Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ungrounded wanderlust

     I leave in less than one week.  Even so, I find that I'm already severing my tethers to Boulder as a home, but with nowhere else to attach them, they are flapping freely in the future.  Whenever I've travelled in the past, and even when I studied abroad for six months, I was merely putting my life in Boulder on pause.  This is the first time in my life when I've been wholly leaving something behind and starting something new.  Boulder will always be my home in one way or another (23 years in one place will do that), but when I come back there will be little remaining of my old life.  So when the inevitable homesick travel blues set in, what will I be homesick for?  I suppose it'll be the ghost of my old life.  But there is usually some respite in homesickness, because there is the hope of having a home to return to, but in my case, even if I return home, I'll be nearly as ungrounded in Boulder as anywhere else.   By saying that my tethers are flapping freely in the future, that's what I mean.  I already feel as though a part of me has left.
     This all sounds tragic and woeful, and I guess it is, but that's only one side of the coin.  The idea of being completely untethered is also exciting as hell.  For the first time in my life, I have no obligations to be anywhere or do anything, other that catch my flight to Bangkok on October 15.  Like I said before, every time I've travelled in the past I've put my life in Boulder on hold, which also means that all my responsibilities in Boulder were looming over me--namely, school.  This is the first time I can strike off and not have a single thought in my mind about finishing such and such commitment or fulfilling this or that duty.  My mental burden will be as light as the physical burden strapped to my back.
     Now, one last thing.  I know traveling isn't some skeleton key to coffers of pure joy.  Traveling is just as hard as day-to-day living.  The pendulum of happiness and misery swings just as freely in other countries as in your own.  Just because you don't have to worry about work or school doesn't mean your times are free from worry.  Or even if they are, then they may be filled with boredom.  I know all of this... but I've forgotten it, so I have to relearn it.  I can regurgitate those lessons I've already learned, but I only know them as empty facts.  I've got wanderlust like never before, and until I satisfy it on a macro scale I won't be able settle contentedly anywhere.  I need to relearn that a change in environment doesn't mean a change in mental condition.  I need to travel the world to relearn that locations are irrelevant--a location is whatever you make of it.

1 comment:

  1. All my destinations will accept the one that's me, so I can breathe...
    -Eddie Vedder