She thinks, “Hey,
How did I come to this?
I dream myself a thousand times around the world,
But I can’t get out of this place”
- Grey Street, Dave Matthews Band
I seem to wander in my heart more than most people I know. I know many people suffer with an epic case of wanderlust, but I have a case so bad that I actually am homesick for places I have never been. I crave seeing places like the blue waters and sandy beaches of Costa Rica, the rich history and architecture of Barcelona, the undulating landscape of Tuscany, and the green and rocky coast of Ireland on nearly a daily basis. The thoughts of these places leave me feeling like a caged bird looking out into the breezy blue skies I could only hope to soar through – wings open, heart free.
I come from a family that did nothing but box themselves into safe routine – at least in the years I can recall. Sure there were family trips and adventures, but we always seemed to return to the same safe places that were familiar for them. Safety and comfort was important in their lives for reasons I will save for another blog post in the future. But I always remember wanting more. I wanted the experience of bonding through new adventures. Somewhere deep down, I just wanted to find myself in the hidden corners of crumbling castles and open spaces of breezy, sunny beaches.
Like the bird, I know life isn’t easy out there. Challenges come at every turn and life in the warm cage with constant food, water and a cozy perch for me to rest my tired and sore wings becomes appealing after a challenging day of life on the road. But there is always a piece of me crying to get out of this box and see something new. Last summer, I had some epic adventures (overview here, here, here and here). This summer will be a little more budget friendly and perhaps a little less global. Exploring my sweet little town. Camping up in the mountains for an evening or 2. Road tripping with cousins who are traveling from abroad.
These little journeys are so important – both near and far. I knew it even when I was a little girl. Those little adventures and explorations things help you find your compass inside. They let you know where you are living. They reflect your fortunes and misfortunes. They show you where you have been. They teach you to survive. They show your your strengths. They reflect your weaknesses and where you need to put your effort. They test you. And they connect you to those you travel with and those who cross your path however briefly. In a word, they help you find yourself.
So if travel helps you find yourself, maybe my wanderlust isn’t really about travel at all. Maybe I am just looking for myself in this great big world. Maybe the journey I have been craving for so long is the road straight back to finding myself.