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 risks. I’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.