Thursday, June 20, 2013

The World Is a Big Place

Photograph by Mary Lundin, submitted to My Shot via NatGeo
I've had my mind on travel lately, and not just because it's summer, though that's undoubtedly part of it. Somewhere beachy and photogenic sounds best--coastal Maine, California. Or somewhere historic and iconic, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston. I don't know if I'm getting stir-crazy (a strong possibility), or if I'm just feeling like I'm missing out on the world because the 9 to 5 grind has me in its death grip.

I'm not even full-time, so I feel like maybe I shouldn't (or others who are FT think I shouldn't) be complaining about not having had a vacation in two years. But we all wear out. We all lose sight of ourselves and what's important to us, and a vacation is sort of a mentally stabilizing factor that reminds us that the world isn't all spreadsheets and time cards.

Of course, vacation planning can be extremely stressful, mostly financially, but coordinating driving directions, flights, routes, public transportation on arrival, hotel reservations, campsite reservations, and figuring out what's legal to carry on a plane nowadays is a trip unto itself, and not a pleasant one. As if you're supposed to suffer before you get to let it all hang out.

I think mostly I want a vacation to have time to myself. I don't even have to travel out of the state (granted, I do live in a pretty cool one) to do that. Some time alone to read, I'm so behind on my reading, some time away from the Internet, some time to write, some time to think, some time off from the worries, fears, and frustrations of everyday 21st century life.

I've always wanted to travel--like EVERYWHERE. England, France, Italy, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Egypt, New Zealand, Israel, Greece, India, etc. etc. I've always been held back by money, and occasionally by priorities. The "someday" mentality firmly implanted in my mind, as it is in most minds.

There's always something, usually quite a rational something, that's going to hold you back from doing what you want to do, whether it's money, time, family, romance, or fear of air travel, but at some point, you have to decide what you want, and how far you're willing to go to get it. Sometimes, as we all learned well in Risky Business, "you have to say, what the fuck" and run with it.

As much as I'd like to be that person more of the time, I'm still the cautious person who plans everything out and considers everything carefully and thoroughly before making a decision. Maybe that's a good thing. My life overall is in pretty good shape, all things considered. But, it means I don't take risks very often, and while that has kept me out of danger for the most part, it has also kept me from experiencing some of the best things the world has to offer.


Just a few ruminations on travel, vacations, and what's important.

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