Thursday, January 7, 2010

travel

india2 It seems so strange to think of this, but 3 years ago I was frantically organizing my life in order to prepare for my trip to India at the end of January.

In many ways it was the trip of a lifetime. I went alone, and learned so much more than I ever could have imagined. India was exactly what I expected and yet nothing at all like what I anticipated.

And I would go back, in a heartbeat.

Something about India, for all of its chaos, poverty, corruption, and frustrations, is just so real and alive. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, vital and challenging. For all the years I spent in my life wondering about what I wanted to do when I grow up, travelling in India was my awakening because the one thing that I’ve always been sure of in life is my longing to travel. Having children, a home, a car, and a career have always been questions for me. Travel has never been something questioned. My need to see the world surpasses my love of books, crafts, art, yoga and everything else in between. I never feel as alive and as complete as I do when I’m travelling.

And yet, for much of my life I have lived without travel. I’ve put school, work, and family before my need to see the world, which really makes no sense at all. The only explanation that I can offer is fear. Looking into the face of what I want most, I balk. What if I can’t do it? What if it’s not enough? What if I’m lonely or lose my sense of self? What if there’s no one to go with? Or what if I travel with someone and we don’t get along? It seems almost ridiculous to think that these fears would play into my decision to not travel, but they do, or have.

france2 As much as I want children and a comfortable life, I would sacrifice both for a life filled with travel. I know that most wouldn’t agree or even understand, but travel is what gives my life meaning. I work a comfortable, well paid job, and yet I constantly wonder if this is the right job for me because it makes it so hard for me to travel. Getting married and the implied settling down filled me with an untold amount of angst because it was very important to me that my husband understood marriage didn’t mean that I wouldn’t go and travel without him. Sure, I’d love it if he came with me, but there are some adventures I know I will be going alone.

Going to France, Cuba, India, and England have been some of the best moments of my life. With each trip that I’ve made, the world opens a little wider and my need to see more and experience more, grows. I know that there are people out there who understand this wanderlust, and there are even more out there who are living the life I long to live (not that I don’t love my own life too), but there are also others out there who I think don’t really understand how much of me is consumed by wanderlust. Thinking about venturing to far off places fills me with joy. I can’t wait to discover another corner of the world. We just got back from France and BC and I’m already dreaming of new adventures.

Anyone interested in seeing Marrakesh or the south of Spain?

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