I am not a traveler.
My family of origin had enough trouble with day-to-day dysfunction. Adding travel to the mix would have made us implode, from the stress and the expense and the opportunity. We were not travelers.
But in the last two months, I have stood on the coast of the Atlantic, the shores of the Mississippi, and now, the coast of the Pacific.
The view from our room on the 19th floor in downtown San Francisco.
If you had told me a year ago that this would be happening, I would not have believed you. Indeed, I would have openly scoffed, complete with the rolling of eyes and the changing of subjects to something less fantastical, like the secret unicorn farm at Area 51 or free lunches.
I am not a traveler.
But In the last six months, I have been across the Atlantic to Europe and back, on airplanes, trains, trams, buses, taxis, and rental cars. I’ve done my cameo role in our nation’s security theatre and stamped my foot and my passport.
Before I met KK, I was not a traveler.
But in the last 15 years, I have been to Europe not once, but three times: to the Netherlands and Germany and Italy and France and England and Germany again. I have been up to Massachusetts and Alabamaand Virginia and Kentucky and North Carolina and South Carolina and Washington DC and down to Key West and now, out to San Francisco.
Before I met my Pals, I was not a traveler.
But a month ago, I rode to New Orleans, through the depths of the deep south and across Lake Ponchchartrain. I heard zydeco at the Rock’n’Bowl and strolled through the spectacle of Bourbon Street and blissed out at a midnight Galactic show. I breakfasted alone in the French Quarter at dawn and supped en masse at Commanders Palace after dark, and tried ALL the desserts.
I am not a traveler?
My restlessness has always been strong, but internal, existential. I appreciate the many songs about itchy feet and the siren songs of lost highways, but I’ve always been able to work myself into alien territory without having to get off the couch, much less out of state.
I might be a traveler.
Part of me still deeply resents the discomforts of travel, the inconveniences, the unyielding pressures of schedules and reservations and figuring out where the hell I am. But part of me appreciates the pleasure of figuring out where I am and being where I’m supposed to be, even if just for a bit.
I’m traveling. And I’m in good company.