I have to apologize for something.
I feel like I haven’t been myself in a while. Allow me to explain….
When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time crossing state borders in the passenger’s seat of my parent’s vehicles. I would fall asleep in front of the glow of an illuminated dashboard and wake up to the radiance of a windshield sunrise, which was always seemingly more beautiful in a new state. I spent significant amounts of time at highway rest stops and countless moments asking “are we there yet?” At the time these journeys felt a lot like torture. Now when I look back, i’m so grateful for those experiences and I would do anything to have them back. Those were the moments I truly felt at home.
These days I travel when I can but I spend most of my days behind a desk, gazing at a large computer monitor. I work in an industry dominated by the top 1% of the world. The people who can afford to do anything and everything they could ever dream of. I’ve met a number of truly fascinating people over the years, but I also find my self-esteem slowly deteriorating at times. I am constantly comparing my life and my “things” to what they have. I look at their shiny expensive Mercedes-Benz and think about my Volkswagen Beetle that I struggle to afford the payments on. I hear about their recent extravagant vacations and wish I could be the one there, just so I can see the sunset in a new part of the world. I see their monstrous homes and I think about the fact that I am almost 30 years old and can’t seem to get out of my one bedroom apartment. It might sound silly to some, but the environment can be detrimental to a person if not handled with care.
Now don’t get me wrong – I have an amazing job. I’ve experienced things that most people my age never have – and never will. I was one of the few fortunate enough to have a stable career as soon as I graduated college. Some of my best friends are my co-workers. But sometimes I get lost in the search for myself while I’m comparing myself to these people who are basking in their luxuries. I’m becoming everything that I don’t believe in.
And then it hit me……..why the hell CAN’T I travel? Am I really going to let money destroy my happiness?
I have blamed my finances for my lack of travels way too often. I have become so immersed in a high-dollar culture that I almost forgot about the grass-roots methods. Besides, isn’t this how real journeys SHOULD be done? And that’s when I began thinking back to those windshield sunrises when I was a kid and how it felt to be in that moment. We rarely slept in hotels. Often we would sleep in our van or we would camp. We’d pull over at rest stops to grab a nap before the next leg of the trip. I’m not sure I really need it any other way!
I am now planning plenty of road trips this year, in fact, I’m hoping to go on my first one of the season in just a couple of weeks assuming that the weather holds up. My travels might be limited to weekends for a while, but I will go. I might be pitching a tent – but I will be there. Half of the fun is the drive – because it’s part of the experience. I’ve always known this, but somehow I lost track of it in the midst of finances, work, and everything else adulthood entails. While I may not have all the time in the world since I do have responsibilities these days, I am going to make the most of the time I do have available because I don’t do enough of that, and as we know, life is too short to be unhappy.
So I apologize to you for not being myself lately – and I promise to have many more travels to post about in the near future, because if there is anything I am truly passionate about its traveling and capturing those moments in my lens.
And now that I’m emerging from the haze……I know that is going to be a great year – I can feel it!