I’ve always just wanted to travel.
This is a phrase I hear often, mostly from people who hold down full-time jobs and have a salaried income and are looking to settle down with a house and a dog and what could be considered a normal life, a real life. Even though I am all for the average person branching out and seeing the world; visiting new countries and meeting new people who live lives completely different from anything they have seen before, it still makes me a little nervous to hear this.
For some, travel is something they want to hit on the weekends, something that, for perfectly good and logical reasoning, is not worth giving up stability and a place to live for. They want to book a trip to the beach for two weeks a year, spending a couple well-earned days soaking up some sun with a fruity drink in their hand, or maybe even still visiting somewhere new and kind of scary and exciting.
However, when I hear this, I’m the one that gets scared because I know that is never going to be good enough for me. I know that two weeks a year, a measly 14-day break from my desktop computer and my coffee cup, is just not going to cut it, no matter if the destination is the Jersey Shore or New Zealand. To me, it’s not funny that some can’t wait to finally get to work just so they can begin counting the hours they can go home and do it all again the next day. It’s not ironic, it’s just very sad.
Right now, the seams-of-your-pants, no-strings-attached, washing-clothes-in-the-sink life doesn’t feel within my reach, which seems odd because in theory, this should be easy, at the least more fun, than nine-to-five cubicle life. However, it becomes remarkably easy to attach yourself to a detached normal life, one that involves a morning and evening commute and patent leather heels. You can really do it without even thinking and barely noticing, trust me.
But what I do know is that this isn’t the end for me, and the time I have spent trying to find my place in the big scary world and finding the perfect suitcase and crafting the perfect travel pitches has not been in vain, even if today, it all seems like another lifetime and the next chapter feels impossibly far away. People say that life is short and that they should enjoy it – I actually feel the opposite. Life is incredibly long and if you spend it being bored and complacent, it is a slow-moving dragging of the feet to nothingness.
For some, two weeks is fine (although four would be nicer). But for the rest of us, we would rather face a little uneasiness and a lot of fun instead of a lifetime of simplicity and typicality.