Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why I'm the Wanderer

“Have you ever had that feeling—that you’d like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?” -Haruki Murakami

I want to travel the world. I haven't yet because money is always an issue, especially for a poor college student like me. But if there's one thing I'm certain about it's that I will travel.

Sometimes I question my vehemence on the issue, a bit of metacognition. I've never traveled before so I don't know if I'll like it much. I've never been to the places I've only dreamt of seeing in person so I don't know if they'll live up to my expectations. I'd be a frail young woman all on her own in a foreign country far from anyone who'd know or miss her so maybe it wouldn't be the safest thing for me to do. Plus I'm horrible with exercise and at being without my large closet full of clothes and capitalistic comforts so maybe the mobile life on the road and living out of a suitcase isn't one for me. 

Yet still, without a doubt, I know with a certainty that I want to travel. The complexities of this fact are fascinating when considering that this expedition of mine would not be one of luxury or without its costs. While coming from a lower middle class home and money was tight growing up, I'm used to a certain level of comfort. I have never been denied anything I needed, or quite a few of my wants too (but I'm not one to ask for much. All I need in lieu of luxuries is an iPhone/access to the internet, cute clothes, and more books than can fill a library). But my point still stands that, from a logistical viewpoint, I should not desire as I do to pinch pennies, walk miles a day through foreign and potentially unsafe streets, and live off of five outfits for four months. 

But, oh, how I do. My soul aches at the thought of new vistas every morning, different languages every week, fascinating and exciting adventures found in what's mundane to the locals but intriguing to me. I want and sometimes I'm filled with such wanderlust that it's hard to bare. I'm not being dramatic or exaggerating my emotions or building it up to be a sensational event in my life. For me, it is my dream to escape into another culture, another world, one so different from anything I've experienced that I'll be changed forever by that contact. 

So again I wonder; why am I so passionately invested in traveling?

I've come up with a pet theory, which may or may not be true. Who knows? But I believe that in this moment of my life when I am so lost and I have absolutely know idea what I'm going to be doing in just two years from now, let alone five or ten, where my indecisiveness and anxiety over my future keeps me up at night- traveling is the one certainty in this haze and mess of confusion. I sit here at college with no major, no boyfriend (I've never even been on a date), no strong friendships (they're fleeting things, like mayflies that live for three months while you have a class with that person and then drift apart when you don't), and all my family is thousands of miles away. 

I'm directionless, wandering through life and hoping to one day look down and find a path under my feet. 

Maybe that's the best part about traveling though. It's in the name even- you're journeying, from one place to another, almost like drifting through the world. But you have one hell of a view. The emptiness is filled with new sights, the confusion and bewilderment replaced by the excitement of exploring the unfamiliar. At least, that's what I hope it's like. And in a life where you're drowning in the nothingness and have no direction at all, it's nice to cling to your one and only certainty for the future, shining brightly in the gloom. Right now I can only gaze at the stars, earthbound as I am. But one day, when I have the resources available and the time is right, I'll reach out and just maybe... I'll find something magical.

When I finally make it to Europe, I'll be sure to write all about it. 

Cheers, lots of love,
The Wanderer

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