The last time I traveled, really traveled, the kind of travel where you look at your departure date on your calendar with Mr. January posing coyly amongst snowflakes and have to switch all the way to Mr. March (sorry Mr. February, you know I love you too) in his springtime garb in order to find your return date was a long time ago.
Growing up, I was a lucky little toehead and travel was a normal part of my life. My Grandma Gam took me to Ireland, I vacationed with friends in Hawaii, every year my Mom and I went to Mexico for a week to beat the Winter blues and in between I found myself exploring the sweet states of our country. Like I said, I was a lucky little beast. I ate up travel with as much gusto as I ate up my daily pancakes. I loved seeing new sights, smelling new smells, meeting new people and (obviously) tasting new foods. Travel, to me, was glorious.
It was also the norm.
So, when I flew the coop at 17 all the way to our Nation’s capital, I thought it would simply continue.
It turns out, travel is expensive and colleges, unlike high schools, look down upon a 10-day Mexican hurrah mid-Spring Semester. Who knew?
I had an inkling, but it quickly became a solid reality. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate travel or money, I had worked almost full-time since the age of 14 but I hadn’t booked and paid for my own travel until then.
Jules, are you coming home for Turkey day?
Maybe, if I can afford it.
Travel had changed.
And so, suddenly, here I am in my 30’s and it’s been almost ten years since I’ve traveled, really traveled, skipping Calendar Boys style traveling. It felt like it was yesterday but suddenly, a decade has slipped past.
Well, hello Mr. March, here we come because…
In the past two and a half years, I have settled.
Not in the “I guess he’s good enough way” (see last week’s post if you’re worried, he’s full stack of pancakes amazing). No, in the “Oh sweet heavens, I uprooted my entire life, changed residencies, changed professions and fell deeply in love soon to be married” kind of way. You know, life. So, after that upheaval, the Scorpio in me needed to nestle down and settle.
One day last year, it was like a timer had gone off. The bachelor pad was suddenly a home. We’d built it together. We even had a living room rug and a couch with throw pillows to boot. The table had a tablecloth and the house glittered with fresh flowers in vases. Vases, people!
Any more domesticity and we’d never leave again. The travel bell had gone off.
Now, we answer it’s call.
The Chief and The Scribe are taking off.
For the next 6-weeks, we will be navigating the sunny south in search of…everything. It will be the first time The Chief and I have traveled together outside the States and the first time I’ve traveled (really traveled) in ten years since my seriously unexpected Italian escapade.
And let me tell you…things have changed.
Me packing 10 years ago, day of departure: I have 25 pairs of underwear, tanning oil and a bathing suit. Done!
My Mom, watching me pack 10 years ago, day of departure: Please, please tell me you at least have your passport.
My Mom: all of her nails are now bitten off (not really, she would never bite her nails, but you get the point).
Me: Oh yeah, here it is. Not even expired!
The Chief & I packing 10 years later:
Me: Ok, I’ve called in all of our prescriptions for refills for the next 90 days because you never know and I’ve spent the last 6 hours researching how to do this on the cheap.
The Chief: Perfect. I’ve set-up our immunization appointments and put together a med kit (unveils med kit the size of a small child).
Things have changed. My toiletries 10 years ago consisted of a bar of soap and lotion. Now, that lotion has delineations: Night Cream, Day Cream, Body Lotion, After-Sun Lotion…the list goes on.
We could rough it again, travel on the fly like the times of our 20’s past but there’s something about the 30’s that makes you say…no, gracias.
Let’s just put it this way: I love me some Earl Grey (have you seen the double bergamot edition? Be still my heart) tea and you better believe I’m packing a two month supply, right next to my daily multiple vitamins.
I don’t think I even took monthly vitamins at twenty-something and I certainly didn’t know my coffee or tea order (London fog, anyone? Try it.)
And so we embark, a little older than the last time we both traveled, maybe a little wiser but equally, completely excited.
And you, sweet reader, are invited.
Let’s dip our toes in some sand, shall we? It’s been far too long.
Cheers to the 20’s, the 30’s, the 40’s the 50’s the 50’s, the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s and 100’s and beyond. Cheers to knowing ourselves better as each year passes, to settling and to finding the new within and wherever we may go.
// Lovely readers: have you been to Ecuador? What should we not miss? Please, do tell and leave a comment below. //