for the love of travel

Every new place I travel is my favorite. Berlin was my first major European city and despite being incredibly uncomfortable due to the snow and sub-zero temperatures, I was overwhelmed by its history.

Next came Italy. Italy!!! Rome was so beautiful I cried. Really. What must it be like to live in a city that looks this beautiful everywhere?

Please remind me to find a nice Italian man with a vintage Vespa and preferably a place in Rome or Siena, though I'm sure Florence, Venice, or really any place in Tuscany would be just as nice. Of course, to be absolutely certain, I should go see for myself at some point...

Thailand gave me the gift of kindness and a desire for inner peace, allowed me to discover tamarind chutney, and taught me how to make a mean pad thai and even better spring rolls. And sundresses! I bought more pretty sundresses than I should have, and I don't regret it for a second. Chiang Mai and Khao San Road will see me again someday.

With so many more places on my must see list, I considered canceling my upcoming trip to Berlin. I mean, why go back to someplace I've already been? But, the more I travel, the more I realize that it's not about the sights I see, as much as about the memories I collect. Berlin is about 8 hours away by bus, it's very affordable and I've found a really awesome hostel that even has group vegetarian dinners a few times a week. The time may come when I'm sitting back in the US wishing I could take a long weekend in Berlin. And so, I'm not going to overthink it. I'm gonna go with the flow on this one and hope I score some great flea market finds, meet some interesting people, and maybe perfect my falafel a teeny bit more! I think I've officially crossed over from tourist to traveler.

Somedays it's too much to think about what I gave up for these experiences. And other days, I know with absolute clarity that I'd still be restless, bitter, and unhappy. I wish I wasn't raised to fear the world and I wish I had taken the time to travel when I was in my 20's. Part of me wishes it was in me to be happy with a couple of kids, a husband, and a house. But there's no time like the present to give the past the smackdown it deserves and to accept myself. So caution goes to the wind and I go forward. To Berlin, to a cruise ship in the North and Norwegian Seas, to the life I'm building here, for now.

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