Now that my husband has submitted his resignation letter and as we prepare to sell our home the travel bug is calling my name and he/she is calling really LOUDLY!
I was an armed forces child so I have travelled some. We lived in Europe when I was very young and while there are terrific pictures I don't recall much of our time there. I moved schools a few times and learned to make friends as I was often "the new kid". Our 'vacations' at home always consisted of driving as far into the woods as the road would go, as long as there was a lake there, unpacking and camping until we ran out of food or out of holiday time. I married young and had children young and those very busy years seemed to fly by without much thought to vacationing, never mind travelling.
I have vacationed in some beautiful places, most recently in Costa Rica but I have never "travelled". Travelling to me means many maps with circles and notes on them, hours spent dreaming and planning (although the real planning generally falls to my husband) and discussions about where to go and when to make the most out of our journey. It means strapping on a backpack, learning to use facilities that don't necessarily "flush" and eating food that I'm not quite sure what it is. There must be a sense of adventure around it and of course, some challenges to overcome. My heart must speed up a few times at the beauty of people and places I have never experienced. The whole world is out there, including our own province and country and I can't wait to get started!
This little travel bug that sits on my shoulder calling my name has been further encouraged by some readings that I have been doing. The first, a book called Sihpromatum by Savannah Grace really taught me a thing or two about travel. If you have the pleasure of reading this book, keep in mind that Savannah's experiences are NOT the ones I am looking for. I'm not 14 and I'm not THAT adventurous. However, I do love how her family's travels shaped this young girl and her relationship with her family and changed the way she viewed both herself and the world. I think that as I get older I wonder more about the world I have never seen and the person I will become after getting a chance to see the way other people live.
The other article that I read was called, Date a Boy Who Travels. I loved this article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lena-desmond/date-a-boy-who-travels_b_3293815.html
I was most astounded by the feedback on this article.. Many, many volatile women (and men) responded with comments such as, Instead of dating a boy that travels, how about just being a girl that travels? Now, I've already admitted that I haven't travelled much but I have travelled enough (and alone a couple of times) to know that the journey is ALWAYS better when you have someone to share it with. I'm not saying you have to run out and find a boyfriend (wouldn't THAT get me in trouble?) but I am really looking forward to making more memories with my husband. I'm going to love it that we can look back on our adventures, our challenges, our favourite places and people and the parts of the journey that weren't so great and talk about them with each other. I like it that when I look down over the rolling hills of the Cotswolds on my bike that he will be there beside me looking down on the same hills.
I like it that when I'm sick or sore and tired or longing for home that he will be there to re-infuse me and remind me about what our adventure is all about. I like it that when we visit our old friend in Switzerland that they will have childhood memories to share with me as we see her part of the world through her eyes.
I like it that there will be give and take on this journey, as there has been throughout our whole life. I like it that he has already travelled to some of the places we plan on seeing and that he will have memories to share with me about those places but that we will also be seeing many things together for the first time. I like it that we will travel to the home of his grandparents in England, a time and place I have heard so many stories about. I like it that he's interested in the history and I'm interested in the people (and food!) I like it that the things we want to see and do are different and that we will both experience things we wouldn't have if we weren't with each other.
Our course travelling for us will also involve many, many conversations with those who have gone before us. Our kids have travelled extensively and have already been to places on our bucket list. While they don't want us to go for long they are excited that they may be able to visit us at one or more of our stops along the way. My niece is an expert traveller (again, not sure I want to travel the way she does) but her experiences will benefit us as well. Then we have the ultimate traveller, my sister-in-law and her husband. They are seasoned "travellers" and already taught me a thing or two about which clothes to bring, which medications to have on hand and how to pack efficiently for a longer journey on less travelled roads. Facebook has been a fantastic tool for keeping in touch with friends who have settled in other countries and who are more than willing to help us find suitable lodgings and point us to the places and experiences that only the locals would know.
As I look out the window on the mountains that surround me I know the time is coming soon where this place that has been our home for 35 years will no longer be home. It makes me more aware and more appreciative, knowing our time here is coming to an end. I'm okay with that. I'm ready for some adventure and I'm ready to see the world. I also know when our travels end that I will be happy to settle into a home that will be our home for the rest of our days. Not sure yet where that will be but that's another adventure for another day.