I dream of travel. Literally, at least once a week I dream that I’m wandering the streets of some far away land.
The reality of life is that I am lucky if I can spend a night in a nearby motel holding tight to the memories of the few times I have been in far away places, many years ago. Exotic travel is just not in my immediate future and that used to depress the hell out of me. I know, some people have real problems. Whoa is me, I can’t book a flight to Italy or wander the narrow streets of spain. Cry my a river, right?
Yeah, I get it, it’s not a real problem but sometimes it feels like a real problem, especially when you spend time trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and the only thing that comes up is, you guessed it, travel.
Instead of wallowing and feeling sorry for myself any longer I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and just start pretending it’s all exotic travel.
Here’s the thing, it’s not so much the distant lands that I love (although those are nice) it’s really the experience of being a visitor somewhere new. And really, isn’t everything new when it’s not your own?
This holiday weekend we are in Maryland. Our hotel is about 20 minutes from where I grew up and then lived for nearly 35 years. I had dinner last night at a restaurant about 2 miles from my childhood home. Clearly, I am located somewhere neither far nor exotic.
However, my kids are ecstatic about everything from the hotel soap to sleeping on pillows on the floor like it’s a luxury, and I am right on board with them. We wandered the (fake) cobblestone streets of the planned neighborhood today to find a place to eat and see a movie. Then we wandered those same streets, in the snow, for cupcakes at a cute little bakery.
So what if the cobblestones were only 15 years old? (That’s old around here!) Who cares if the cupcake bakery looked vaguely like any of the four in our own town? It’s new to us and it was easy to pretend we were somewhere far, far away. We are having a ball. The kids and I are totally relaxed because what else is there to do?
Sometimes, I catch myself day-dreaming about when I can take them on a “real” trip someday. They’re great travelers so I imagine flights to Europe and dinner in South America with all of them and it seems like something we all want to do. But for now, this, what we’re doing today is pretty great on it’s own.
It may not be Italy or Spain, but we’re traveling and laughing and loving, and that is all I ever wanted anyway. **
Follow Up: As I was working on polishing this up and adding pictures, my kids starting diving off the side of the couch onto one another WWE style. See what happens when I write about how good my kids are? Jinxed every time.
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