For my consideration

These three things have been sitting on my brain.

→ ONE

 

→ TWO

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
– George Moore

→ THREE

The Curse of the Traveler

“The more places you see, the more things you see that appeal to you, but no one place has them all. In fact, each place has a smaller and smaller percentage of the things you love, the more things you see. It drives you, even subconsciously, to keep looking, for a place not that’s perfect (we all know there’s no Shangri-La), but just for a place that’s “just right for you.” But the curse is that the odds of finding “just right” get smaller, not larger, the more you experience. So you keep looking even more, but it always gets worse the more you see. This is Part A of the Curse.

Part B is relationships. The more you travel, the more numerous and profoundly varied the relationships you will have. But the more people you meet, the more diffused your time is with any of them. Since all these people can’t travel with you, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate long term relationships the more you travel. Yet you keep traveling, and keep meeting amazing people, so it feels fulfilling, but eventually, you miss them all, and many have all but forgotten who you are. And then you make up for it by staying put somewhere long enough to develop roots and cultivate stronger relationships, but these people will never know what you know or see what you’ve seen, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness, and you will want to tell your stories just a little bit more than they will want to hear them. The reason this is part of the Curse is that it gets worse the more you travel, yet travel seems to be a cure for a while.

None of this is to suggest that one should ever reduce travel. It’s just a warning to young Travelers, to expect, as part of the price, a rich life tinged with a bit of sadness and loneliness, and angst that’s like the same nostalgia everyone feels for special parts of their past, except multiplied by a thousand.”

5 comments

  1. Hi, Sweetheart,
    Finally, a moment to respond! The longer I am retired, the busier I become. As a fellow traveler, I think I understand what you have said about travel. Every year, Jerry and I have to choose among the dozens of places and countries we have come to love: all 50 states (only one-Hawaii- have we been to just once; most of them fall in the 10-15 X range) and 15+ countries (most of them more than once). And yes, it is enriching. Luckily, though, our financial and career constraints kept us from ever fooling ourselves. We knew we had to build our lives where chance/opportunity demanded. Our travels were never allowed to supersede those constraints. We spent many last vacation days miserable at the idea of going home. I have actually cried more than half way across Colorado and Kansas, cursing the travel gods that I was not wealthy enough, nor free enough to just keep going. Gradually, though, over the years, we were forced to realize that real life for us was to be found where we lived, not where we traveled. Trite as it seems, little Dorothy was quite right when she said, “There’s no place like home.” So, yes, we love travel, we love places all over three continents, we miss every beloved locale that didn’t make our travel list on a given summer;but the truth is you can’t keep looking for a place to call home because home is not a place to find’ it is a place you build over the years. It may not tick all the boxes, just as all the relationships that come your way in that home will not fill all your needs, but you take the best of what you can find in the choice you made, and say, as you so aptly noted, “There’s no place like Shangri-La.”

    All my love,
    Aunt Di.

    1. They say home is where the heart is. Right now my heart is able to be selfish and is easy to transport; once I fall in love and my heart is held by someone else, then that will be home.

      Most expats have trouble with the idea that they call multiple locations home, and I think military families probably feel the same way. The lucky ones have their loved ones with them and, therefore, are never far from home. Those of us powering through our travels solo have to find something else to tether us to a feeling of home. Otherwise, life gets unbearably lonely.

      It’s hard to balance the want for a foundation and roots with the wanderlust. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet someone who feels the same way and we can balance our lives together.

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