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
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” ~ Mark 16:5-7
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:24
When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. ~ Acts 13:29
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees.
One of the many truly amazing sights our family encountered while living in the Pacific Northwest was the dense, thick forests there.
Moving from the mostly plains of the Midwest to that area of the country, I remember well how awestruck I was the first time I saw the size of the massive trees there.
After stepping off the plane on my first trip to the Pacific Northwest for a house-hunting mission, I vividly recall marveling at the colossal Douglas fir trees we saw as Papa and I ventured around the area in search of our new home.
Once we moved there and settled in, we took our children on many excursions to explore our new domicile and again I marveled at the density of the forests.
As a native northeasterner, forests were nothing new to me. In my childhood, my family spent a lot of time in our modest “camp” near one of the national forest areas of our home state. So I’d seen thick forests. But not like the giants of the Pacific Northwest or the immense Redwoods of Northern California, which we also visited.
I wish now that I had taken the time to photograph those dense forests we visited, but after looking through all of my pictures taken with old-school film (long before digital cameras), I don’t have a shot that I feel does enough justice for this week’s photo challenge – dense.
So the more recent photo above (a stand of bamboo at a zoo last summer) will have to do, although it is nothing like the thickness of the Pacific Northwest forests. This picture does show density, but not like the almost impenetrable forests ensconced in my memory. Those trees simply take your breath away.
But it’s true you can’t really see the forest for the trees. The trees capture your attention in such a way that you might miss a less commanding sight right there in the forest.
Sometimes things are so dense that you just can’t see your way through, just like those thick, concentrated forests. And often I feel like I’m just as dense.
Like when I just can’t see a solution to a problem even when it’s staring me in the face. Is it really because I’m dumber than a box of rocks? Or is just a case of stubbornness? Not wanting to face the problem or the solution? Maybe even pride?
I’m not sure but I know one thing for certain. When I can’t see the forest for the trees, I need to stop looking at the trees, no matter how glorious they may seem. The answer may just be on the forest floor right in front of me.
“Pride works frequently under a dense mask, and will often assume the garb of humility.” ~ Adam Clarke (1760 or 1762-1832), British theologian and Biblical scholar
Killing two birds with one stone today on Wordless Wednesday and using words! Yikes! Linking up to this week’s photo challenge: It is easy being green.