“I almost de-friended you on Facebook. I am so annoyed by your travels, “She said unapologetically. I threw my head back and laughed.Inside, however, I felt as if I was slapped across the face. How would you feel if I said I wanted to de-friend you because you were living the life that you loved? Because you were doing the thing that filled you up, that fueled your spirit? Travel for me is a gift. The place I can channel my inner child, stretch my comfort zone, a place where I grow. It is in travel that I meld into other cultures while further appreciating my own. Where I quietly daydream and where I move my body in the sunshine.
Some people have vision boards. I have world maps. Wanderlust is simply inside me. Travel part of my DNA. I can remember snooping in my college-aged aunt’s room as an elementary school child and finding a change jar labeled Pompeii, her hope for seeing the Italian great. My Grandparents have a giant world map dotted with pins for the places they have traveled from China to Iceland to Europe. My Grandma to this day dreams of far flung places she would love to see. My oldest son is proving to be a budding traveler himself-- His interest in other places, cultures, and politics is insatiable. He loves bragging of the number of plane rides he has taken and the countries he has visited--His collection of foreign coins gifted from his mama, impressive.
I didn’t take my first plane ride until I was in middle school and was eighteen the first time I stepped on foreign soil. From the moment I stepped off the plane into Mexico and a blast of sunshine, diesel and wood burning fire greeted me, I was hooked. The smells of travel, my own personal Chanel. There are simply not enough lifetimes to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of all the places I dream to visit. There is however, each year before me. A year I painstakingly read Lonely Planet and devour TripAdvisor planning detail by detail my next move on the globe. With each trip I am touched, I am made more full, I am more me than before I left.
So if you feel you need to de-friend me, please do. But to the rest of the dreamers out there I tell you don’t wait until tomorrow to live your passion, whatever it may be. Sadly I am reminded more frequently than I would like, that you may not reach that lofty retirement goal or the ripe old age of your dreams. So let today be THE day that you take the first step in living the life that you love. It only takes one leap…