When I was young and the urge to be someplace else was on me,
I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.
~ John Steinbeck
When I was young, the public library was one of my favorite places. I would pick a shelf, sit on the floor and preview book after book of faraway places and foreign languages. It may have been there where I first caught the travel bug, and as soon as possible, I found a way to be someplace else.
As I continued to travel, I began to change and grow in unforeseen ways. When I would return, countless people told me, “Oh that’s great! Travel while you’re young!” Their response baffled my invigorated spirit. I wanted a lifetime of wandering. Had these cautionary folks once felt that way too? Had they subconsciously suppressed their hopes and dreams? Fearful of following suit, a commitment began to form inside me.
The same little girl who would lose herself in the library also latched onto a particular lesson in elementary school- identifying the seven continents. The continents represented extremes, the far reaches of the globe, and I vowed to venture to six of them before turning that milestone age of 30 (figuring Antarctica could wait until I felt a stronger need for experiencing penguins and ice caps). I believed in this goal with such conviction, a permanent type of conviction, so it was I came to wear this goal around my wrist.
My map bracelet is an inked reminder of who I am, how I challenge my way of thinking, how I push my comfort zones, and how I never ever want this itch for discovery to be cured. Each red dot marks the first place on the continent where I step foot. Each red dot is a promise fulfilled to the girl who once explored via books alone.
As is so often the case with mapping out one’s path, there were unexpected forks and twists along the way, mainly a giant hurdle called Unemployment. However, this hurdle hurled me into a far more creative and challenging endeavor. The pursuit of that precise point where talents, passions and skills overlap has been a detour, but it’s a detour I embrace. A 30th Birthday without the last, elusive dot stung just a tad, but it did not leave me dismayed. Being waylaid to focus on career dreams is inspiring, intimidating, empowering and daunting depending on the minute. It feels right, but it doesn’t quell the wanderlust stirring inside me.
Despite my desire to be someplace else, there are still journeys tucked inside me, whirling around like a distant hum, ready to be processed and unfurl. There are numerous photos and notes collecting dust, so I shall begin to wander through those memories, right here on my corner of the interweb.
Now is the time for me to recall a bumbling elephant ride, a dance celebrating a lifetime commitment, the sway of a lake, a glimmer of white, details of stone, the sweetness of a banana, the redness of soil, and the clarity I felt from being distant.Now is the time for me to tell you all about India and London, maybe Puerto Rico and Paris too. Maybe even Africa! Now is the time for me to let my mind wander and journey through nostalgia, for these are the elements that inspire my flavors, my gatherings, my stories and more.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Here’s to Wednesday Wanderings!