Wanderlust, The Travel Bug

Call it what you will–restlessness, wanderlust, the travel bug, I think I have it. I have yet to unpack my suitcases, which sit in the corner of my room, reminding me that I have not been back long, but that I cannot just pick up and go again right now. Somehow, a year ago or two ago, I got thirsty for experience. I want to see the world in all its natural beauty, to meet people and hear their stories. I want to capture it with a camera and in my own words, yet I am always aware that I’m grasping for second best in my attempts to push pause on the views that I’ve witnessed and on the conversations I’ve participated in.

Wanderlust is the reason I read books like Eat, Pray, Love, and, Only Pack What You Can Carry. It’s why I have this dream about getting on a train headed east, for a new spin on the old idea of Manifest Destiny. This is why I have maps of the United States and the world up in my room, with pins spotting them like chicken pox, pointing to all of the places I’ve been, and all of the places I’d love to go. I realize that I cannot actually do this; to drop all that I have, pack one suitcase, and go, but it sounds wonderful to me.

Travel can be intense, it’s tiring, and it seems to require bountiful amounts of time and money, neither of which are in great supply for many 20-something year olds. Along with my dreams of travel are visions of a job in photojournalism, but this too feels too intangible to grasp from a chilly bedroom in Western Washington. For now, I’ll stay put in this little corner of the country, taking pictures and marveling at the world around me, while I nurse my hopes and visions of something more. Maybe in a few years I’ll get that opportunity to travel around, but for now, it is time to unpack my bags, to take down the Christmas tree, and to focus on my work here, loving the kids, and serving the community.