July 23, 2017

Coming to Terms with the Urge for Going

I threw my head back and laughed when we drove past a garden center and my mother almost gave herself a case of whiplash trying to see what they were selling. “You have a one track mind,” I teased, ribbing her about her passion for gardening. “So do you,” she shot back. “You’re always thinking about travel.”

Her words gave me pause for a moment, but she was right. Was it that obvious?


It’s been about three months since I returned from Seattle and I’m starting to get the itch again. And by the “itch,” I mean the unbearable urge for going somewhere. Anywhere. My mind is wandering with all sorts of possibilities. Sometimes I think maybe it’ll help if I write it all down.

Portugal. Newfoundland. California. Scotland. Ireland. England. Banff and Lake Louise. Glacier National Park. Prague. Greece. Crete. Paris. Prince Edward Island. Austria. Iceland. Austin. Peru. Lake Tahoe. New Zealand. Australia. Hawai’i. Budapest. Quebec City. Alaska. Egypt. Japan. South Africa. Morocco. Switzerland. Italy. Montenegro. Villefranche. Santorini.  And on and on and on.

The list of destinations I want to visit just keeps growing.

On days like today when wanderlust feels like a fever running hot in my veins and a tight, anxious fist in my chest, I start to wonder–how will I ever see it all? I’d need to live several lifetimes over to visit all the places I dream about, especially if it means relegating travel to a few weeks each year.  It’s days like today when I begin thinking about making a fundamental change to my life simply so I can travel more.

After a lackluster year in 2011, I rediscovered my love of travel in 2012 by finally embracing my travel idiosyncrasies and just going for it. Now, I’m like a woman obsessed, fixated on getting to the next destination as soon as possible so I can find myself at home in unfamiliar landscapes and among unfamiliar people.

Thoughts of travel consume so many of my waking moments there’s little room for anything else. My bedroom is virtually littered with notes on which I’ve scribbled little thoughts about this destination or that: when I’d go, how long I’d stay, what my budget would need to be. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about or planning my next trip to a new (or favorite) destination. But all too often, so many of these travel plans never become reality. I’m dreaming my life away and something’s gotta change

The way I see it, I’ve got two options: either I change the dream or I change my life. Changing the dream of travel will be next to impossible, since it’s been with me for as long as I can remember. Travel is in my blood and in my bones and I don’t think I can give it up without choking a fundamental part of who I am. Since that’s the case, there’s only one option left open to me: somehow, I’m going to have to change my life.

I’m toying with some ideas and options I’m not ready to talk about now, but they all boil down to one thing: to spend more time traveling, I’m going to have to start taking more risksI’m not sure what it all means yet but I promise to let you know when I do. Stay tuned.

How to you balance the demands of life with the urge for going? Would love to hear your thoughts because I really need some ideas…

*The title of this post is inspired by the Joni Mitchell ballad about love lost. Beautiful, haunting, perfect stuff. Take a listen here.

11 Responses to Coming to Terms with the Urge for Going

  1. Alouise says:

    I totally understand. Every time someone tells me about their travels I find myself adding to a never ending list of travel destinations I want to visit. There are so many, plus all the places I want to visit again. It sounds like you have something pretty amazing in the works – if it involves more travel that’s always a good thing (in my opinion).

    I love travel but I can also be a homebody, which is a good thing because I’m in University for the next 8 months. I do a lot of local travel around Edmonton and I find it helps talking to fellow travelers. I’ve been to a few local couchsurfing meetings and I enjoy listening to other people talk about their travels. If I can’t travel I’m always glad to hear when someone else can. Of course that doesn’t whittle down that travel list. I think I’ll always have places I’ll want to visiti – I think it’d be really sad if I didn’t.

    And not to add any pressure but you should definitely come to Banff and Lake Louise. I say this as somebody totally biased, who lives in Alberta, but doesn’t go out to the mountains nearly enough.

    • Marsha says:

      I’m a total homebody, too, Alouise, which is why the solution to my dilemma isn’t going to be quitting my job to travel indefinitely. I love having a place to come home to. I guess I’m just trying to find balance between home and abroad. And yes, Banff and Lake Louise are most likely going to be on my list of places to visit in 2013. No worries there! 🙂

  2. Pete says:

    Marsha – Joni Mitchell popped into my head the moment I saw the blog post. such an excellent song. Peaceful and sorrowful at the same time. Yes, haunting. On a day like today, cool wet and dreary, it is a day for going. Makes me want to get to my winter happy place now! Start knocking down your list! As Jean Luc might say “Make it so!”

  3. Kent @ NVR says:

    Excited to hear more about the ideas and options you are pondering. How fortunate we both feel to know you, another dreamer. Thanks for inspiring us to always be seeking a better, more fulfilling existence.

    • Marsha says:

      Me inspiring you? Pshaw, it’s the other way around! I’m all about the No Vacation Required lifestyle. Looking for opportunities to make that happen. 🙂

  4. Gina says:

    This is exactly how I am, too. I’m always planning the next place to visit and expanding my list of must-sees. I feel restless and even slightly depressed if I don’t have my next trip planned that I can look forward to!

    • Marsha says:

      Restless. Now there’s a word that summarizes precisely the feeling I’m talking about. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Gina!

  5. Sere says:

    I am with you Gina. I get totally restless. My family and husband think I’m a little nuts and definately obsessed with travel too. I am constantly online checking out different areas and researching different places that I want to visit. And visiting blogs like this one :). I also have husband(who is a total homebody) and child(who has school) to worry about and have to work around as well. Luckily though my husband isn’t always excited about my obsession, he is pretty supportive. I budget in travel with a montly amount so that I do have the option to travel and when I get really restless I take quick weekend getaways that are close to try and help curb some of it. It’s hard to explain to people about traveling just being in my blood, I don’t think I could give it up either. I’d lose a big piece of who I am. Good luck figuring everything out and will be interested in hearing what you do.

  6. Debbie says:

    I definitely know how you feel. Everyone always comments on how I always have travel on the brain. I find it hard to sit still. Reading other travel blogs and the adventures of other people both helps and adds to my travel list. I decided that when I can’t be far away, exploring around my home town is a great way to keep from getting too too restless. Since I always want to be somewhere else, there is always a ton left to explore around Vancouver! It’ll help for a little while….

  7. Brandy says:

    This post really resonated with me Marsha. I feel exactly the same way. Like you said in your reply to the first commenter, though, I don’t want to travel indefinitely or be a full-time traveler or even someone who lives abroad most of the time. I just want a home base here in the U.S. and the ability to leave whenever I feel like it. Is that asking too much? LOL So yeah, I’m not sure what the answer is, but I look forward to seeing you try to figure it out!