Monthly Archives: March 2010

Travel

The Travelholic

Probably not unlike many of you, I’m a child of the eighties and the nineties.  The year I was born, Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood actor, was president and we were in the middle of a cold war.  Within the next decade we were able to put an end to that war through diplomatic actions between the US and the former Soviet Union which at the time, was led by a rather chubby cartoon like world leader with a cute borscht soup stain on his head.  Our economy was even worse than it is now, with over 10% of the US population unemployed.  Michael Jackson released the best selling album of all time, and my personal favorite, Thriller.  I woke up on Saturday mornings to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons and Saved by the Bell.  And I grew up with Duck Hunt, parachute pants and Marty McFly.  Fast forward twenty eight years later and surprisingly, it’s still pretty much the same story, just different characters and some minor plot changes.

Our president is now Barack Obama who, although was not a former actor, became the world’s beacon for Hope and Change which with the help of the internet, catapulted him to a celebrity status that quite frankly, the world had never seen before, let alone in any presidential election.  This, of course, helped garner him the votes that ultimately made him the most powerful man in the world, the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.  However, regardless of how hopeful we were, our economy remains to be one of the worst that it has ever been since the Great Depression and unemployment is at a staggering rate of 9.7%.  And unfortunately, we’re still at war against terrorism as well as Communism, continually in disputes with, once again, their rather chubby cartoon like dictators.  Only this time, he wears Coke bottle glasses, eats kimchi and sings to a different tune of “Ronery…I’m so ronery…” while he’s harvesting his nuclear weapons.  Michael Jackson, the most talented entertainer of all time has died, leaving legions of fans and skeptics alike shocked and dismayed as he was just about to embark on his final world tour.  His death was ruled a homicide.  AC Slater no longer has jerry curls, or wears parachute pants for that matter, and is now known as Mario Lopez.  Duck hunt has been replaced by Farmville, Mafia Wars and Café World.  And the kids playing these games aren’t actually kids.  Rather, they are desk bound corporate professionals, stay at home moms and tech savvy senior citizens.  “And what happened to Marty McFly?”, you ask.  No longer does he cruise through time in his Delorean.  He is now a hero in his own right, crusading to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

One may ask, “How does any of this relate to travel?”  Well you see, to me travel has never been just about, well…travelling.  It has never just been about arriving at the next destination and getting another coveted stamp in my passport.  It was never about taking a ton of photographs so I could come back home and boast to all of my friends.  To me, travel has always been about the journey itself; a journey that is given to us every single day.  It starts from the moment we get up in the morning, until the moment our heads hit our pillows and we fall right back to sleep again at night.

Although this statement rings so deep and so true with me, it was a way of life that I was only living by during my travels.  When I wasn’t traveling and simply going about my all day everyday life, I was all but ignoring this school of thought.  Then finally, it hit me.  The past twenty eight years of my life had gone by so quickly; actually, too quickly.   And as much as I hate to admit it, the old adage proved to be true.  The more things change, the more things stay the same. And all these historical events and pop icons that I, like so many others, so identified myself with was just history repeating itself.  Literally speaking, it was his story. It wasn’t mine. I had so few that I started recycling stories and eventually they all began to sound all the same as everyone else’s anyway so I just stopped telling them all together.  It wasn’t because I never accomplished anything.  On the contrary, I actually accomplished a lot.  The problem was that I didn’t treat my very real, everyday, local life like an adventure.  I treated it like a chore.  Everything was just another thing that had to get done in my long list of things to do.  I was so concerned with getting to point B that I missed out on the actual process of getting there which is half the battle and half the fun.  This entire time I wasn’t paying attention, cherishing, appreciating or valuing my journey because I put so much weight on the actual arrival, whether it was graduating from college, making x amount of money, starting my own business, building a new relationship or being independant and living on my own.  I didn’t care how I got there.  I just wanted to get there.  And in so doing, the vast majority of my life just slipped right passed me.  Rather than truly experiencing my own experiences, I was just treating them as another task to check off my to do list.  And in so doing, the things that I ended up remembering and artificially identifying my life with were the things that actually happened in the lives of others.  Politics, fashion, pop culture.  In the end, they didn’t have anything, really, to do with me in terms of what I experienced in my life.

So this blog isn’t necessarily about travel, itself. Yes, you’ll get a recommendation and review here and there; maybe even an “editorial”.  But more so than anything else, this blog will document the little (and not so little) things that move me, here, there and everywhere.  So as to show anyone who cares to read this, that we don’t have to go far to discover new, exciting, exotic and amazing things that in so doing, help us discover who we are.  You can literally go down to the South American café down the street and get to know the owners.  Order something new and riveting and off the beaten path and let those experiences be the ones that really move you.  So no, this blog isn’t just about travel.  This blog is about a traveler.  A traveler who is more interested in the journey than she is about the destination, whatever that may be.  Because happiness isn’t a destination.  It’s a journey.  It is through the cobble stone laden streets, the coffee permeated cafes, the little ethnic nook grocery stores and the genuine weathered faces of friends and strangers that I get to see what I was always meant to see, that I get to become aware of things that my spirit already knows to be true and that I get to come that much closer to where I am ultimately suppose to be.

I am a traveler. I am a thrill seeker. I am a curious mind and a compassionate soul. I am an open heart and a hopeless romantic. I am a writer and a lover.  I am a citizen of the world whose life goal is to completely surrender myself to that which is true within me and beyond me; to see, feel, taste, smell and touch everything that my life has in store for me, whether it is down the street from my house or half way across the world.  I will be there.  Mind. Body. Soul. And Passport.