I was talking with a friend a while back, a perceptive and wise beyond her years friend (you know who you are) who suggested that now that I am doing some more interesting and fulfilling things than I have done before that I may no longer feel the need to travel so much. It really made sense. Packing up for Russia when I lived in a small town and worked a piddly job brought some drama and excitement to my life. I’m not living the life of my dreams (I’m not in Paris am I?) but I am writing a lot more and meeting so many fascinating people with my food writing that every week I think about how fortunate I am to get to do the freelance work that I do. With that and my husband and dogs and friends, not to mention a full-time job on a Creative team, shouldn’t that be enough? One would think.
But I can’t quell that insistent need to go. To plan and dream and pack and ultimately get on that plane and cross an ocean and land somewhere I don’t speak the language. I have a generous amount of vacation time, so it comes down to a matter of paying for travel so I’m constantly calculating how long it will take to save for the next trip. I weigh every purhase with its equivalent in how much travel it could pay for. I obsess over my pocketsmith account, feeding anticipated savings into it to see when I might next board a plane.
We looked forward to maybe introducing a young member of our family to the travel bug this year. We planned to take our oldest nephew to Europe this fall. To our disappointment, when it came time to really make the decision, he told us he’s “just not a traveler.” That’s sad, and I think he’ll wish later he’d gone for the adventure. But we’ll move on next year — there are lots of nephews and a niece in our family — and for this year, start planning our own trip.
Since going to Morocco last year with my friend Tracy I’ve wanted to return with Brian. I want him to feel the magic, and honestly, to be impressed that I made my way around the labyrinth that is Marrakech. We tend to try to pile up the experiences — and points on a map — so we are entertaining the idea of flying into Spain, flying a budget airline to Morocco where we’ll spend a few days and hopefully make our way into the Sahara on camels, and return to Barcelona for a few more days. Why Barcelona? One of the best chefs I know said the cuisine of Barcelona changed her life. (I say ‘entertaining the idea’ but really I’m already racing ahead, looking into Sahara expeditions, reading about Barcelona restaurants, and contacting the riad where I stayed in Marrakech.)
I’d like to think I could settle down after this trip but I know better. Even if I were writing full time I’d still have that pull from across oceans and continents that drives me to plan trip after trip. So I think I’ll just keep traveling. And I’m ok with that.