Some have it, some don’t

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Train trip from Silverton to Durango, CO – 1979

Sometimes I wish I had a bit more wanderlust. As defined by my trusty bookshelf dictionary (yes, I’m a dinosaur; I actually use a real book consisting of paper pages), when you have wanderlust, you have a strong impulse to travel.

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” ~ Agnes Repplier

This week’s photo challenge theme – wanderlust – invites me to share a photo that represents travel to me.  I do have many photos from Papa’s and my travels, so it was hard to choose just one.  

But the photo above from a trip we took together early in our marriage called to me. Papa is fond of trains, and we’ve been on quite a few, but this one winding through Colorado mountains was special.

Traveling is an adventure and encountering new sights and experiences is something I relish, but I wouldn’t describe myself as having wanderlust.

Ironically, this topic has been on my mind because just yesterday morning, I ran into my last living first cousin at the grocery store.  He’s a bit older than me and has had some heart health issues in the last few years.  Since he was the nearest cousin in age to me and our families were very close, he has always been my favorite.

Cousin’s grown children and grandchildren live far away from our hometown like some of mine do.  And we talked about traveling to see them and how cross country trips can be tiring as we age.

Then he proclaimed his own dinosaur status and admitted he just doesn’t like to journey far from home any longer.  He always assumed that when he retired, he and his wife would do a lot of traveling. But other than one trip to our ancestral home in England, he hasn’t traveled abroad or even ventured to other areas of our country very much.  And he has no desire to do so. 

Wanderlust? He doesn’t possess it. He’s more than content to stay right here in our little neck of the woods with a few trips here and there to visit his family.

Perhaps the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I recall that my cousin’s father (my uncle and my father’s brother) never liked to trek far from home at all.  Matter of fact, my cousin and I shared a good laugh over a story about Uncle when he took his family to Canada for a visit.  The border guard asked him how long they were going to stay in that country and my nonplussed uncle replied quite seriously, “About 15 minutes.”

After we chuckled, my cousin told me the reason why uncle was without wanderlust.  He had served in World War II, yet never wanted to share much about his time in service. He did tell his family that he promised himself that if he made it out of the war in one piece and back home, he never wanted to leave again.

No wanderlust for my uncle. My dad was unlike him in that respect because Dad liked to travel away from home. He poured over his well-thumbed road atlas and enjoyed planning routes and sights to see along the way.  Mom was more of a homebody, but he did manage to convince her to take several cross country excursions with him.

I wonder what gives a person that sense of wanderlust? I enjoy taking journeys, but I wouldn’t classify myself as someone who has a strong impulse to travel. Papa likes trip-taking as well, but again I wouldn’t say he was bitten by the travel bug.

Now our daughter and son-in-law are birds of a different feather from us.  Wanderlust perfectly defines who they are. They live (and work) to travel! Daughter’s desire for adventure began with a high school trip to France. Then a three-week trek to Africa after she graduated from college.  Followed by short-term mission trips to Honduras, where she met her future husband.

From a honeymoon in Honduras to anniversary trips to Costa Rica and this year to Peru, those two are always on the go.  I’ve lost track of the places and countries they have visited. From climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to their next desire of visiting every high point in the United States, their bucket list is loaded with travel plans around the world.

I haven’t really composed a bucket list but I would like to visit every one of our 50 American states. So far, I count 33 under my belt and soon Papa and I plan to add three more to that list, which will make 36, so 14 to go.  

As far as travels outside of my country, my only claim to fame for that one is a couple trips to Canada.  If I could go anywhere in the world though, I’d choose my dream trip to the British Isles, especially the home of my forefathers in England, and another jaunt to Australia, where we could visit friends. Papa agrees but would add some other European countries to the list as well. And — gasp! – he’d like to venture on a cruise (this traveler nixes that one).

Whether we ever take those excursions remains to be seen. But I can always enjoy journeys to other spots in the world vicariously through my daughter’s wanderlust.

Maybe it will rub off on me.

“The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page.” ~ Thomas Fielding, Selected Proverbs of All Nations

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

 

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28 responses

  1. Like you, I enjoy visiting new places but I have no great desire to go very far or travel too often. Mostly now, I only go places I can reach by car in less than 4 hours. I’ve been across Canada – westward twice and eastward once, to several states in the U.S. (including Florida a dozen times when the boys were young), and several Caribbean islands (a couple as stop- offs on the only cruise I ever took – which was sponsored by Disney). By the time I turned 50, I’d had enough of crowded airports, long lineups at customs, too-tight seating on overheated airplanes, and eating restaurant food for a week. I’d still love to see parts of Europe and England (a castle tour, perhaps) but my husband is truly travel-averse these days so its doubtful I’ll enjoy the sites through anything but documentary television (and luckily for me, both my children live within an hour’s drive!)

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    • Maybe it’s an age thing? As I’ve gotten older, I truly do not enjoy flying and I used to love it. I’d rather go by car now because we can stop whenever we want and get out to stretch. And oh, I agree, restaurant food gets old fast, doesn’t it? You are blessed that your children live so close, Margo. I wish two of mine were a few hours closer.

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  2. I am a “homebody” too….but I like the idea of visiting every state. I did get to Europe and .Mexico for work tho. I hate travel because it is so tough just “getting there.” Your photo is great….there is still something g to be said for riding the rails.

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    • Yep, the ‘getting there’ part is the hardest. Once I’m there, I enjoy myself, but these joints of mine get awfully achy when I’m confined and immobile too long. Riding the rails is fun, but I’ve never gone on a really long trip by train. Recently, I saw a cross country train trip advertised and pretty inexpensive…BUT the thought of being cooped up on a train for days and days made my claustrophobia kick in just thinking about it. :-O

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  3. I’m one of the “donts” I have a wonderful time at home. Yes, I’ve traveled and enjoyed it- but happiest at home. I do want to see Mt Rushmore- but it may have to come to me! Thanks for your enjoyable post- chuckled about the 15 minutes in Canada

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  4. Well, I guess this is one area where we differ a bit, but I totally get your viewpoint, too. You had the opportunity to live in several different areas, and I have only ever lived right here in my hometown. I think that has definitely contributed to my own wanderlust, but I also come by it honestly from my father, mother and several other extended family members who always loved to travel. None of us ever traveled all that far away from home when I was growing up for the most part, but we most definitely traveled somewhere two or three times a year. Those are precious memories of family and fun to me, even today. I doubt I ever lost the desire to travel, probably rooted in those fond childhood memories. Enjoyed your post today! 😀

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    • I do think having lived in different areas of the country has influenced my comfort zone of staying near home. Not to say, I don’t enjoy the new sights to see on trips, but it’s the trip part that is weary to me sometimes. When we moved from the Pacific Northwest back here to our Eastern home state, we drove two cars with three kids the entire way across the country in less than a week, if I remember correctly, because we had to beat the moving trucks here. Oh, boy, that was one tiresome trip.

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  5. I have ridden Amtrak trains a few times. I really enjoy it. Your photo is so pretty! I would like to get out and see more, but our four cats keep us home. I was actually reading up, yesterday, on how to travel with cats. People do it, but with four it sounds like a daunting task…

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  6. Pingback: Wanderlust: Lhasa Tibet | What's (in) the picture?

  7. I love this photo & thank you for your post! Maybe there’s a different sort of inner-wonderlust-of-the-wise as we grow older: the matured kind that’s travelling a more inward journey. The kind that’s writing a blog reflecting on wonderlust and the years gone buy, the passage of time. Just a thought.. thank you for your blog.

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    • I think you’re on to something there. Some of my — ahem — more mature readers agree with me about not having the travel bug as we age. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read and comment. Be blessed.

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  8. Interesting post! Never thought of it like this actually. Maybe because I was always fascinated by other places and traveling.
    It has to do with curiosity and wanting to experience new places, interact with new people. And now that I think of it, yes, it is not a must. And definitely is not a perpetual feeling. But now and again I feel the need to see something new. And I must say that I am lucky to live in an era that this is possible and encouraged and dome by many, so it is possible and easily so.
    Thanks for sharing this new way of looking at the concept.

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    • That’s it exactly for me – travel is not a must. Seeing something new is a fun experience that I enjoy from time to time, but I’m not perpetually planning trips. So wanderlust? Not me, I guess. Thanks, Dacian, for stopping by and adding your thoughts. I appreciate every reader who takes the time to do so. Be blessed. And happy trails (happy traveling)!

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    • Even though it was almost 40 years ago when we took that trip, I still remember how beautiful it was especially because we took it in early autumn. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment too; always nice to find someone of like mind. Be blessed.

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  9. Maybe it’s the Gemini Twin in me, but I can see both sides of the coin. I can be quite the homebody, although that’s more caused by my own laziness and wanting to be in my own comfort zone. But then I’m also jealous of your daughter’s amazing sounding travels. I’m about to embark on a major 1 to 2 year move overseas to try and get the wanderlust out of my system and challenge myself. Daunting is an understatement!

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    • I’m one of those both sides of the coin type of people too. Sometimes it makes decisions difficult to make for me because I see both angles. Anyway, congrats to you for making the huge (and yes, daunting, I bet!) decision to move overseas! May you experience only the best in your journey. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and comment; I appreciate each reader who does so. Be blessed and keep on dancing on that jetty. 😉

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  10. People put so much pressure on “wanderlust”, but truthfully I think the people who are content with being at home are blessed. But it’s all relative I suppose. I’m still more of a wanderluster 🙂

    “Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you out to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

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