Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Travel Bug

This is just a rant (and it's without pictures) so you can just skip over if that is not your thing. :)

One of the things I hate most about myself (for the record, I don't actually hate anything about myself, but it's definitely something I try and work on) is my indecisiveness and inability to ever truly be content and happy. Part of me thinks that that could definitely be deemed a good quality in that it makes me a perfectionist, who only strives for the good in myself and those around me, as well as mundane issues such as house cleanliness, a checklist completed, or a happy hospital patient who's well attended for -- but let's be realistic and just say that it not only drives me crazy, but those around me as well. Enter my sweet bf Matthew, who I practically made livid at the fact that we cleaned his house top to bottom, both floors, inside and out, in preparations for having company over today for the 4th. (Yes, people do indeed plan on coming inside, if for nothing else than to get out of the hot sun and use the bathroom!) We were up til midnight doing laundry, straightening up (or shoving things in closets) and him patiently and sweetly letting me, and folding without complaining just to make me happy ...and yet I still wasn't. When going into town I absolutely cannot make a decision on where to eat, I'm not trying to be difficult I just really don't care as I will literally eat anything. However I am always 100% certain on things that I DON'T want -- whether food, clothes, decorating etc. The biggest thing is finding the thing I do want.
Despite all of that undecisiveness and lack of contentness, my biggest absolute problem that drives me insane is my constant, aching, itching, pulsating drive for travel. My favorite thing to watch is the Travel Channel where they do spotlights on various countries, or House Hunters International where people just pick up and move to some exotic location or random country -- whether for work, kids, or just a change, and it annoys me to no end all of the amazing places that the people go on The Bachelor! I love blog reading on the fabulous lives of those that study abroad, go to international colleges, switch jobs across the pond, or move for the heck of it. Sometimes I get to watching a show so long, or reading a blog so intensely, or staring at the photographs so much that I literally get this ridiculous aching, heartbreak feeling in my chest that juts gets deeper and deeper and I have to walk away. One such blog, aspiringkennedy.com, involves a young mid-20's couple who has moved from Texas to Oxford for the husband's MBA degree there and they have traveled everywhere from England, Scotland, Italy, France, Greece, blahblahblah to the point where I literally had tears in my eyes and had to turn off the screen and go console myself. I'm not even kidding.
The fact that I get like this is not only absurd, it's downright ridiculous. My bucket list in its whole entireity is only places to visit. THAT'S IT. And part of me thinks it's crazy that the only plans and goals I have for my life is just how many places I can go and see and do. Deep down it terrifies me to be locked down to one place (which is why I am so scared about my hospital contract looming over my head) and why I yearn for so much adventure. When I started dating Matt, we discussed (besides religion, politics, thoughts on children/raising them/where he planned to live, his 5, 10 and 20 year plan -- yes I am just THAT anal) was his thoughts on travel, how much of it he wanted in his life, and how long he'd agree to put off children for it. I don't consider myself selfish in that I don't want kids til I'm in my 30's and that I want to travel as much as possible and see all I can see, and get it all out of my system completely before I truly settle down. Granted, I definitely want to marry Matt and he's my love and I definitely want nothing more than to have him be my travel companion and all that, but travel is so important to me (up there with what religion he is, his values and morals, etc). I feel that the world is such a huge, exciting and wonderful place, and granted I'm not nieve to think that there aren't huge chunks and sections of it that are places I'd never want to go, and that there aren't huge parts with violence and famine and poverty and just generally not safe for Americans or girls or a combo of both, but there are such incredibly beautiful places whose pictures make me bawl my eyes out at the beauty, that I just can't help thinking that it'd be even more shockingly appalling face to face. I can't get past this feeling I've had aching in my heart for as long as I can remember, including how i always cry looking out over the Hudson River as we depart NYC twice a year, the feeling I go on the dock of the San Francisco bay, breathing that chilling air that brought tears to my eyes, and I just can't stand the thought of breathing my last, dying breath without having at least attempted to accomplish part of what's on my bucket list.
My first year of nursing school there was a girl, not much old than me, who came down from Ohio with her sisters for Spring Break on the beach, and after drinking heavily, fell down a flight of stairs and became a C3 quad. She had a trip to the Caribbean for the next week, obviously couldn't take it, and now had to navigate the remainder of her life, at TWENTY FOUR FREAKING YEARS OLD as a quadriplegic!!! I don't want to EVER think of myself as lying in some hospital bed, or nursing home, or where the heck ever, and have some sort of stupid regret at not having traveled my heart out. I am doing nursing because it is one of my hugest passions, but it is also luckily such a prevalent job in any city in the world, so if I need to move or set off or whatever, there's jobs everywhere. So as of July 18th, when I start my job, after I pay for rent and bills and tithes for church etc. I plan on portioning out a sum each month for a travel expense, and I plan on slowly but surely checking those places off my list. There's a lady in town named Julie Beck who use to work at the same college as my aunt, and has traveled the world -- shes been to all 50 states, 74 countries, and all 7 continents and I can't help but envy her with a fervent passion. But at the same time one asked her about what she regrets, and she's not married or has kids. So my main thing is to properly balance work with play, family with life, and love with travel.

Just a tiny portion of my dream list (I think I'll do a weekly 'travel' post with pics and sights to see):

London, England
Edinburgh, Scotland
Dublin and Cork, Ireland
Mumbai, India
Sydney, Australia
Cape Town, South Africa
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Turks and Caicos
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Paris, France
Alps in Switzerland
Frankfurt, Germany
Venice and Florence, Italy
Sweden and Norway
Morocco and Egypt
Hongo Kong, China
Tokyo, Japan

1 comment:

  1. I'll go with you to Japan and Thailand...and anywhere else really. We can leave the men. Just sayin'.
    Part of the reason I chose to train as a librarian was so I could have a portable career with a variety of choices in places to live. I have to say, though, I think sometimes there's a message about having a family that says you can't be a good wife and mother if you're traveling and it's totally not true. Will is my partner in life and sometimes he might want/get to travel with me but other times I'm totally fine with him not having that desire/ability. He knows I plan to go into the peace corps after I finish grad school because that's always been my dream and while that's something I can only do before children, someone would be crazy if they expected me not to hop a plane to France WITH a kid or baby. One of the few things that makes me think I'd be a good parent is that I'd let my family grow and experience anything that's possible. I think it's always been the goal of feminism to get to this stage of not just "being able" but "feeling able" to do anything and everything at any stage.