Sometimes I know I’ve been fortunate.
So incredibly fortunate.
I’ve tasted warm, Nutella filled crepes on the rain-chilled streets of Paris. I’ve rappelled waterfalls in the damp, verdant jungles of Costa Rica. I’ve seen every color of the rainbow embedded into ethereal rock splayed across the Badlands. I’ve added 5,500 miles to the Tracker’s odometer in a single trip — marveling at the competing corner coffee shops of Seattle; the craggy, hasselback coastline Oregon; the overhyped sidewalk stars along the grimy streets of Hollywood; the unpretentious grandeur of southwestern deserts; the popping display of vibrant Fourth of July fireworks that greeted me from the mountains as I entered Colorado Springs, and much, much more.
I’m on the right. Okay… not the most flattering of makeup-less helmeted garb, but whatever. I was waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica, for crying out loud.
I’ve stood in a forest field of lemon-yellow buttercups in Switzerland, I think. I’ve spelunked the depths of a guano-filled cave in the mountains of Georgia. I’ve danced in a club in Ibiza while the floor filled with water. I’ve jumped from a plane over the sun-dappled island of Oahu. I’ve bartered with an artist in Malaga for the ugliest drawing I’ve ever seen (story coming soon). I’ve scuba’d the breathtaking reefs of St. Lucia. I survived a border crossing to Nicaragua with nary a scratch, and I suffered a thank-God-it-wasn’t-a-brown-recluse spider bite in my own front yard and lived to tell the tale.
I’ve driven across the Golden Gate, I’ve gazed upon my nation’s capital, I’ve walked on glass over the city of Toronto, I’ve stared in awe at the St. Louis Arch, I’ve seen where le tour de Eiffel touches the ground.
Sometimes, even in Hawaii, you need to get a little closer to the sun.
Yet somehow, it’s not enough.
It’s never enough.
My experience only reminds me of how much I haven’t yet seen. How much there is still to see.
And there is a constant battle in my head over where I should concentrate my energy. I ask myself, why am I spending money on curtains when there are these things to do? Why are we ordering takeout when we could save to eat REAL food in Thailand? Why am I still paying these student loans when I could flee the country and live quite comfortably in Central America? Why did that parking lot car accident just cost us $500 when we should be riding in an Indian rickshaw anyway?
And then Justin looks at me funny because I already made him feel bad about the accident when it wasn’t even his fault, but also because riding in an Indian rickshaw doesn’t hold the same appeal for him as it does for me.
Travel, I think, is in my blood.
And those who are pathogen-free will never understand.
Hell, I don’t understand.
I don’t understand why I’m sitting here, in my office, caught between two worlds. Travel magazines, and writing books on one side of me, paint samples and curtain packages on the other.
One side. (un-staged.)
The other side. (un-staged.)
It’s like a snapshot of my brain, scattered across my pristine white desk, each side pulling me in a separate direction every moment of every day.
It’s a very fast way, you see, to go nowhere at all.
Or split in two.
I know. If that is my problem, then I have it made.
But maybe it’s a metaphor. A really bad metaphor for the struggle of balancing our real lives — relationships, obligations, jobs, and bills — with the vision we’ve seen for ourselves since childhood.
I’m not sure where I lost sight of mine, but I’m hoping it’s not too late to get it back.
I’m hoping I can balance it with the things I have and love already.
I’m hoping I’m not as crazy as I sound.