Tuesday, February 20, 2007



Travel is not good for me...If I'm stuck behind the same desk, drinking at the same pubs, staring blankly at the same landmarks, the wild desire to throw a few clothes (okay a lot of clothes) into a suitcase and hop the first plane to anywhere else subsides to a liveable level. But if perchance, I get out...there's almost no going back to routine.

What is strange is that I remember thinking at several different points on the trip that the things I saw and felt were similar to the things I already knew: I laughed, I pouted, I drank too much caffine, I felt nervous, I deprived myself of sleep...all the things I do here. The side streets in New York could just as easily have been in Chicago. The drivers in Philly were as rude and clueless as those in St. Louis. The icy wind bit at my cheeks and nose there just as it did when I walked across the airport parking lot on the way home.

I am the same person no matter where I go. People are people all over the world. Even the landscapes don't change that much. What's exciting is the prospect that it might be, that I'll be a new and better version of myself, that I'll meet new people who change my life, that I'll see something unimaginably beautiful or unique. I want to experience life like a child at the petting zoo--I want to see, touch, smell, taste, hear everything for myself.

Then a trip becomes an adventure, an exploration. One bus ride crawling through rush hour traffic is not the same as another, Every face stands out from the hundreds around it. French fries at a Chelsea McDonalds somehow taste saltier and more satisfying than ever before.
Back home again, sliding between the crisp, familiar sheets of my very own bed, turning on the fan to drown out the street noise and whispering good night to the kitten curled up on my pillow, I know I'm not the same as when I left. I am filled with the exhilleration of new experience. I crave change...always desiring to evolve, to see the world expand a few more degrees even if it is in my own backyard, in some heretofore unexplored corner of the park or a shop in whose window I've never peered.

The seed of wander-lust has been replanted...what it will grow into, I can only imagine.


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