“Time to open up a new chapter in life, and to explore a larger centre.” ~ Lillian Russell
2017 hadn’t even begun and already I was making plans with new, but incredibly dear friends to embark on some wanderlust adventures.
I was sitting in my favorite hometown coffee shop, sipping my maple latte with a friend 2016 had blessed me with. She had already visited me in New York and we had hung out when I came back to NoCo. We were already fast friends and kindred spirits. She had a maturity and a zest for life that not only made her fun to be around, but also made it so we had intelligent conversations. We also had a ton of things in common from being home schooled to taking alternative paths instead of the college route right out of high school, to similar interests and believes.
We were just shooting the wind catching up when she mentioned she wanted to travel to California. Immediately I began to feel my heart beat faster as my mind spun with ideas, and I began to tremble inwardly with excitement. Calm on the outside, I asked where she wanted to go.
When she said San Francisco, it was serendipity. Fireworks were going off in my head! Excitedly I told her about my aunt who lived there and how I wanted to go back. It had been six years since I last made the trek, at the time, with my sister. It had been our last trip together. I had fallen in love with San Francisco, had even contemplated moving there, Only hesitating because of the distance from my family. There was so much I still wanted to explore from the Redwood Forest (rest in peace tunnel tree and also the perfect example of why you shouldn’t procrastinate!) to Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, I had been itching to get back there.
While I had done a lot of traveling in 2016, it was also the year of failed non-connecting plans which had coincidentally included a possible trip to Cali. This year I had resigned myself with the fact I would probably be traveling alone. It wasn’t a bad thing. The prospect of traveling alone had actually made this introvert excited rather then trepidatious.
I had come to that bend where I could either sacrifice waiting around for friends to get their shizzle together, or to appease myself and my wanderlust soul. Maybe I had read Eat.Pray. Love. one to many times. Maybe it was because it has been a year of transition with friendships and relationships. But time waits for no one and I am only getting older as the days go by. The time to feed my wanderlust soul IS now.
That said, it is always more fun to travel with a buddy. Experiencing sites and food, with a friend and gathering their opinions, witnessing it through their eyes. Even being pushed to do something outside of your comfort zone because it is on their bucket list. Traveling with another wnaderluster can definitely be a fun adventure.
We left coffee with excitement and tentative plans. I couldn’t control myself and immediately texted my aunt who herself is a consummate wanderluster (wander where I get it from..Pun intended) to see if she would be around. Luck was on my side. She would be and what was more she invited us to stay! Yay!
My friend and I unbeknownst to the other, checked plane tickets and when we saw the prices our jaws dropped. They were so cheap! Immediately we texted each other and decided then and there to do it. Within 24 hours of broaching the subject, our tickets were signed, sealed, and printed.
It was incredibly refreshing to discuss travel plans with someone who was so decisive. It wasn’t “Well maybe.” Or “I would really like too but…” Or just someone who talks abut it for years and never does it. When she committed, it was a done deal with both of us on board full speed ahead.
Bay Area here we come!
Before I had even thought about traveling to San Fran, I had already decided to set in motion plans to travel (and hopefully work, though those visas are a beeeyatch!) abroad. Last year, I had begun to line up places to stay and I had discussed it with friends, but once again it hadn’t worked out. Noticing the gray in my hair and the wrinkles on my forehead, I was ready to embark on my own this year.
As a wise old friend once told me when I was thrown into fits of doubt before I moved to New York. “Even failing in New York is like succeeding everywhere else.” Those words have stayed with me. I have friends and relatives across Europe, this wanderluster is ready to be a nomad. At least for a little while! Whether it is France, Greece, the Coast of Italy or something closer to home like the Outer Banks, Charleston, Ocean beach, Chicago and Bar Harbor, get ready for this blonde ambition’s wanderlust thirst!
2017 is going to be the year of travel, so let the adventures begin! I don’t know where I will be a year from now, but I know it will be with a lot more frequent flier miles under my belt, lots of memories, and most importantly some new discoveries about myself!