Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wanderlust In Small Doses

Twists and turns have been pulling me away from my blogging, although travel is never far from my mind. As I try to make plans and save for my next vacation, I find myself wishing that I'd been more adventurous while I was in college or even after college when I didn't have so many responsibilities to manage. How much fun it might have been to take off and explore Europe for weeks, months, or even years at a time. Now I have to wait for the few times a year when I can venture away from my desk, my home, my work, my real life to immerse myself in a completely different place, even if it is for just a few days.

Over the past couple of weeks I've asked myself what stopped me from taking off after college for places unknown. When I reflect on that time I can remember that I was more concerned (worried)  with creating a stable life for myself especially after having lived a precariously unpredictable one for so many years. The thought of wandering around aimlessly without a sense of where I would lay my hat (or purse) next did not appeal to me at all. All I could think about then was having my own place with my own set of keys and maybe a coffee maker. I craved stability, coziness, and peace at that time more than stamps on a passport. Also, I'm pretty sure that I was scared of being anymore uncomfortable than I'd already been in my life. Back then I was proud that I moved three hours from my home to attend college in a town surrounded by corn fields. On the way to school I actually cried when I saw a post office that was only the size of a small house.

Floating back to the present, I'm happy that I did what was best for myself at the time.  Now when I come home I get the feeling I had hoped for when I was younger- warmth, peace, safety-happy to be home. So, I guess for now I will continue to feel grateful for my short travels and make plans to tap into my wanderlust when I retire. God, please let me some point.

The place where I now sit and have my coffee

Monday, March 11, 2013

Travel Interrupted: What To Do?

I'm a bit heartbroken. I had hoped to take another exciting trip abroad, but real life squelched my plans. Traveling is so fun and reinvigorating for me that I truly considered ignoring my responsibilities in favor of my heart's desire: to go back to Europe for an extended visit. It took me a couple of weeks and some quiet reflection to accept that it wouldn't be best for my long-term goals. Oh, what are the goals?  To travel more in the future. Yep, it always come back to my travels.

To satisfy my wander lust this year I've decided to explore the many neighborhoods and events in Chicago. As a native of the Windy City, I tend to take its' virtues for granted and constantly dream of Some Place Else when I'm looking for excitement. It's kind of weird that I do that because this city is home to Lollapalooza, the Ravinia Festival, and to many Olympian level chefs and culinary delights (Hello, "Girl and The Goat"). What can I say? I'm not known for being the sharpest knife in the drawer. As an apology to the city I will begin my jaunts in the spring (I need to let the mean winter hawk retreat) to see what the word is on the streets and to tell you where to beat a path to when you're here.

Can't afford a dream trip this year either, or don't have the vacation time to leave for an extended period? Well, join me in exploring your own city starting in the Spring. Once I get started, I'll starting asking people to holler back about what they uncovered in their own hometown and we can build own own travel book (oh gosh, we could be rich)! 

I'm excited to challenge myself to get out around the city. If you live in Chicago and have a great recommendation for me, then post it in the comments section or shoot me an email at I'll check it out.