Monday, August 11, 2008

Wishing the Skies Weren't so Friendly

I've been having a hard time coming back to reality since my trip. My morning commute takes me past the local airport, and every morning last week, I wanted to just turn right and head to valet parking. I thought I'd be over it by this week, but alas, it persists. I could hop on a flight to New York or Chicago then who knows where I'd end up. Maybe here again because it was so beautiful...


Or maybe I'd flit off to see some waterfalls in New Zealand. Or Bali. Going on vacation always reminds me just how incredible it feels to escape. Evade the routine. To wander around somewhere unfamiliar and experience things for the first time, making invaluable deposits into the memory bank.



I think that's what I enjoy most about traveling—not the relaxation or the seeing of sights—but the sense of limitless possibility. Every day you wake up away from home is an adventure (even if you're just a few hours or a state away!). You eat at new restaurants, you walk down new streets, you see a different skyline when you watch the sun set.


It's nice having someone else in my life who understands this. Nice...and dangerous. Because together we could run away (yeah, I know my feet look like monkey hands and you're thinking, "how can she run on those things?"). We could go travel the world. And as much as that stokes the coals of wanderlust smoldering inside me, it also scares me a little. That's the funny thing about my sense of adventure—it's coupled with a tether to my hometown. I tried to move away from the area once (all the way to Orange County! Gasp!). I only lasted 8 months. But if I had a partner...would I ever come back?


I ate lunch today with a girl who saved up with her husband and took ten months off work to travel. She went to 28 countries. I don't know how you could do that and not come back a better person. Someone who has experienced the happy sense of being a little lost, seen things you maybe never dreamed of seeing, tried something new every day. Actually, I don't know how you could come back from that at all.

13 comments:

geekhiker said...

I often wonder how those tethers work. There's still a part of me that feels tied to Northern California, even though I haven't lived there in almost twenty years.

Luckily (I guess) I don't have to worry about the urge to run away with anyone. Actually, I just have the urge to win the lottery so I can get away more easily!

But in the end, I think most people, at least those who spent large parts of their childhood in a single location, have the desire to return "home" at some point.

Dingo said...

I know what you mean about the possibilities you think of when you are away from home. Sometimes it's like playing "what if?" What if I lived here? What would my life be like? Who would I be if I had grown up here. I love these what ifs. I can usually come away with something that I want to incorporate into my "right now" life.

I'm glad you can share all these what ifs and right nows with Mr. W. He sounds like a keeper. Not many people would be seen with a chick with monkey feet.

brookem said...

im totally with you on this one. both on the strong strong feelings of wanderlust, but with that deep sense of connection to "home." and the thing is, im sure that i could make a home somewhere else? but i cant as easily just bring along all the things that have meant and defined home to me, for so long. that, i think would be the biggest adjustment.

but you're so right about the possibilites of travel and the feeling of freedom and excitement it brings. i try to plan at least a little mini vacay every couple of months. i find that having something to look forward to like that, even if it's not some big grand trip to ireland or hawaii (both on my list for "one day"), it's nice to have a little something to look forward to on the calendar.

justrun said...

I am so very with you on this. I love the adventure of not knowing what the day will bring, and not so much caring, either.
And the only thing more dangerous than that gypsy spirit is when two of us get together.

Nilsa S. said...

You know what, though? That sense of discovery you have while on vacation? You can get it right at home. So, while you're saving up money or vacation days for your next travel adventure, make it a point to try a new restaurant or check out a new shop or visit a new town. It's pretty remarkable, that feeling of discovery you have. And it's certainly more fun to discover with the ones you love.

Laura said...

i agree 100%....hubby and I love traveling to new places...and as soon as we get back from one vacation, we're anxiously planning the next one. You have to have something to look forward to...

Michael C said...

That's my favorite part of traveling - the adventure of it!

I also get a similar thrill every time I fill up the gas tank. It's the feeling that I can go wherever I want, even though I always seem to end up at work...
;-)

Wow, that was awkward said...

I have to go to Cheyenne now and then for work. You can go there and enjoy some great thumb twiddling.

Amy Turpin said...

I'm definitely with you on this one. We have traveled a bit, but it has gotten a lot harder since we had our little one (and another on the way). As my grandma always told me - "Go as far as you can, as often as you can, because the person you are tomorrow may not be able to do all that you can today."

Anonymous said...

So what side of the family did those feet come from! Looks like you need a "foot lift"!
As for the travel, the different ways and places we visit and explore, only incourage more. And you don't have to fly to see many beautiful destinations. It's all about adventure, exploring and relaxing. But then always nice to have a family and home to return to.

semichrmd said...

I've always wanted to travel, better yet move away to somewhere splendid - where everyday is an adventure (and not the kind of inventure that involves a super mall) - I think if you have the opportunity to do it - go for it. And all the better you have someone to actually share it with :)

Mel Heth said...

GeekHiker - I hear ya on the lottery thing! I'd like to think maybe I can have a home somewhere far away and a home here - and split my time 50/50. :)

Dingo - I play the What If game all the time. You're right about Mr. W...I think he just feels sorry for me and my feet. Either that or my parents are paying him.

Brookem - Yes! Having something on the calendar always makes the return-home pain more tolerable. You HAVE to go to Ireland by the way. It's incredible. Maybe I'll join you. :P

JustRun - The adventure is SO alluring! And yes, it is dangerous when two traveling spirits meet.

Nilsa - And THIS is why I love you! You always have such a good perspective and tell me what I need to hear!

Laura - I know - I want to be you and Danny when I grow up. :)

Michael - I wish I got that sense when I filled up my gas tank!

Wow TWA - Thumb twiddling? Sorry, I'm out...

Amy - CONGRATULATIONS! Do you know what you're having?? I love the quote from your grandma. I'm gonna use it. :)

Mom - Yes, I could take a cruise to Hawaii instead of flying...

Semichrmd - Eek but it's scary to go for it and do it! :)

Michael C said...

You should have that feeling even more than me. I have to fill up a 20 gallon truck tank and you have that lovely hybrid ;-)