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To wander, or not to wander…

11 Nov

I am 31 years old. At some point in my development, I decided I wanted to see the world. I had seen a few U.S. states, and a little of British Columbia, but I fancied the idea of being a jet-setter. Life meandered along…

I developed this passion a little more when I stumbled upon a minor career as a travel agent. I had hoped to enjoy some of those “fam trip” perks (short for familiarization, where the vendors sponsor agents for “working vacations” so they can return to sell the product with first-hand knowledge), but, alas, I never did. I later opted for a college education, and after that, I finally set out on my first real travel adventure in the winter of 2004.

It was just a solo, four-night trip to Key West, FL – from my dreary December home in Seattle, WA – with flights in and out of Miami, and an amazing road trip along all the keys. Shortly after that, I got my first apartment – a cute studio downtown. Although I already had intentions for upcoming travels, I collected the usual furnishings, only to later decide to ditch most of them and embrace my no-strings position.

In the autumn of 2005, I set out for Europe with a friend, some savings, some gracious inheritance, and a no-plan plan. My friend journeyed with me for a month before opting to return home, and I continued lazily and gratefully exploring for another two months. (I take particular pride in the fact that I did this despite losing my backpack to theft on day 5.) After that incredible voyage, I basically lived out of my car for a while, couch surfing between family and friends.

Then, I enjoyed a three-week solo excursion to Costa Rica in the spring of 2006, which was the first trip to an actual destination on my wishlist. That time, I even brought an extra suitcase full of living essentials, just in case I managed to stumble upon a means to stay indefinitely; I did not find such means.

In the years to follow, I made a couple western-states road trips, a failed move to Colorado that lasted a brief three months, two visits to a friend living on the Big Island of Hawaii (those were fun tropical expeditions), a longer-term one-and-a-half year move to Los Angels, CA (where I had my second apartment, shared with a friend), a first-time visit to New York, and a few visits to family in Colorado.

When I returned to Seattle in the summer of 2008, with the hopes of re-grounding and refocusing on new horizons, I resided with my father to help him out with some projects. That turned into a year-and-a-half endeavor which happened to provide a fair deal of personal growth opportunities. Then I moved into my third apartment with another friend at the end of 2009. This was when I finally started allowing myself to collect a few things that would not fit in my car or be easily discarded. Another year and a half later, my boyfriend and I moved into our current Seattle home in the late spring of 2011. I feel so domesticated…

I have held a dream now, for about three years or so, of running my own hostel somewhere tropical. One reason for this idea involves my love of traveling by hostel; another involves the realization that I may not be able to afford the amount of traveling I truly desire, and the thought that I might enjoy living vicariously through the other travelers by whom I would be constantly surrounded.

In addition to a love of travel, I have nurtured a life-long interest in animals (zoology, biology, and animal behavior). I sort of fell through the back door into a career honoring this predilection. I currently hold a job in the field of pet dog care, and I’m working towards an accreditation in pet dog training. Last year, I finally achieved a long-time goal of having a pet dog of my own. She has been a great source of affection, challenge, and reward.

As it stands at present, I feel I am in a bit of a dilemma. It seems as though I need to make a choice between letting my roots grow down, and keeping them packed up a bit longer to finish my current mission and then set out again for new adventures. I am inspired by those who live somewhat nomadic lives, and even those who make travel a regular part of their lives, but I also see the benefit of establishing a solid home-base from which to sprout forth. My problem is that I’ve spent so much time committing to neither lifestyle, that I’m in no position to embrace either. Although I have relatively little stress in my life, my financial situation is insufficient to support much excitement.

I believe that this sense of duality is an illusion, but a very convincing one, nonetheless. I believe that there must be a way for me to incorporate adventure into my life, and that – perhaps if I can truly utilize the “be-do-have” model of living – there is a means by which I can achieve all of my dreams, without having to make unreasonable sacrifices, and that it will likely involve some faith and a very open mind…

In the meantime, I do my best to make adventure where I find it.

 

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Posted by on 11/11/2011 in Musings

 

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