Eloquent people seem to travel lots. Or maybe travel breeds eloquence. What do you think?
I don’t travel much. Unless you count roundtrip drives to Mooresville, or the trips I’ll take to the mountains for Elise’s games. There’s my annual work trip to someplace tropical every winter. When you travel, you pick up stories, whether it’s in Madrid or Mooresville.
My friend Brittany tells stories of travel abroad and also to the junk yard in the blog Girl Interrupted, and its superb reading. The clarity of scenes she sets? Downright Hemmingwayesque in its delivery.
My friend Britta writes It’s a Britta Bottle. She undertook a life shift to teach in Thailand. Her stories began when she made the choice and influence her writing today. Her adventures inspired this post.
I envy the traveler. I appreciate being a traveler, when I can sustain the days with three pairs of shorts, a laptop, Star Wars socks and a small stack of V-neck T-shirts. The very mindset when I venture from home evokes in me just the right dose of wanderlust.
In wanderlust, there aren’t co-pays or solicitors or busted Polynesian dressing packets in your glove box.
Of markets, pizza joints and home teams
There’s no shoddy Internet or dishes to wash. There’s a hike to take and directions to ignore. There’s a local grocery store and pizza joints and a home team you know nothing about. The preset buttons on your car radio don’t mean a damn here.
I’ll be a traveler, though. Not a world traveler.
Mooresville. Swannanoa, Roanoke, Augusta, Ga., places like Lakeland, High Point and Brevard. I’ll come to work early. I’ll work hard, extra hard. I’ll leave early and every pocket of my backpack will have just what I need there and I’ll know where to get it.
My GPS will take me to places I’m not from, and I won’t fit in. I won’t try to.
I’ll travel light. I’ll wear simple clothes and pack an incomplete set of UNO cards and a couple of stormtrooper figures. I’ll drive through places like Enochsville where I hope Gabi won’t break down. I’ll look for McDonald’s but hope for a pizza place I’ve never heard of.
I’ll roll down the windows and eat where there’s free Wi-Fi.
I’ll remember my sunscreen, and I’ll pull my Rockies cap down tight. I’ll stand on sidelines familiar as family and visit fields I’ve never seen before. I’ll see my oldest girl on her mountain campus and watch her younger sister grow with an incredible team.
I’ll make it to the sideline to see the youngest rip shots and create her legend, too.
I’ll lead a troupe of boys I know so little about but whom I can’t wait to see what we’re capable of.
I’ll write. I’ll write because this journey, with pain and hairpin turns and soft landings and uncertainty and the most certain feeling of all.
They come in moments of perfect meditation and a sense that being lost can’t possibly usurp an ounce of the tranquility that builds within me.
Lots of this isn’t going to make much sense to you. I feel like I am traveling, in town, out of it. In the structure I try to frame my day in and in the unexpected turns I readily accept. I’ve never felt so much like the visiting team and also the home team all at once.
I’ll log enough miles to capture a little of that eloquence I admire to write about it, too.