I was born to travel. So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 53 countries, visit 5 continents, live in Europe for 25 years, and meet fascinating people from countless cultures. Packing my bags, staying in hotels, eating foreign foods, and going on adventures has been a constant part of my life…until now.
I’ve gone through some fairly big life changes in the past couple of years, so I’m not packing my bags as often as I used to…and that’s tough for someone who wears their passport on their sleeve.
Driving to Italy for the weekend, having lunch in Austria, and visiting the German market everyday is no longer an option. And, of course, it’s changed my life. As many travel writers allude to, depression and loneliness descended upon me as I attempted to redefine adventure…and myself…while living in America. (I know, I know—America has its own wonders and I’m working on adjusting to that.)
I had actually almost forgotten the joy I derived from my journeys—while I certainly missed it, I had “accepted my fate” and settled into my life of work, exercise, and friends…
…until I picked up a travel writing piece about eight months after I’d left Europe. Just a few words in, I was immediately reminded of the quickening heart beat, the slight pause of breath, and the sense of wonder that comes from a journey into a foreign culture…and it came from reading a book.
Marlena De Blasi’s A Thousand Days in Venice transported me. Even though it’s not my favorite book (review will be posted on 6 August), she captured a sense of Venice (a magical city I’ve visited many times) that I was missing…even though I didn’t even realize it. The interweaving of Italian words and phrases, the description of the train station that I could picture clearly, and the narrative of an American in Italy, instantly reminded of the excitement, joy, and sense of self-discovery that travel brought to my life.
I realized that although my budget and other obligations didn’t allow me to hop in my car or board a plane every weekend, I could still go on an adventure—and I didn’t have to wait until the weekend, pack a bag, or spend any money. Every time I picked up a piece of travel writing or watched a movie that transported me, I could find the adventure I was craving.
I’d found a new way to travel…so I created an Amazon wishlist, added to my Netflix instant queue, and began this website, because I was pretty sure that there were others who were searching for something similar. I’d found a cheap accessible way to wear my passport on my sleeve and I couldn’t wait to share it with others.
**Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.**