This has little to do with my travels and adventures, and more to do with…everything else.
I’m processing thoughts, because sometimes you just have to get it all out there and look at it as a whole piece instead of the shrapnel swirling around your brain.
I rounded the 6-month mark whilst in Thailand, and now that I’m on the downhill slope towards the end of my contract, I’ve begun wondering where I’ll end up next.
It’s like I’m graduating all over again. Ugh.
And as per usual, I change my mind about every 5 minutes.
[Some of] The Options
Australia work visas are really easy. Ridiculously so. The qualifications for U.S. citizens are a high school diploma and…I think that’s it. Oh, and money for a plane ticket.
Spain just lifted their requirements to possess an E.U. passport for employment–or something. And I’d love to stop saying, “Well, I studied Spanish for 5 years so…I can read it for the most part, and understand a little, and ask ‘Please pass the butter.'”
Germany is, well, Germany. A decent chunk of me is German, so learning German/living in Germany appeals to me for that reason.
France is GORGEOUS. And I’d love to learn French.
Basically, the world is mine to adventure through.
Oh, and the only man in Hollywood I’ve ever found attractive, Heath Ledger, was Australian. So there’s also that.
But here’s the thing…the thing. The thing is.
I’m in love. And I don’t know what to do about it. I think it’s all just tied into me being a bit of a dreamer, a lover of fairy tales, and someone who more often sees puppies and rainbows rather than the realities that make life a little more drab. Oops.
And the object of my love can’t move with me to Spain, or Portugal (just threw that in there–Portugal would be cool! Let me add that to my list…), or Germany, or New Zealand (did I not mention that before? *sigh*–see how scattered I am?), or anywhere else.
Because it’s a city. A city that isn’t amazingly special to everybody, and I can’t really say why it tugs so strongly at my heart.
But I have dreams. That’s how I roll. That’s how I get from one day to the next. I dream.
I can’t put my dreams into words–sorry. I’m not so good at explaining things. But basically, I want to build and create and develop and encourage and pursue and build build build. I want to build.
I want to build better lives for teen and single mothers, and their children.
And I want it to be in Pittsburgh.
Sometimes I wonder, if this city didn’t already hold so many people who I love so dearly, would it hold the same draw?
I’ve always been more of a people-person than a places-person.
I don’t know, and I don’t really care.
I almost didn’t come to South Korea. Because I’m the worst with commitment. Seriously. The worst EVER. There were so many times during the summer I was ridiculously close to just walking away from it all. The deeper I get into something, the more people get excited for me and push me towards my goal, the more I rebel. That’s not really new though–isn’t human nature to do the opposite of what we’re told? I’m not very original.
Anyways, with that being said, I really couldn’t tell you for sure where I’ll end up on the other side of six months.
Knowing me, it’ll be somewhere I’ve never even considered. August will come along and I’ll pack my bags for Copenhagen. Or Poland. Or Sacramento. Or not go anywhere at all, and just hole up in the SK.
But if I don’t talk to anybody about it, if I don’t ask anybody for advice, if I just put on my blinders and walk forward and do what I want to do and go where I want to go, then it’ll work out alright.
At the end of the day, life isn’t so much about the places you go. It’s about the people you go those places with.
I remember, in college, I had the opportunity to go to Greece for a semester. I eventually decided against it because of the place I was in in terms of ministry and relationships, I just felt I couldn’t leave.
And you know what? I bet Greece is beautiful. I bet I would have loved it. I bet I would have met lovely people.
But do I regret not going? Not one little bit. Because the relationships I stayed behind for are more valuable to me.
In my post-grad job at a cancer center, I read an article on women who live with breast cancer. One quote, which I’ll paraphrase, stuck with me:
“Most people, when you ask them what they would do if they found out they had six months to live, say they would travel the world. But when you’re in this situation, where you don’t know how much time you have left, all you want is to be surrounded by the people you love as much as possible.”
I think the biggest thing in all of this is, I have a deep-set fear of losing my freedom and independence, and of being “tied down.”
As international travel has the biggest aura of unbridled free movement possible, that’s the main draw of living internationally.
I recently finally broke free of feeling “held back.”
As Joanna pointed out, it’s not like moving home means you’re “stuck” and can’t go places.
The mountains of Colorado are a $300 plane ticket away, and an email to the aunt and uncle to ask for a place to stay.
My most recent dream is to road trip through Canada–because really, in the U.S., you grow up just seeing Canada as a non-country, a waste of space, and a fantasy world that just kind of floats between here and Alaska. But honestly people, it’s as sprawling as the U.S., and I’m sure has just as beautiful scenery. I’ve road-tripped the U.S., so might as well get more of North America under my belt!
Also, say I move home, and get restless again, well then, move again! Or just spend a few weeks climbing some mountains somewhere.
Life takes you places, and I need to stop being afraid of getting “stuck” somewhere.
One Last Thing
In Thailand, I realized if I had a month in that country, it wouldn’t be enough. Two months in New Zealand wouldn’t do it justice. Three months in Australia might begin to scratch the surface.
In terms of travel, nothing will ever be enough. The more I travel, the more I want to travel. It’s a bit insatiable. It’s like the more you stretch your stomach the more food you can fit in it. Or something.
Loving people is the same way for me. There are literally not enough people in my life to love as much as I want to. I know that sounds airy and out-there, but I warned you–I’m a dreamer. Part of the package.
And if there’s an appetite I want to spend my life trying to satisfy, it’s the latter.
So we’ll see where that takes me.