“You’re off to your island today,” my mom says to me in the taxi on the way to the airport. I’m bound for Lanzarote and they are heading home to Detroit after two weeks in Spain with me. “Yes,” I reply hearing the sadness in her tone. “Just think, though. You will only have to do what you’ve done two more times as my trip is a third of the way over already.” She holds my hand and replies in a small voice, “But it’s a lot longer to me.” I feel a little twinge in my heart. I know how she feels. The person who waits and is at home feels the absence more than the one traveling everyday and experiencing new things constantly.
I have been traveling four months now and while it still feels new, soon it will be over in a blink. Just like life. That certainty is the reason I am on this journey. That feeling I’ve had, maybe more so than others, that soon it will all be over and will the ride have been worth it? I’ve always had a fear of dying ever since I was a young child. In my teens I would work myself into panic attacks at night thinking of death, the unknown. Will I live on in some other form or just cease to exist? As I grew older, I started hearing myself say a list of somedays, “Someday I’ll learn to play the guitar, or someday I’ll learn to paint. Someday I’ll travel the world.” I started listening to that voice more and more over the years. I bought that guitar, I painted that painting and now miraculously I’m traveling around the world. It’s amazing what happens when you start saying yes and believing yourself. Once you make the leap, you feel the world of possibility open up to you. I remember after hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, I felt like I could do anything. Now that I’m traveling the world alone, I feel even more opportunities await me. For the longest time I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. Now I do. There is no other job holding me back. All I have is my passion driving me now. I live more in the moment these days and it’s a great thing. Yesterday I went through my folders of photos and looked back on my experiences so far. What can fit in a blink? Spain, Scotland, Italy, England, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro have graced my camera so far. I thought I would post more on my blog, but time slips away when you have a new world outside of your window. It calls to me and says your photos and words can wait. Live now!
Traveling full time is harder than I thought it would be and also easier too. I’m constantly riding the wave of life. Ups and downs fill my world. I’ve made some quality friends, but also felt the sting of loneliness often. I’ve learned to be kind and love myself more than ever. After all, I’m the one treating myself to a trip around the world. That’s a pretty amazing gift to give!
Thank you to all those who have supported me so far. Every comment on the blog, like on Facebook and Instagram, email, phone call or kind word has pushed me ahead when I started to fumble. Just when I think that no one is listening, a new person will find my website and share something about themselves and give words of encouragement. I’m really grateful to every one of you.
So before our blinks get too long and we are all dust, I am off on the road for 8 more months. I’m entering unplanned territory with ideas of southeast Asia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, and some of the western United States on my wish list. I hope to finish my trip with a long train trip back home across my own vast country. I can’t wait to see what my path has in store for me and I hope you enjoy the ride.