Tuesday, October 13, 2009
My husband says I have a “jet-fuel ass.” This eloquent description is supposed to depict my love of travel. And I have to admit that lately I have been dying to get out of the country. Well, maybe not dying, but the feeling has begun to gnaw at me and could escalate to such extremes if my need is not met.
Last week I met the passport-carrying dog Cowboy, but he is not what got me into travel mode. It’s just a desire I get every so often when I haven’t taken a trip in a while. I know my husband will read this and say, “But we just went to Laguna two months ago!” but that is not what I’m talking about. And yes, we will be going to Indiana/Kentucky/Tennessee for Thanksgiving, and to Disneyland in December, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. (A trip to visit family isn’t an actual journey, and Disneyland is, well, Disneyland.)
What I’m talking about is the need to connect with a world that is bigger than myself. To challenge myself by speaking other languages and getting out of my comfort zone. To step out of daily life and see that our way is not the norm, globally. To be anonymous and mysterious, away from myself.
I have a Bucket List, although I hate that term. I call mine a Life List, and it has nearly 100 entries, half of which are places I want to go. By the way, since listing my wishes on paper, many of them have actually happened, instead of remaining in my head as a “someday I’d like to…”
The top travel item on my Life List is to walk the length of the Thames Path. It’s the trail that starts in England at the source of the Thames and ends somewhere past London, meandering along the river as it gets wider and wider, ending at the Thames Barrier. How cool would it be to walk the leisurely path every day, stopping to explore castles or cathedrals or to have lunch in a riverside pub?
Other travel items on my list are to go to Thailand (to the beaches and inland), to visit my family’s origins in Ireland, to un-touristy Latvia and Estonia, on a safari in Africa, and to New Zealand. My domestic wish list includes Alaska, Key West, and a bike trip through Wine Country. Believe me, my list is endless. I constantly hear of new destinations and add and add.
In fact, I just thought of another item to put on my list. Someday I want to go to the airport, passport in hand, and pick a destination right then. Then I’ll frantically research the destination country during the flight and then step onto unplanned, spontaneous soil. How fun! Watch out husband, my travel bug is growing as I write!
So, I invite all of you out there to change your wish lists to To-Do lists. Make them things you plan to do rather than things you wish could happen. It will change your mindset about your dreams by changing them into something attainable.
And whenever I book that trip to walk the length of the Thames, I will extend an invitation to you all to meet me for a pint in that riverside pub. See you there!