||TANYA ENBERG, Chic Savvy Travels
The only thing worse than reading about the travels of others when you’re travel-starved is seeing albums filled with happy-day snapshots and scenes so spectacular, you question their existence.
Something happened on the way to consciousness today.Not sure if it’s the heat, the book I recently stuffed my imagination with (Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves), the travel mags I’ve been loading up on, or the fact that the world seems to be expanding while my own little corner sometimes feels like it’s shrinking, but I awoke this morning to a brain spinning with travel cravings.
My backpack seems to be crying out for adventure from its small spot in the back of the dusty basement closet. In fact, I think I can hear its little whimpers right this very second.
A lobster sandwich and the kitschy scene at the Porthole eatery in Portland, Maine. Photo Credit: Appetite Portland
The post-sleep thoughts came at me fast. They were scattered and mixed up, like tangled sweater sleeves and pant legs swishing around in the washing machine.
In one moment, I was imagining hiking the Inca Trail, the next picturing stacked lobster sandwiches in Portland, Maine. The strangest part about that is I don’t even eat lobster, but the mind will go where the mind will go.
Then my own Toronto neighbourhood zoomed into focus. The main street is peppered with Moroccan restaurants. I bike past them a few days a week and grow hungry for the day I see the Morocco that inspired them all. I imagine wandering around Marrakech in between stuffing myself with local eats.
Soon after experiencing these zippy frantic thoughts, a heavy sadness moves in.
I could spin my globe and travel wherever my finger lands but, not really.
While I try to live as lightly and unrestricted as possible, I haven’t successfully avoided some of the trappings of grown-up life. I own a house and have a dog — both of which I am exceptionally happy to have. I think about cash flow and the future differently now. It is not as carefree as it once seemed.
I have friends whose babies I have yet to meet, birthdays to attend and work to truck through. I have the “r” word to contest with. Responsibilities.
My friend Geneva (left) and I traveling in Greece. We've known each other since public school and have had tons of adventure and fun throughout the years.
But, equally important to that is the other “r” word. The one that matters on a level so much deeper — relationships. That is something else. I have a community now, neighbours I adore and a life filled with happy daily moments.
Whereas I once leapt at the chance to trot the globe, I now miss home every time I go. Sometimes, I’ve missed out on big life moments — baby showers, jack and jills, weddings.
Heck, if I stopped and thought about it, I’ve probably missed a funeral at some point in favour of jet-setting. And while I don’t believe we can be everything to everyone or put our own journeys on hold for every life moment that’s likely to happen in the lives of our friends and family (if we did that, we’d never go anywhere), I am now distinctly aware of my absence in these larger moments. It’s not just the backpacking vacation snapshot I want, but the bigger picture, too.
Once upon a time, my friends and I all traveled together. Flash forward to now, add in a mate (and in some cases a baby or two) and, instead of wandering off with girlfriends, they now take family vacations.
Sometimes I mourn the loss of the get-up-and-go girls my friends and I once were, when planning meant little more than buying a plane ticket and showing up or hopping in a car and hitting the open road. Then again, maybe it was never like that. That simple and easy.
Time tends to romanticize the past and cast it in pure untarnished light.
Hit the rewind button, and yes, I had to work to pay for travel, book time off from whatever random job I was holding down at the time, and plan out places to stay (OK, admittedly, I only did that sometimes).
But it was magic. So magical, in fact, that sometimes I wake up dreaming about the next time I get to arrive somewhere I’ve never before been — Tibet, Morocco, Peru or, for when I am on a really tight budget, the Moroccan eatery down the road I’ve been biking by and eyeballing for months now.
Copyright @ 2011 Chic Savvy Travels
Date Added: August 19, 2011 | Comments (0)
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