I once told a magazine writer I’m certain I was born with the DNA of a gypsy. For my 8th grade graduation, I coveted a small leather suitcase – at that age I never went further than my best friend’s house 4 blocks away or maybe to my grandparent’s home that was only 15 miles away. My parents surprised me with a hard-sided, stitched blue suitcase, lined in silky pale blue satin; a small lock and a gold key on a narrow blue ribbon guaranteed the safety of my valuables! I treasured it for my overnight getaways.High school graduation yielded a trifecta prezzie: a full set of luggage, including a ladies leather travel cosmetic case. I didn’t have an itinerary, in my heart, I knew adventure lay beyond the very small town of Ojai where I spent my childhood.
The Avant-Garde artist and potter Beatrice Wood lived in Ojai; as a young girl, I was mesmerized by her stacks of shimmering wrist bangles, enormous ethnic silver necklaces and riotously decorated costumes –a mysterious bohemian gypsy – she truly represented uncharted territory – a different realm, somewhere far from the little burb of Ojai. Had I known she had spent time with Duchamp and lived in Paris, I might have worked up a petite bit of pluck and uttered a few words to her; but sometimes mystery is better than reality, don’t you sometimes find that to be true about people you meet?Travel creates a teaching environment, we learn, we are challenged; I find travel the absolute essential antidote to everyday routines. When I pack my suitcase, I am usually completely pre-occupied with all the tasks that must be accomplished before I can escape.The ever-growing list of must do prior to departure creates some stress; slowly each item is crossed off. Lock the gates and off to the airport. On arrival at the airport lounge, I let out a sigh of relief and let the pure sense of excitement wash over me.
My comfortable routines are banished and the anticipation of a new far off destination begins to sink in. Fresh vistas, foreign languages, interesting foods, curious customs, and people in indigenous dress – seeing places I’ve never seen before. A pleasing adventure of searching new locales for client travel, the pursuit never gets old.There are times certainly that the luxury of my soft little pillow is missed, the paradox of travel – the comfy reminders of home – while enjoying the adventure at hand. Certainly the brave seafaring explorers in tall masted ships, civilizations crossing boundless lands and seas to explore new countryside felt the tug of home. The spark of curiosity about uncharted territory overruled the dilemma experienced by all civilizations that left their comfort zones to search the world.
Travel means edging out of your habitat, traversing new pathways, being alive in an unknown place, a Journey. “To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.” ~Charles Horton CooleyFeed Your Soul…Where and When is Your Next Journey?