Thursday, August 24, 2006

What travel does to me

It's debatable whether or not my jaunt up to DC last weekend could technically be considered "travel", but nevertheless it elicited the same reactions and feelings that travelling always does to me.

Upon departure, I always feel a huge surge of... everything. My skin tingles with excitement, and the wave of adventure and independence is like the best high in the world. I am always so proud of myself for taking the initiative to break my everyday pattern and venture out for a series of new experiences that I just want to burst. The anticipation is half of the fun, and I find that I truly am satisfied with life, because I live in a place where the rent for my cozy little apartment is cheap, the friends are good, the family is close, and the means to travel are readily available, via my road trip ready car, adventurous spirit, and extra funds (thanks to the new job).

When at my destination, the adventurous spirit and high-on-life attitude continues. Let's try everything! Let's meet everyone! It's so great to see you! I love this city!, etc. Then somewhere mid-trip, the feelings start to evolve into - Um, I want to live here. (No matter where "here" is.) I wish I got to spend more time with (insert name of whoever I'm with.) That's it, I'm not living in (insert wherever I'm living at the time) for all that much longer - there's a huge world out here!

Then I return home, my mind racing with plans. Other trips to take, how long to stay in my current locale, a 5 and 10 year plan that will allow me to live everywhere and do everything that I've always wanted to do. But a nagging confusion always sets in, because there are other things I've always wanted to do too that the constant moving and sky-rocketing careers might impede. Like buy a house. Gulp, have a family.

And I get back to my current life and realize that it's pretty darn good. Job, friends, medium-sized city with affordable rents that let you have a pretty substantial travel budget - doesn't sound so bad, right? Then there's him. The guy I've known for years, who I get along with famously. And who looks more handsome every time we hang out. And who makes me laugh. But would allowing myself to get into a relationship completely squelch any other dreams and ambitions that I have?

Do having an adventurous spirit and commitment phobic problems always go hand in hand? Don't answer that, anyone. I don't want to know the answer, because the truth is, I'm really happy just the way I am. Weekend trips and big goals included.


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