A girl can dream. I have, ever since my mother found me at age four digging a deep hole in our backyard and asked me if I was digging to China.
“Yes, I am,” I answered, liking that idea.
This morning this is my list:
- Take a bicycle tour of the Friesland region of Holland
- Zip line in Costa Rica
- Sail the Dalmatian Coast
- Sing Karaoke in Tokyo
- Write overlooking the sea (any old sea will do, as long as it is warm)
- Go on a kayaking tour in the Galapagos Islands
- Stay in an igloo hotel room in Scandanavia
- Take a photography tour of Thailand
- Trace both my husband’s and my ancestors
- Go on an archeological trip to the Middle East
- Hike in New Zealand
Thankfully my desire to see and experience the world isn’t confined to the exotic. I’d sure be missing a lot. After all I live in Myrtle Beach, SC, a tourist destination which is about as “un” exotic as it gets. So I keep another list. This list isn’t specific . This one is of simple things I like about “traveling” and aren’t hard to find:
- Contrast and light. Especially the way bad weather here on the South Carolina coast makes the sky look like bruises and the seagrass glow golden and in the wind as if the hand of God is sweeping over it.
- Playing the license plate game, and getting excited over finding Wyoming all the way over here in South Carolina. (Did you know there were only 500,000 people living in Wyoming according to the last census?)
- Knowing the difference between the green, brown, and blue signs found along the Interstate Highway system.
- Collecting tourism brochures from rest stops and hotel lobbies and feeling as if I’m at a free bookstore
- Watching and talking to people behind the registers at convenience stores. I believe that people in this line of work are as true to themselves in public as anyone you will ever find
- Saying a silent prayer in honor of little highway crosses
- Setting up “camp” in my car, plane or bus seat with maps, books, drinks, snacks and journal
- Visiting small local grocery stores
- Hotel rooms
- Buying lottery tickets because I feel so lucky whenever I’m traveling somewhere
- Noting sudden and subtle differences when driving over state borders.
- Driving over big bridges and imagining their designers and how big their dreams must have been.
- Not having to pack for day trips, or even having to remember a map, and just grabbing my camera and BlackBerry
When I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray and Love I was jealous. One minute I wanted to tell the world all about it, and the next I wanted to chuck it in the Atlantic. Who was this woman who got to “search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia,” with a book assignment and was smart, educated and beautiful? What does it mean that I felt jealous?
Women are often taught that feelings of jealously are “bad.” I disagree.
These feelings were telling me something. It didn’t take me long to see that what I was feeling was more a mix of inadequacy, not being 25 or even 35 or even you fill in the blank anymore, and having missed out on something
Instead of projecting nothing but my own rear end, by bemoaning what I wanted to dub Elizabeth Gilbert’s sheer luck, book deal, whininess and pretension at cocktail parties, I’m answering with The Travel Belles.
No matter how many times life tries to convince us otherwise, I don’t believe certain people are chosen, brilliant, better or long-term lucky. And reinvention or wanting something more, new or different, doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful for the life you already have.
Without going too life coachy on you, I believe in people and love and a world where things are possible. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise they’re probably just jealous.
So where do you want to go today?
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