4 September 2018
I love travel.
But I often ask myself, as I sit on a plane, in a waiting area, in transit: is it because I escape what I have or enjoy what is new? Why do I insist on doing this?
I have no real answers.
I know my views and expectations of travel have changed over the past 46 years. I am less driven about “seeing it all” than just being there. I reflect that my first European adventure in 1972 was a grand tour of the major cities of Europe with the plans to return to those places I loved.
Little did I expect I would love them all.
And I have returned, again and again; and traveled to other continents and countries.
What has changed is me. I am older and slower, wiser and even more driven. I recognize there are only so many trips left in my life.
But those trips are going to be in style, in the front of the cabin, in the lounges, with the champagne. I’ve earned it.
I look forward to “being here,” having a drink or coffee in the type of atmosphere and culture that doesn’t exist at home. Not that it is so much better than so much different. I see how others live, others enjoy coffee and breathing the air of their city. I hunger for that. So, perhaps it is escape.
Because I can.
Too many women of my generation lived restricted lives with too few options. I wasn’t expected to work for a living, purchase a home, travel, or be independent. Expectations of others were anathema to me. I remember in eighth grade, my best friend (yes Judie, this was you) saying to me after I chose a college prep program rather than home economics or a secretarial path, “why do you have to be different?” I remember thinking, “why not, it sounds right for me, what’s it to you?” Today, I would say something closer to “Fuck you, it’s my life.”
I see my niece, in college, in the throes of the travel bug. I wonder what she will do with this. How exciting it can be for her, unrestricted, fewer cultural expectations because she is a woman, so many more opportunities.
Next trip, she should expect me to ask.