(Is it too early for a New Year post? Whatever.)
As a child one of my favorite objects was a globe, spinning it with fascination and eternally curious about what lay beneath my outstretched fingers as it slowly spun to a stop. The desire to meet the unknown has always held me captive, a desire not exactly matched by anyone in my family. As kids my younger brother and I always functioned at different speeds; he would linger behind and examine everything around him while I would be full charge ahead, always on the move and always exploring. I think this is something we carried into our adult lives.
While my brother was content to stay near home, I spent my teenage years planning my inevitable and much anticipated exodus. All the time daydreaming of great adventures in the outer world to escape from my own inner world. I don’t know why but I’d always felt discontentment and this feeling that I wasn’t where I belonged. My mom would occasionally wonder aloud if I ever considered therapy.
A plane ticket is cheaper than therapy.
At 20 years old I took off on my first international trip abroad for a semester in New Zealand and travel became an insatiable addiction, my own personal feel-good dopamine drip. I’m nearly 33 years old and I’ve spent the last ten years wandering the globe. Searching for my home, myself, my peace. Sometimes in fleeting moments I catch this feeling I may have finally found this somewhere, a place I can stay and build a life and settle in and I try to hold it close….but there is always something inside of me, this reckless streak, this restless urge to keep moving, so off I go again.
A lot of people won’t tell you this, but travel can be lonely. Sure it’s fun, it’s new, it’s exciting, it’s liberating, it’s everything I’ve ever hoped for and oftentimes so much more. You meet people and see the world through a kaleidoscope of new lenses, make so many connections and have endless adventures and conversations about everything under the sun. Then there are so many goodbyes. So many missed opportunities for the depth in relationships that can only be cultivated with time. So many passing moments and what could have beens. A life in motion offers huge potential for personal growth, in exchange a sacrifice of interpersonal development.
Hell, maybe I do need therapy.
What I need, what I really, truly need, is direction, purpose, meaning found somewhere within myself and not tucked away in some far away city somewhere in the next country. The past two years in particular I have found myself grappling with this monster inside of me, the sensible Jekyll re-emerging and trying finally to fight back against desultory Hyde.
This is the closest thing I will allow to a New Years Resolution.
Despite Covid I personally had a good year in 2020, and I have managed to make it to three countries in 2021, so bring it on 2022! A phoenix year. I’m not bold enough to say 2022 is going to be my year ( I don’t know if anyone is), but I’m certainly not going to be afraid of it.