You may have guessed from the title of this blog that we love to travel. More than that, we see travel as critical to our well being. Our definition of travel is not so narrow that it only includes those times we jump on a plane drugged with Ambien, hurtling through airspace with 250 other strangers. I think it’s more a state of being, prioritizing adventurous pursuits that may only be trying a new restaurant in a different neighborhood or exploring a different part of your home state.
That said, we do love those times when we are transported someplace foreign. Somewhere we don’t speak the language with exotic food and no cell phone service. A place where you could be walking down the street and feel the delicious freedom that no one anywhere knows exactly where you are or how to find you.
Whether you are the traveler that obsesses over every detail and budgets to the last penny or the one that realizes a tax refund is on the way and subsequently books their ticket to Australia, the pursuit is the same. Those of us infected with the kind of wanderlust that manifests itself as a physical ailment understand the stomach wrenching realization that our next trip isn’t on the horizon and we are literally dying for that next adventure. Maybe a trip up the coast will soothe those itchy feet, but more often that not, it’s the bigger experience we crave. Somewhere we can be uncomfortable, scared and pushed to our limit. Only when you find yourself in a creaky old school bus at the edge of a precipice next to a chicken in a cage will you feel the ache in your gut subside.
Maybe you don’t know this feeling. Perhaps you’ve always never desperately wanted to leave your town, state or country behind and find yourself on a foreign shore. You might be the one whose eyes glaze over when you hear I’m off to trek through the Amazon solo who says, “I could never do that”. A better interpretation might be you would never want to do that. I get it. But the world is vast and rich, full of beautiful people that don’t look like you and food you’ve never tasted. If you aren’t ready to belly flop into a strange lagoon full of snakes, it’s perfectly okay to dip a toe in the water on the grassy bank.
And if you think you can’t, you’re wrong. I know right now you’re thinking, “I’m too old/ young/poor/scared to go anywhere”. I’ve been there and I’m telling you, you’re wrong. It can be as simple as doing your weekly grocery shopping at a Mexican market or heading to Chinatown and getting lost in the bustling crowd. Or you could be my parents who headed out on their first trip across the Continent years ago and found themselves wandering through Europe carefully following every note on the meticulous itinerary I prepared. Something happened between watching the changing of the guards in London and touring the coliseum in Rome, they found themselves fundamentally changed. Now they are preparing to fearlessly trek through Southeast Asia with nothing but their rolling duffles and lots of insect repellent. Yes they are scared, but they are doing it. And you can too.
This year I left my twenties behind, and I felt a flutter of anxiety as that little voice inside my head told me it was time to grow up. It was time now to get serious. Real adults have a house, a car, and maybe some kids. All the unvisited places on my list started to torture me. I would never make it to Greece, Turkey, China, Croatia, or the Netherlands. I mourned those places as I tried to strengthen my resolve to leave them behind.
But I couldn’t do it. Travel was under my skin, in my soul and I couldn’t get rid of it. I bargained the house and the car for those countries below the equator and felt an immense sense of relief. I wasn’t done yet and I may never be. It’s why I married a man who understands and encourages my harebrained schemes, agreeing that traveling to a foreign country with children is a great idea. He has also lived with me for 2 years in 400 square feet, so he’s used to being really uncomfortable.
So join us in trading in your white picket fence for your white picket passport. Or just follow this blog from the comfort of your home and feel really grateful you weren’t the one on your honeymoon stuck in Guatemala without any money.