I'm spoiled. This is how I know: I've been in the US since October of 2009 and this sort of annoys me. It is too long. I need to run away for a while. I tried twice, but it fell through and although I believe that was providential, it was disappointing. I feel as though I've been grounded. Now though, it. is. time. So yes, I'm spoiled - I know this. Many people never leave their home country - probably most never do. I've had the great privilege to see many amazing places and meet amazing people there. Spoiled. Yes. I appreciate it though - that counts for something right?
The thing about this privilege I've had is that it is addictive. I'm like a shark with a taste for blood (weird analogy, but stick with me here...). I've had a taste of somewhere new, different, exotic, fresh, fascinating and now I crave it. I long for my next "hit". (wait, switched from blood to drugs. Happy travel blog goes terribly weird...) Truly, it fuels me somehow. It provides perspective and knowledge and inspires creativity when you return to the every day. Unquenchable wanderlust is fiercely educational and I pay far less for travel than for student loans - far, far, far less. So, it is well worth it.While I treasure my education and have no regrets, I also know that I've learned far more, far more quickly by experiencing it than by reading or taking in a lecture. Experience clings to you and connects you with a place and what has happened there in a far deeper way than any book or classroom can pass along. Once you have tasted of something different, somewhere new, something exotic and fresh and fascinatingly different, you must have more. You crave it. It fuels you somehow.
So, it is my great delight to be headed - very soon - to break in my new passport (I sort of miss my old one. It's sad that it doesn't get to come along. It got to go everywhere else! Sorry old passport friend. I would have kept you forever, the State Department is so very strict though!). I think that just tonight it struck me how close my next trip is and it finally felt real. This time next week I'll take a bus to NYC and board a plane (oh how I love to fly! ) and head to a new adventure. I'm going with some friends to Ireland the week of Thanksgiving and I'm so looking forward to it!
I'm ready for some perspective, some girl time, some time where I don't check my email for hours and don't feel guilty about it. I won't carry my cell phone. I won't have to peel myself out of bed for work - only for new things I have never done before. And, although I have treasured my opportunities to study abroad and do some short-term missions, this is a sincere vacation. I will not be obligated to turn in assignments or complete tasks or whatever... I will be obligated to sleep in a cozy villa with down beds and gorgeous grounds. There will be no mosquito nets or excess hand sanitizing or traveling with text books. I'm selfishly delighting in the very idea of this, because my travel has nearly always revolved around school or mission or work or visiting family - don't get me wrong - these were wonderful trips and I count myself so blessed to have taken each of them. I hope to have those opportunities again - in fact, I'm sure it would be nearly impossible to stop me. Still, the idea of a vacation that is truly without any purpose but to take a break from the normal and enjoy a new corner of creation makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I almost feel guilty about it (pretty sure I can get over it though.).
I'm SO excited and so at a point in my life where I am 120% ready for a new adventure, new perspective, and a break from the normal so I can come back better for it again.
Wanderlust is a healthy addiction - like water or broccoli. That's what I'm choosing to believe anyway. You can't convince me otherwise!