There’s a framed poster wedged between my headboard and the wall in my room back in California. It’s a map of the United Kingdom. The frame was too long for the map, so beneath it, I put a little clipping of the definition of “wanderlust.”Wanderlust (n): a strong urge or desire to travel
I’ve always thought that those people with an Eat, Pray, Love-esque itch to see the world were the coolest people. Look at them, carpe-ing those diems under a new sky every week. In another misguided surge of peer pressure, I tried so hard to be them. I put that quote on my wall and I stared longingly at instagram photos of suitcases and airplanes. I moved to England. I will admit that I did gain some positive knowledge about myself through this all: Aside from the other academics-related changes, I am now much more of the notion that money is better spent on experiences than things. Which is great.
I wanted to be “that girl” who studied abroad in London, then moved there to work, then spent a few years in Australia or Germany or something, then divided her time between a flat in Soho and a little place in Tokyo or whatever. I still feel like I’m a disappointment for not being interested in living in London as a twenty-something. That’s where we’re supposed to go, man! We’re supposed to be those young jetsetters! Globe trotters! Wanderers! Gap year-taking backpackers with the vigor of life coursing through our veins!
But… what if I like California? What if I want to just settle somewhere for a while? What if I like being within a few hours’ drive of my immediate family? What if I like the sun and the coffee shops that know my order and the year-round flip flop wearers? I used to think that made me boring. Ordinary.
It’s not that I never got out of Turlock– judging from the skyline I see out of my kitchen window, I got the hell out of Turlock. But is it bad that I want to go back? (I mean, not all the way back to Turlock, just back to California.) I’ve proven that I’m independent. I’ve been fine. I’m going to be fine for the next month. I can’t wait to see Wales and the Netherlands and more of England.
It’s great to travel and I can’t wait to start travelling around the United States when I get back, but sometimes, it’s just nice to be “home.”
[Cut to Katherine, August 2012, complaining about how inferior California is and longing for the streets of London. I hope not. I just want to carpe the shit out of my diems wherever I am. Even, and especially, in California.]