Every few months, I get the travel bug.
I can’t help it. There’s an instinct inside me, buried deep inside, to learn everything I can about this world. To experience everything. To live and laugh and eat and drink and run and climb and be free. I want to walk the busy streets of Chennai, dodging rickshaws and buying Dosa from some auntie on the side of the road. I want to go swimming in a hidden cove on Cabo Verde that I hiked two hours to find. I want to drink tea with some village elder who doesn’t speak my language, in the middle of nowhere. I want to be dazzled by the lights of Akihabara on a cold Tokyo night.
It’s built into my DNA.
I’ve always sought independence; freedom. I hate rules. I hate routines. I hate doing the same thing over and over again, every single day. I hate standing still. This attitude is prevalent in my attitude towards politics, religion, and how I conduct my life on a day to day basis. Perhaps a bit more discipline would be beneficial to me; God knows I start enough tasks I don’t finish. But that’s who I am. I’m an idea guy. A dreamer. A visionary. The guy who loves creative problem solving. I’ve never been the details guy, the one bound by routine and regulation, finding solace in the predictable. I’m the guy who cherishes the beauty of the unknown.
Home will always be home. I love my family dearly. I love my friends. I swore I’d never say it in high school, but I even love small town Alabama. I love the south. I love the river, the little coffee shops in downtown Columbus, the backwoods paths in rural Alabama that city slickers don’t know about. I love the culture that I was raised in. I love my parents and my brother and the friends who are like brothers and everyone that’s been part of my life.
I’m still a dreamer.
And I’ve still got this curiosity that burns in my veins, whispering, “Sprint, run, into the unknown, with reckless abandon. See this world. Climb the mountain. This is why you’re alive.”
But I take solace in the fact that, no matter how long I may wander, no matter how far I may go, I always have a home to come back to. I always have people waiting to hear journeys of my travels. The light is always left on and the cozy fire is always burning. That’s why I know it’s okay to see the world; Home will still be waiting.
My life’s work will be balancing the two desires. Am I the wandering traveler, or the homebody who will lay down roots and be surrounded by the warm comforts of home? My answer? Why not both?