i was discussing travel with a friend the other day. we spent the evening recalling trips of our past and places still yet to be seen. we both agreed that if given the choice on where to invest, we’d rather put money aside to appease our cases of wanderlust than purchase tangible things that would just deteriorate in time.
i can’t think of a time when travel wasn’t a part of my life. even as a child, my parents were always carting me somewhere -even if it was just a quick trip down the coast to the san diego zoo or balboa park. as i got older, our travels became a bit more exotic -extended weekends in sequoia national park or quick getaways to palm springs. and then there were the bigger, things-you-save-up-for trips for special occasions like high school graduation. and now, it feels like i’m doing some sort of travel every other weekend, whether it be by plane, train, or automobile. and while travel certainly takes a toll, on the bank account, my wardrobe, and definitely my psyche, i can’t imagine my life without it.
truthfully, i don’t believe that my love for discovering new places and new locales, new restaurants and new people will ever grow dim. in fact, i think it’s only grown since those day trips to julian of my youth. and i think that’s what happens with the travel bug. once you’ve been bitten, its (healthy) venom never leaves your system. it seeps into your heart and mind until you find yourself hypothetically planning your next adventure during your lunch break or while idled at a stoplight. you forgo a new piece of furniture or article of clothing to save up for a trip to nashville or chicago or wherever is still left on your laundry list of “places to go before i die.” and you look for people in your life who feel the same.
over the years, i’ve streamlined my list of qualities i hope to find in the future mister down to a handful of items. not because i’ve lowered my standards, but because my priorities have shifted in my older age. some of the stuff that mattered 10 years ago simply doesn’t matter anymore (case in point: you don’t have to drive a truck or play the guitar, but you know, both earn you extra brownie points if you do). but one thing that has moved up on the list is a mutual love for travel. a partner who values the importance of world exploration as much as i do. i know not everyone has had the opportunities i have had, to see the places i have been fortunate to have seen. all i’m asking for is someone to take the journey with starting now. a buddy to navigate foreign lands and foreign languages and foreign foods with. someone who will not try to squelch my wanderlust, but who will cultivate it instead. basically i want my life to look like an episode of the amazing race but without the back-stabbing, scheming, and challenges. but phil can be there if he’d like.
so today i’m thankful for travel. for the places i’ve been and the places i have yet to be. for every mile flown or driven or walked. through streets of familiarity and passages unknown. whether domestic or international, for work or for play. i am thankful for parents who have instilled in me a healthy dose of wanderlust and who have allowed me to tag along with them on some unforgettable journeys. aside from my ever-growing collection of sequined items in my wardrobe, these trips are my most valued possessions. every ticket stub and passport stamp reminds me what a gift travel is. the world really is a book and i want to read every single one of its chapters.