycle

It’s like a mysterious force is taking over my brain. The force isn’t me; how could it be? It argues with me, screams into my mind, tells me that nothing will ever work out. It whispers there is no hope, nobody cares, you’d be better off dead…

Then there are those times I feel nothing more than despondent. I feel down, lonely, bored, but not like it’s the bloody end of the world. I suppose I should embrace those pathetic times as beautiful in comparison.

My normal impulses pull me in every direction, confused and lost, while my brain fights against an evil dragon who won’t relent. If only I could calm him down! We are so powerful when my dragon is at peace – when he pushes me up instead of down, when he makes me follow my dreams instead of stagnating. Together, we can conquer the world.

Or he can end mine.

On an impulse, in a moment of – what was it? Clarity? Certainly not. Nor was I in a panicked place, yet it had to be done RIGHT THEN. It had to. Otherwise I was trapped, I told myself. I booked a flight to my Mexican paradise, Zipolite. Hell, my visa debit card wouldn’t even work, so I had a friend book it. It had to happen now. There was no way I could wait, sleep on it. Ha – as if I could sleep. A good night has me in bed from midnight to 4am, suddenly awakened by the burden of life (or is it the need to pee?)

The next day, just shy of 24 hours later, a full blown panic attack broke out. How could I go so far away again? Was I just repeating old cycles of running, always searching for that something that can be found nowhere but within the self? And if things got worse, how could I get the necessary care? I couldn’t go to Mexico! How absurd!

A rushed message to my friend who thank god understands that I am a crazy person and was fine with calling the company to cancel immediately, and I got my money back. Panic attack calmed. Phew. Just going to Campbell River. Staying in Canada. Going where friends are. Edmonton is a short-ish ride away (I look very forward to tonight’s 16 hour bus ride to Vancouver, because what’s more fun that the Greyhound?! Everything. Everything is more fun that the Greyhound.)

I should be terribly excited but I’m afraid I’m not (sorry to any friends I’m about to see; I do love you dearly). All I really feel is blankness… a bleak feeling that here, there, it’s all the same. Will I hide in my pyjamas all day, doing nothing, seeing no one, just as I do here? It’s likely. Will my mind ravage my sane thoughts, causing me to bawl, hyperventilate, and lose all hope (whatever hope I have left)? Probably. Will it change anything to move? Undetermined. At least it’s warmer.

campbell river

Recently I realized what the one thing I’d learned from three and a half years straight on the road was. It was so simple, and there all along. It took looping the world and covering over 30 countries to figure out something so easy. The only thing that matters in the end is who you have around you. For the last year I’ve been as lonely as they come, craving human contact. Yet when I obtain it, I feel distant. Cry around my best friend? Impossible. Confide that I’m not sure I even want to continue to travel? Forget it. And how complicated is that! I’m a nomad who wishes not to travel, yet feels this pull that I can’t resist. I can’t get a lease and a home and a 9 to 5 job. I’d wither and die. Then again, what am I doing but the same now?

So I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the point where this is no longer a travel blog. It’s more a look-inside-Danie’s-frightening-brain blog. If you’re looking to get inspired to hit the road, best hit up a different travel site. But if you’re still with me through all of this, well then you must be half as crazy as I am. I like you.

Campbell River BC



Danie is a lovable and insane digital nomad of sorts. If you ever wondered what's a nomad, you've come to the right place. She enjoys oversharing, telling every detail of her life, and chilling on the beach, among other things. Danie is rather odd, and she likes it that way. Be sure to subscribe to hear more of her ramblings, and find out when Danie finally gets to fulfill her biggest dream: cuddling a platypus.


  1. Sending you thoughts and love! It’s hard to know what’ll make you happy when you’re in the throes of depression and you’ll take any action just to see if it sticks… Yesterday I just decided to cut this trip a month short to have enough time at home to deal with recalibrating meds since the ones I’m on don’t seem sufficient anymore 🙁 Really fucking bummed to “admit defeat” which is such a backwards way of thinking of it… I mean really, I can’t be proud of 4 months of solo travel, I have to focus on fact that it wasn’t 5 like I planned? Anyway sorry to go on this rant, I hope Vancouver can be your temporary happy place until you’re well enough to go to Zipolite again. Hugs!

    • God it’s nice to know I’m not alone in it all. I think neither of us is accepting defeat; we’re doing just the opposite – we’re trying to get better. And that’s the hardest thing possible. Hell, continuing travelling almost seems easier than trying to get my head screwed back on! So I think we’re brave… but it’s hard to remember that at times.

  2. Danie get an old friend who cares about you and go to Mexico with him.

  3. I totally get this! I’m sorry you are going through so much – I don’t know you, but, hope I will get to know you through your blog, more. I’m in the process of having a mid-life crisis, which took me to *almost* the opposite of you – I’m returning to a desire to travel frequently again; I’m single again and not looking to mingle; I’m trying to get my feet off the ground as a contractor, to not be locked down. It’s not easy figuring it out, but, the internets can help give that support.

    And everything is better than a Greyhound, that is for sure.

    • It’s interesting how different things help us all hey? What works for you won’t work for me, and vice versa; we just have to find those things that feel right. I’ll get there and I hope you do too!

  4. I hope you find what ever it is that your missing or think your missing! hope your ok…

  5. I think every traveler has those moments of doubt. Maybe you just need a break and some time for that real wanderlust to strike again.

  6. First of all stay near your family, keep your treatment. You can cure your depression if you treat it with medication and a doctor. Take care of your sanity. Stop asking people to help fund your misadventures. Take care of you first. Keep calm and after your cure, you can go around the world, or you can lease a house, or you can misadventure, or you can ride a bicycle, or you can marry someone. Treat yourself first. You are not a child. Take care of yourself and stop complain.

  7. I’m really glad you shared this post – a lot of it resonates with me. Particularly where you said ‘I’m a nomad who wishes not to travel, yet feels this pull that I can’t resist.’ – I go through this all the damned time. I’m currently stuck in a super restless phase, but the idea of picking up and moving again gives me a lot of anxiety. Best wishes to you!

  8. I can truly empathize with you. Try to take life as it comes. Live the moment and relish every minute of it. Do not worry about the future or the past.

  9. Sometimes that restlessness is a sign that something else is missing, not that you need to travel. You’re right that travel is all about the people you meet and those who walk along side you. Best of luck figuring it out.

  10. I don’t know what to say. But I wish you all the good luck. Hugs! 🙂

  11. I’m a mental health clinician and unfortunately there is no actual cure for depression, but treatment consisting of anti-depressants, talk therapy, and utilizing your own internal coping skills. I hope you are receiving the former two, esp for when those times get really debilitating. And you seem to cope by traveling (yay!). Just know that you are thought of and loved by those who truly know you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  12. That is so sad that you’ve felt so lonely. You really have been at it for a long time. I totally get it and agree that the people you love being with, no matter where you are, is like home, family, everything you need all rolled into one. Congrats for finding yourself along the way.

  13. I know exactly how you feel. I’m currently on anti-depressants because the anxiety was so strong I couldn’t actually get anything done. It’s debilitating. We have to find our zen. Find what makes us calm, and always try to go back to that. Sometimes I get so terrified that I’m ruining my life with all this travel. But it’s like I can’t even fathom doing my life any other way. It’s very strange…

    Crystal recently posted… Budget guide for New Zealand; North Island

    • God you nailed it there – I can’t not travel, but travel isn’t making me happy right now, like a pull in two insanely opposing directions. My brain needs a rest..

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