I don’t know where exactly my wanderlust came from. It could be having lived in Italy for my first few years of life as a result of my dad being stationed there with the US Navy. Likewise, it could be a result of my mom’s adventuresome personality which seems to have manifested itself in my own being. All I know is that I’ve been happily afflicted as far back as I can remember and that working on the boat has been the perfect antidote.
It’s a funny thing when you get a taste of travel. Call it being bitten by the ‘travel bug’ or simply an addiction; once you get a taste, it’s hard to stay put ever again. People always ask me when I’m going to be home next or when I’m going to finish traveling and honestly, I have no idea. When it comes to the world, I want to see everything and do everything. It’s become more than an addiction; it’s a necessity.
Even if/when I stop this traveling/nomadic lifestyle, I still see constant vacations and trips in my future (providing I live well enough within my means, thus allowing for it). Whether it be day trips or international jaunts, I don’t plan on stopping.
Occasionally I miss the simple pleasures of being at home but I know myself well enough to recognize my restless spirit. Sometimes my wanderlust feels like a curse; watching my friends back home settle into routines, get engaged, enjoy and bemoan their 9-5 lives simultaneously. In a strange way, I feel like I’m missing out.
But the things I’m “missing out” on will always be there waiting for me if I really want them.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll have incredible friends and family who understand why you’re always gone.
When I was younger, I always thought that I’d want to have kids in my mid-twenties as my parents were both significantly older when they had my brother and I. I think about the years ahead and occasionally stifle the fleeting thought that they might not be around for certain milestones if I continue to push them farther into the future (marriage, kids, etc.). Yet as my 25th birthday approaches in the next few weeks, I can’t imagine doing any of those things anytime soon (thank you E for continually being my living, breathing reminder of life after children). I guess I’m a lot like my parents and I am understanding more and more the paths they both took as I take a similar route.
I feel like I’m starting to lose track of my thoughts, but I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to be addicted to something, a life of travel really isn’t the worst option (at least not so far… knock on wood). There are always going to be things to miss out on, but the pros seem to outweigh the cons, and by letting go of socially accepted structure and the notion of what life should be like, you open the path for incredible adventures. Who knows, maybe in my thirties I’ll meet someone while volunteering in California and we’ll end up having a daughter who’ll be as curious about the world as I am, thus continuing the family tradition.
Or maybe not. We’ll see where life takes me.