struggling to live in the moment

Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
As I’m sitting here, waiting for my husband to get home from work so we can start the first leg of our move to Boston, I’m reflecting on our six months in Florida. We spent time at our favorite restaurants near the water, went zip lining at the zoo regularly, and both of our families came to visit, but I could have made our stay more enjoyable. I took our life here for granted — something that happens more often than I’d care to admit. 

When you’re thrown into this situation and you get used to picking up and moving every six months {sometimes a year}, it’s difficult to really live in the moment. I’ve found that instead of exploring the city I’m currently in, I continuously plan and do research for our next possible assignment. I could have hopped in the car every couple of days to photograph the wetlands and brightly-colored Florida birds, but I found myself dreaming about Boston {I admit, I’m more of a city person} and emailing my husband about a possible move abroad. And now, instead of being extremely excited for Boston, I’m thinking about both Boston and this other potential move. Will I ever be able to enjoy our current home?

I’m not going to take Boston for granted. I’m going to take the dogs on walks every day when Brandon’s at work, I’m going to sit at coffee shops and people watch, and I’m going to be a complete tourist — duck tour, anyone? And if I find myself obsessing about the future or our next move, I’m going to remind myself to live in the moment. Because that’s all that matters right now.

Does anyone else struggle with this?


Filed Under: Florida, Lifestyle, Travel49 Comments
  • Lisette

    Yes And no. I wish we lived in new places every 6 months! My freebie today has the perfect message for you :)

  • Erinn C.D.

    I totally struggle with this. I’m always thing about how I can make tomorrow better instead of how I can deal with the challenges of the current day. I’m getting better but I’m also trying to incorporate more mindful meditation throughout the day to just do a few minutes of check in on the world around me :)

  • Casey Martin

    I constantly remind myself that my home city is a great place to be too! I love Portland, but I wish I did more “touristy” stuff in my own home town!

  • Jay

    I think I have phases where I struggle to live in the moment (the 6 months in Gabon were horrendous for this) but I feel like we’ve really embraced our stay in Stavanger because of it. While there are always slumps, I’m constantly wanting to explore this city (and country) while we’re here and I feel like we’ve seen so much more in this past year than we did in the 2 in Gabon (living on an island, the difficulty of traveling and questionable safety in Gabon also played a role.)
    I think it’s a great idea to go into Boston with the mindset of making the most of your time there.

  • Kym Fox @ Travel Babbles | Living the (hockey) Life

    Um yes, yes, and more yes. We are one in the same, my friend.

    We are moving to Denver in four weeks – thank you for this simple reminder. I need to get out more … explore, meet people, and create memories there before we’re off to another location and I’m regretful of the experiences that I didn’t get to enjoy.

    Good luck on your move, drive safe and try to enjoy the ride =)

  • Rachel

    You’re right! It’s so important, and yet sometimes it’s so hard, to remember to enjoy the season of life that you’re currently in, rather than constantly looking to the future or the past!

    The Random Writings of Rachel

  • B Dav

    I’ve found that I always tend to move before I really take advantage of my current city. This is why I made a bucket list for my city because I really want to enjoy it before I possibly move again. I have to be really intentional about it, so I totally understand your struggle!
    Britt @ One&20

  • B Dav

    I’ve found that I always tend to move before I really take advantage of my current city. This is why I made a bucket list for my city because I really want to enjoy it before I possibly move again. I have to be really intentional about it, so I totally understand your struggle!
    Britt @ One&20

  • And So I Did

    It’s got to be hard to stay in the moment when you know change is knocking on your door. I’d love to move to a city… but I feel like I take the natural beauty around here for granted because I’ve grown up seeing it. Enjoy the city life! :)

  • Quyen Nguyen

    I completely understand where you are coming from. As a travel planner, I find myself constantly planning (for myself and clients)! My husband has helped me with this and now I create specific times during the day to plan and work. When I do travel, I quickly take pictures of each location and put away the camera. I try to travel/live first than blog later. It definitely takes a bit of work to create a balance in your life.

  • Cat

    It is really hard to live in the moment! I only notice the missed opportunities when I’m leaving, and that makes me sad. I really need to make a list of things to do in my current area before I move again!

  • Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    I think that when you are in a place you connect with it is easier to live in the moment. We lived for a year in my husband’s hometown and the whole time all I could think or talk about was when we moved next and when we finally moved to a new city which we both felt connected to via our interests and lifestyle preference our desire to do things in the city and decorate our place exploded. Since we know we only have two more years here due to my husbands school schedule we do occasionally talk about where we want to go next but not with the same desperate longing to get out and move on.

  • jackie jade

    i know what you mean. i feel like every mileston (birthday, new years, etc) i look back and realize that i didn’t accomplish/do a lot of the things that i planned on. maybe make yourself a “boston list” and aim to do a few of those things on the list each week. in fact, i should do the same thing for myself :)
    — jackie @ jade and oak

  • courtnirae

    I struggle with it all the time! i’m always worrying about the future and making plans, ect. solid advice, thanks!

    A Golden State of Mind

  • Jade

    Lovely lady, it’s taken me SEVEN years to wake up to the fact that I live in London and have these amazing opportunities to go places and see things each and every day. I’m making the most of it now, because I don’t know when this amazing, wonderful life I’m living at the moment will come to an end and I find myself back in the sleepy suburbs of Sydney. Big hugs to you xx

  • Debbie Buisson

    I understand your struggle. When we moved to Aberdeen, we expected a three year assignment but within two months we learned we would move to London soon. We looked to the future more than the moment because we knew what was coming. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted in Scotland and that is because we didn’t make use our time. Now that we are in London, we have no clue what is next and we are taking full advantage of these moments. It helps we have no friends, but we are doing what we came here to do! I hope you take advantage of Boston – it’s first on my list US travels!

  • tiarenie

    i definitely struggle with this! i think its normal when a big life changing thing (like a move) is coming up within 6 months or a year, especially when you have a little bit of anxiety in general (like me!). but even when someone is “settled” in one place it happens as well, always waiting for something in the future to happen and not enjoying the present day. im currently in Santorini and all i can think about is mid October when we leave and have a few months of “vacation”. i keep thinking to myself “you’re in fricken SANTORINI! enjoy greece!” but its hard! its good that you’re making goals and plans for boston already, just stick to them!

  • Stephanie

    I’ve never really lived anywhere except St. Louis so I don’t have this problem. I do however, greatly struggle with living in the moment. I’m always planning 3 months, 6 months, etc ahead. I never take time to just be in the present. Maybe I should work on that.

    Good luck with your move!

  • Irene

    I’ve had the same problem in the last years as I’ve been moving countries every one or two years. Doing research about the next place is always exciting and the first weeks are always fun but then I usually get restless and start thinking about the next place. I only start to enjoy again when I realize that I have nothing but a couple of weeks left and many things left on my to-do-and-see list.
    I just moved to Switzerland a couple of weeks ago and plan to stay there for at least two years, maybe longer. This time I’ll try to enjoy every moment of it.
    Good luck with your new move, Rachel! And live in the present to enjoy every minute in Washington :)
    Have a great weekend x

  • kristin

    I have a really hard time with this as well. It can be so hard sometimes because we get so caught up in work, school, life, family and we forget about everything else. Hopefully I can start to live in the moment more but I don’t really know where to start.
    Have a great weekend & good luck with the move!

  • Megan Nicole

    I can definitely relate to this post… being young and constantly feeling like I need to have an exact plan for my life sometimes it just consumes and I forget to slow down and be happy about the moment I’m in and not keep wishing my time away.

  • Chelsee W

    I personally so ready to leave where I am. I am not much for small towns and so change needs to happen soon.

  • Kayli Schattner

    I struggle to stay in the moment sometimes as well. It can get to be a huge problem for me! I’m trying to relax more often and take a step back. I also recently have tried yoga and have really enjoyed the benefits!

  • Anna @ Eat, See, Do

    Can definitely relate to it. After six months of travelling where it was constantly about – what next – I couldn’t WAIT to settle for a while and just be. At the moment we’re really enjoying Montpellier but if we don’t DO something every weekend like visit little villages or go to a winery we feel like we’re wasting our time. There’s that danger of going the other way and trying to live in the moment too much. It’s hard to get a balance. Sometimes you want to relax and just BE but in reality you feel uncomfortable if you don’t do all the things you need to do. I actually applaud you for living a normal life! It’s nice to be a tourist in your own city but it can be exhausting too. Looking forward to hearing about the next leg of your journey and the cafes and people watching :) x

  • Becky K


    Best wishes on the next step! I think you’ve got the right mindset, but I know how hard it can be to follow through on “the right mindset” sometimes. You got this chica!


  • Mimi Finerty

    I think it is always difficult to live 100% in your current location when you never know when or if you will move and where to next. It can be stressful and unnerving. I moved from London to Cyprus nearly three years ago and I made the most of the island when I first arrived – now I find myself longing to leave and thinking of places further afield that could satisfy me more.
    Strange how we never really appreciate what we have or where we are until its gone or we move.

  • Jodi

    It is hard to live in the moment. Life is so busy and we are somewhat forced to always look and plan ahead. But when you get to Boston I’ll help you enjoy it. Just let me what you want to see and I’m game!!! There are still several things here I haven’t done despite living here most of my life.

  • Blogger Ash

    This must be really hard. What do you guys do that you move often?

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • Carole

    Good luck with your move!

  • Jordan

    I struggle with this ALL the time. I long for the day that I have a husband and family instead of living in the moment. I need to enjoy my single time because one day I’ll probably miss it.

  • Areeba

    In 2009 when I was leaving my city and moving to a little town, I was going mad to take pictures of each and every building around our apartment. Good luck with your moving girl!

  • Josie

    I feel like ‘learning to live in the moment’ is a life-long process. I am always trying to find a balance between getting overly excited or worried about the future while being intention about the present moment. Sometimes I think anticipation is hard to avoid, but when it gets in the way of your quality of life, then there’s a problem. (I’m totally speaking from experience, btw).

    Thanks for sharing and have a safe move to Boston (my hometown!).

  • lost in travels

    oh my gosh yes! we’re thinking about our next move and even with that, i’m thinking about the move AFTER that! i’m afraid that i’m always going to be looking to whats next. which isn’t always a bad thing except for when it blinds you to your current place.
    good luck with the move! i was actually going to text you about the road trip and then remembered the time difference and that it was 12am ; )

  • Kate Hall

    Rachel, I do this ALL the time. I am in Germany now until earliest May 2014 and I am already planning where I want to go next, saving for it and telling everyone about it. I’ve started using my time here to go towards the goal of leaving and it’s strange, because I came here to experience Germany.
    What I’ve decided to do is to accomplish both things but not neglect Germany in the process. I did, however, make the mistake of not exploring enough in France and totally took it for granted, like you are saying about you in Florida.

    Now, you just need to learn from this and make sure you don’t do the same in Boston!

    Kate – (formerly

  • Sarah Shumate

    I kind of figured everyone struggled with this. I think humans by nature are planners. That’s why it’s so hard to live in the moment, because the future always seems so much more important. I do think, for me personally, that our overseas moved has helped me stop thinking so far ahead. Knowing that this is temporary and also knowing that I don’t want to let the experience pass me by forces me to look at life a little differently than I’m used to. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being excited for future endeavors, you just can’t forget to be excited about where you are now, too.

  • Kayleigh thewayiwanderlust

    I can totally relate to this. I do it all the time. I find myself wishing to be anywhere else then I currently am when I should be enjoying my surroundings. I am always planning a new adventure. I really need to learn to focus more on the present.

  • Sara Louise

    These posts when you open up like this always speak to me. I too am terribly guilty of not living in the moment, and as I grow older and time flies by faster and faster (it’s September already!!!) it is imperative that I start to live in the moment I am in and look around and enjoy each bit of it. I feel like if I don’t, I’m going to miss it all. Thanks for writing this :)

  • themovetoamerica

    I completely understand this too! Enjoying the moment can sometimes be a struggle – I am trying to enjoy my last weeks here in the UK but keep thinking of being in the US.


  • Fran

    I’m struggling with this right now. I wish I was somewhere else so bad that I’m not really giving our current location a chance :/

  • Amber

    I have a hard time living in the moment too. I’m always thinking about and obsessing over the future.

    I think it would be fun to explore new places though. What is it again that your husband does for a living?

  • Casey Aslan

    And you MUST eat a Cannoli at Mike’s Pastry’s and have a pizza at the original Regina’s off thatcher in the North End! I’d be happy to accompany :)

  • Marla Rogers

    YES this is a huge problem! I lived in France for a year and spent most of it traveling and now I wish I had just appreciated the town where I lived. I currently live in Southern California and it is SO HARD to get myself to properly appreciate it. It is so hard to just fall into the daily grind and everything around you becomes habit…such a shame because everything is a unique opportunity. My goal is the same as yours, to be a total tourist in the city in which I live. Enjoy Boston, you’ll thank yourself later :]

  • Amy M

    I love how your creative style with photography is changing – the photos look great. When i first moved to Bangkok i was like this for the first few months, then i thought t myself. What if i had to move tomorrow. Would i be happy with what i saw? Now i go out every few days, just hop in a taxi with my camera, sunglasses and umbrella (bloody unpredictable rain!)
    Sometime you just have to make yourself do these things, even when you’re stuck in your head and don’t want to go out.
    You’ll never regret the things you did, only the thin you didn’t xx

    • Amy M

      Whoops – hello typo’s!

  • Letitia – The Fashion Editor

    Love this! So beautiful!

  • Leah

    This is one of my biggest struggles. Being a planner can be great and feeling organized can relieve stress, but sometimes I do forget to just enjoy the moment and not always worry about what’s next. Good luck with the move!

  • Niki Caron

    We will have to meet up when you are here! And I can completely understand where you’re coming from, I find it hard to live in the moment as well. I’ve lived in Florida myself (among other places) and the entire time I’ve lived outside of Mass, I’ve wished that I was back in Mass. Looking back, I did enjoy everywhere I’ve lived, but I could have taken more time to really be in the moment, like you said. All the best to you in your move!

  • Beka

    Here is my two cents of advice. Since moving to the middle of nowhere in OK, I found activities that I had to commit to. I go to the senior center once a week. I don’t know if you go to church but I try and find a church where I am at and see what help they need, find a gym that you have to commit to, etc. It forces you to get out there. =)

  • Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife

    You are preaching to the choir. I struggle so much with living in the moment. I am such a planner though.