“Oh, the places you’ll go.”
Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for that one. I love that and the travel it hints at, alludes to. It’s thrilling, just writing that quote and reading it back to myself. I recently carried that quote with me, on my first solo trip to Mexico, reciting it in my mind whenever I needed a shot of bravery.
When it comes to travel, I could go for days and days, writing about it I mean. That much travel, while sounding just as thrilling as Seuss’s quote, would exhaust me. I do it in my imagination though, all the time.
If I had the money and the energy, I’d be off. Sure, I’d always come back to my home, as that’s how travel is most appreciated, but I would not be satisfied to simply stay in one place all my life. I would suffocate in that bubble.
I long to break out of that. I want to see new places. I have a list, a long, long list. I call it my
Bucket List (the very first blog post I ever wrote),
though that name is well worn with travellers the world over.
I thought it the summer my parents left on a road trip out west, through the U.S. and Canada. I came up with my travel blogger title and I was off.
The Insightful Wanderer (@TheIWanderer on Twitter)
It was in me, of course, ever since forever. My grandparents lived in just such a bubble, but they didn’t stay. They left sometimes, though always coming home again.
My most favourite treasure from my grandmother are the journals she kept, for years, where she jotted down the daily events of her life and family. Then, just a short distance from where she kept those, were the stakcs of photo albums, full of photographic evidence of the places her and my grandfather saw during their fifty five years together: all throughout Canada and the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Australia.
Life and reality are just as important as a life of travel. Some can avoid that, I suppose, but not me.
I have limitations. I fully acknowledge those, but recently I challenged them too.
I immediately started thinking about what I would write, upon reading this week’s prompt for
Finish the Sentence Friday
and my first thought was Mexico.
I would write about my recent trip there. Why not? What else could I possibly write about now, while the memories are fresh? But wait…
I have things I want to say, but I can’t get back to it, whether in my own head or when trying to explain to others just why that trip meant so much. I try and try and try to explain the feeling, but somehow, my experience doesn’t come through. I feel unsatisfied with how I am describing it and how they are hearing it described by me. I guess the expression “you had to be there” is right. Oh, so right.
I travel back to every moment of that week, from my fear and intense anticipation. To my sense of peace and calm and rightness with the world and my place in it at that instant. I don’t want to say words now fail me, but perhaps they do. The envelope of photos I now carry in my purse of my trip don’t do the thing justice either, somehow locked in the past of the actual purse I carried with me. Nor does the bracelet I wear on my left wrist, every bead carrying that week’s sense memories within.
I went so far as to create a whole travel website, separate from this blog, while the force was still strong to attempt the world of the travel blogger. I had it all mapped out, saw things so clearly in my mind.
I wrote up an About Me page there, before the new site went live. It laid out all my most favourite spots: Niagara Falls and Ireland.
I put forth an illustrated list of the places I’ve been so far: Cuba, Florida/New York/Michigan/D.C./California, and Germany.
I spelled out everywhere I dreamt of going: Hawaii, Palau, Australia, and New Zealand. I wanted to be adventurous, surprising even myself, and in this dream I stood at the bottom of the world, surrounded by ice and penguins.
I didn’t truly believe I’d have the stamina, resources, or opportunity to make it that far, but, really, who could say?
Then, my website fizzled out. I let myself down. I studied travel blogs galore and somehow, I couldn’t become them, social media and pitching tour companies and all. I couldn’t. I was not a list maker and a personality so strong. My fantasy of becoming someone, I perhaps wasn’t meant to be.
I am a literary writer. That’s who I am. I can take all the travel blog success courses I want, have as many Skype sessions with an already established travel blogger as are offered in any given online course, and I still failed.
But I didn’t. I found a way to travel anyways. I found a group of my people, other literary type writers, somewhere full of magic and reality, all wrapped into one.
I couldn’t hold onto that week forever. It came and went. I may feel a little aimless since then, since arriving home, but that’s okay.
The world is a giant place. Anyone who doesn’t open their mind first, it doesn’t matter how far or how nearby they go or stay.
Travel all sorts of places, in your mind, through reading/watching a good book or movie. That’s just more ways to open your mind to the vistas (boy do I love that word).
Read travel blogs, as I still do, if that makes it all more real.
Acknowledge your limitations while challenging what still might be.
Meet people. Meander through a place. Taste a new food or sample a helping of another culture, far flung from your own.
I may not have that beautiful travel site I saw in my mind, but I am still wandering through this big, beautiful world and I am doing it with all the insight I can manage to unearth as I go.
I will linger here a bit yet still, but I know I will be off again, sooner or later. If you linger too long, you risk getting stuck. I hate to burst your bubble, but it must be done.
I meander and linger and meander some more. I look over those vistas I can no longer see. I meander with these words and with myself. Still figuring it all out.
I’ll be sure to let you know, here, when I’ve been everywhere. In the meantime, Dr. Seuss’s words keep me going, moving, living.