notebooks, purple pens, airplanes, and self-revelations in the mall

I’ve always been hugely intrigued [and envious] of people who have the ability to travel a lot.  You know, even the people who live dangerously and live in a van and sleep on random people’s couches to some degree.  Today’s bout of this reflection upon the actual art of travel was likely sparked by listening to my friend Eric’s album, Words & Sounds, which then led to looking at his photography from abroad – many of the places he’s travelled in his 28 years.

And it makes me want to get on a plane and go somewhere, anywhere, with a camera in my hand.  It probably doesn’t help that my friend jetted off to Florida for a Bahaman cruise yesterday, because I can simply hear the word ‘plane’ and I get jealous. 

I long for what’s outside of what I can see.

Two things I’ve noticed, is that I’m kind of meant to be in the air, and I’m kind of meant to be not at home.  Being stationary, being in a box of a city, only works for me for so long.

I was in the mall tonight and it just confuses me, actually.  I’ve never been good, exactly, at just shopping.  Except, maybe, when I’m not in my hometown.  I like it fine, but I suck at spending money on stuff like that.  It seems, actually, that I’m just a little challenged as to conducting myself like a “normal” person who blows spends money on dresses and shoes and does the bar and spends her time thinking about guys.  Maybe that’s why I don’t do pop music.  Of course I do those things, think about those things, but they’re not my life.

Is it a problem that I actually dream big?  Dream beyond this?  Dream beyond what I can see?  Because people don’t get that, they really don’t.  I guess it’s a weird concept that at nineteen I’d rather use the money I make or the money I am given to go places—that I save for things like plane tickets and hotel rooms and only really succumb to impatience when I’m not sure if I have travel partners doing the same, rather than sit around here and spend it on clothes and stuff that will last.

Because a trip lasts only in nonmaterial value—memories—as opposed to in material value.

Travel lasts in the acquisition of life experience.  Travel for me lasts in photographs and videos and journals and all the song lyrics I’ve scratched in spiral notebooks in backseats of cars and in airplanes and hotel rooms.  I would really like to just spend my life going places, exploring with a camera and a notebook and a laptop to compile all my thoughts on.  Anias Nin, who has written some of the greatest quotes I have ever come across, wrote “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living”.  That’s kind of how I feel about creativity. 

I can only grow so much through repeating what I’ve already done.  The regular, the normal, is no longer a challenge.  Not to say that there is not more of my hometown to explore, but that I need to start seeing it differently to explore it deeper.  I need to change my perspective to bring it back.

Someone had the bright idea to put me on six planes in five days when I was three and take me to Texas.  They started all this, this not wanting the stable [because if anything is unstable, it is a three year old on three planes in a day who is actually totally okay with it.  That was me].  I’m spoiled.  I’ve been privileged, blessed, to explore five provinces and eight states in my nineteen years.  I’ve been privileged to see a lot more of this continent than many of my peers.  Heck, I don’t even spend most summer weekends in the city, and mostly, that is a blessing.  I go stir-crazy.  Winter makes me stir-crazy so by the beginning of spring I’m so ready to go somewhere.  By the middle of September I’m ready to kick it at home.  By November, I’m once again dying to temporarily get outta my hometown.

Maybe I’m just at that point now, at the end of December, when the last place I went was nearly two months ago.  Two hours away at the youth retreat, even that was far enough away for me—somewhere new, experiencing something new, writing something new.  Longing to be gone is a vicious cycle I’ve grappled with since I was fourteen, and I feel it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

And I need to construct something creative with this longing, this desire.  I need to sit in an airport or on a plane with a big notebook and preferably, a handful of purple pens.  I need to see new things, need to live through a camera lens.

Starbucks would be a nice addition, too. 

I mean, I need some consistency if I’m going to dream about living on the road.  I can find enough consistency in Starbucks.


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