“I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world.”
– George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life
I want to shake the dust off my feet and see the world. I can’t seem to shake that wanderlust. If I were truly free, I would leave my desk at this very moment. I would go home, pack a bag, and head straight for LAX. Buy a one way ticket to anywhere. Well, not anywhere. Somewhere with adventure and romance and culture and history and high quality booze. Somewhere in Italy. Paris. Spain. Portugal. Thailand. Morocco. I want to be Penny Lane: on that plane to Morocco without a clue of when I’ll return.
This mad case of wanderlust has been growing for some time, and putting it off has only made it more severe. In college, my study abroad program to Paris was cancelled at the last minute, so I never got that experience I’d always looked forward to. I never went to spring break in Mexico. I didn’t visit friends overseas or anywhere outside of California. I’ve never really traveled anywhere without my family. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived a privileged life of travel. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen most of Europe with my family on multiple occasions – but it’s not really the same. There’s no real soul searching when you’re not “on your own” under the watchful eye of the parentals. It’s just not the same.
Maybe I sound like a whiny brat, but I’m dying for a real adventure.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Los Angeles and I love California – this is home. But, I’m longing to leave for a little while – whether that be a few weeks or a few months. I need to escape. I need to explore. I need to sunbathe topless in the south of France. I need to smoke weed in Amsterdam. I need to have some crazy Euro love affair. I need to be kissed underneath the Eiffel Tower. I need to drink whiskey in an Irish pub. I need to enjoy a coffee and cigarette on the Champs-Élysées. I need to ride an elephant in Thailand. A camel in Egypt.
A Brazilian in Brazil… I mean, what? I need to see more and do more and be more, somewhere else. Somewhere that isn’t here. Hell, I think even New York would hold me over for the time being. I just need to go.
I would. I would do all of those things. But I’m not free. I’m at a desk. At a job. Trying to do this adult thing and make money and be “responsible” or whatever the hell that means. I’m George Bailey and I want to see the world. Mostly, I’m terrified of becoming trapped in a life that feels more like surviving than living. I’m terrified of that more than anything.