Do you sometimes need to run away from home?
Does the overwhelming desperation to escape the normal routine of your every day life reach the crushing point where every action and activity makes you scream with the desire to escape?
Or are you a homebody who is content having adventure find you? You’re fine with your habits and can spend the summer relaxing on your deck, at ease as can be?
Neither of those is more right than the other—merely the two sides to us crazy, fickle, blessedly different humans. I, most assuredly, fall into the first category.
My heart loves being at home. Here in this haven of warm colors, comfortable furniture, with an inviting deck and our flower-bird-rabbit-chipmunk stuffed yard, I’m in one of my favorite locations. I ease into it and feel content.
Yet, I often want to be somewhere else. There is always, eternally, something else to see, new people to meet, some aha-moment waiting to unfold that I can’t experience in the comfort of my every day space.
If I can run away from home every six weeks my soul is revived. The sojourn doesn’t have to be lengthy, exotic, or expensive. It just has to happen.
No place is too far away if the destination is where you want to be.
In Wales, we asked a store proprietor how long one walk along a stretch of the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path was. He replied, “As long as you want it to be,” with a knowing smile.
I’ve taken three planes to cover two thousand miles to Billings, Montana and one plane to land in Frankfurt, Germany four thousand miles away.
A friend once flew from Pittsburgh to Papua New Guinea for scuba diving—quite the journey.
Canadian folks have vacationed in Cuba for years. It will take a long time for that to seem normal to an American, but for them, the island has never been too far—in distance or politics.
An Australian acquaintance has traveled to the USA’s west coast multiple Decembers. She spends weeks, so the time it takes to get here doesn’t overwhelm her.
My sister Jackie and I took four days to drive from Pittsburgh to Red Lodge while brother Joe and I made the same journey in three and husband Alex and I took seven days. The distance of these trips was relative based on the time of year, companions and the reason behind the cross country drive.
I should have been a permanent traveler. After graduating from college with a degree I never used, I told my father: I should buy a Winnebago. As many times as I packed up and moved, there’s an intuition I should have listened to.(I get by with a little help from my friends) A camper would have been more practical, cost less money and oh yes, kept those friends from whining about how many books I owned.
What used to be vague locations on a map have become real and uniquely alive cities and forests and villages. I learned that while being habitual and in a routine is good—having a disciplined life—it’s enjoyable to be completely thrown out of my comfort zone and experience the shock it brings: WAKE UP! Look at life around you! See what’s out there! See what you aren’t seeing! Get to know someone who’s passing you by… Like the afternoon I spent walking Madrid and touring museums with JT, a lovely Englishwoman I met over breakfast.
Shake life up and get yourself to that new place that isn’t too far away. Change things because we have the ability to do so. Live outside your routine and reach beyond what you know. Life is always about learning something today that I didn’t know yesterday. Any trip, the cities, the trails hiked, and people are needed so we don’t grow stale.
My heart always has wanderlust.
Perhaps it’s the writer in me, always looking for new fodder. Maybe it’s the kid who was raised on Star Trek still looking to explore the strange worlds not known to me, to seek out new life and new civilizations I’ve never interacted with before. It could be the historian inside—the woman who truly believes that if we forget what happened when, we’re going to repeat it again and again.
Whatever the motivators are, my soul is hungry to go. Again. Now.
Thankfully, blessedly me, my sister, and her daughter are hiking in Wales, coming soon…summer of 2018. Slightly smaller than our state of Massachusetts, this is the third time that Jackie and I vacationed in South Wales. Sixteen days of hiking and touring and we have so many things we’ve longed to do on previous trips that we know this one won’t be long enough.
Getting to Wales from Montana (Jackie and Jenny) is a three flights—oddly, the same number of planes it will take me to get there from Pittsburgh. Airports, airplanes, travel coordination, trains, hotels, vacation rental homes … yet, this place we love to go is never, ever too far away.
Read: Having an adventure when traveling doesn’t have to mean a risk!