How Travel Messed Me Up

How has travel messed me up? I long for places I’ve been, and places I haven’t, all while longing for my parent’s front porch and bonfire patio.

Travel. It creates opportunity. Opportunity for mind’s expansion and upside down perspective all while staring at the open road going 85 legal mph down a Wyoming interstate. Opportunity to see 27 shooting stars and 24 million people. Opportunity to meet people over all continents, multiple countries, and a thousand stories. Opportunity to be alone in the busiest place in the world and surrounded in a town of 5,000. Opportunity to relish in the simple things and work hard for luxury. Travel has made me angry, teary-eyed, laugh uncontrollably in a matter of minutes. Because life is too short not to take opportunity. Travel isn’t buying a roundtrip ticket around the world, at the ground root level it’s taking a new way to work to meet new people or gain new perspective in the scenery around. Not to take opportunity perhaps is to lose insight on something that could significantly impact your world.

Written on a Delta napkin that started with: “spill your drink. or your thoughts. that’s what these are here for.” I write best with a pen and napkin. Travel. It’s messed me up. It’s made me become unpredictable in my head. Really anything goes. Event job in Aruba? Down. Teach in Morocco? Also down. Sell everything, do yoga, and open a cafe on the beach? Already there. And as I sit on my last flight of this long ass day, I kick myself for not booking earlier flights. Se la vie? Ugh. I watch people. One reads, another watches a sitcom, one pulls out a sketch book and draws her granddaughter’s laughing eyes- full of innocence, and yet another, diagonal from my vantage point mixes music. I think he is a DJ from San Diego, at least that’s what his poster on his computer reads. And I. Well. I write. and listen to music. And think. It’s therapeutic you know. My blog has suffered this year. I couldn’t write much after writing grad school papers. I want to do better. Better at not procrastinating my thoughts, but do something about them. Dear world (a quote I read the other day) feel free to send some awesome my way.

I sense it. Something will be different soon. It will happen, maybe not this month or year, but soon. Some don’t see it, but I’m a patient person when it comes to building. Building myself for something more. Something I haven’t pictured, or allowed myself to believe I could do. But it’s real, I can feel it. I am not the same person I was 4 years ago.

Travel messed me up. It really wasn’t supposed to go down like this. It was only supposed to be one year in Korea. It was only supposed to be four months of volunteering. It was supposed to be one more then grad school and China. I can’t stop now. Not yet. I’m just not ready. I was made for this you  know. To show people kindness. To represent what I stand for: my beliefs, my country, my spirit; to show people that it’s ok to go, to dream, to see. I did. You can. I will continue to do so. I just needed to find a stronger voice. One that is more acceptable, to accept change with more ease, to not care so much and place too much emphasis on other’s decisions because ultimately it’s not my life to live for me, but for His purpose.

Maybe the disagreement is too much and the relationship changes and I need to be ok with that. And I just pray they are ok with mine. Because judgements both past and present hurt both parties involved. Some relationships (this could mean friendships too!) are stronger now, others are weaker. Perhaps a break is needed to evaluate. To reconsider the importance of that person. Are they worth it, I always pray yes, but maybe they are not. Now I know what I value and crave in friendship- in relationships- is depth, details, and realness. These days those qualities are rare in anyone and hard to find.

Travel has messed me up. Meeting people and creating those rare and valuable connections with people all over the world, has me longing to meet more. The friends I know now are rare, if you have these rare people in your life, treasure them and hold them close.

Travel has messed me up in more ways then one…it’s dared me to become vulnerable and trusting, it’s given me a passion about life. It has shown me intricate beauty this world doesn’t know and in it’s tangible form it comes as the crystal oceans, the deep white sand, the sunrise and sunset, and the vibrant sound of waves and laughter.

Stay tuned for more in the upcoming weeks as I head back to Shanghai for Round 2.

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