I have a problem.
I suffer from wanderlust and it appears any treatment of the symptoms is rather short-lived. I am always looking for the next place to go, the next place to be.
Some years ago, Leah and I had been talking about a life change that would free us up to not only travel but to experience some of it more deeply.
About the same time, we found a tumor in my bladder. I was lucky to catch it early and it was successfully removed by a couple of surgeries, but it proved to be the tipping point. We decided, knowing tomorrow is never guaranteed, to move forward with our plan.
Leah was eligible for retirement from the public school system at the end of the next school year. That would give us one-and-a-half years to implement everything.
We decided to sell the house and buy a fifth-wheel recreational vehicle, giving us freedom to live where we wanted.
The plan was to get paid to travel by working seasonal or temporary jobs in different parts of the country, using our time there to explore that area.
It worked beautifully. As soon as Leah could get away from her school duties, we put our RV in storage and headed toward summer jobs at Yellowstone National Park. (We decided to stay in the dorm and eat in the employee dining room rather than take our RV, particularly since our 21-year-old pickup could no longer pull the trailer up mountains.)
So, we’ve lived and worked in Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and at an amusement park in western New York where we took the RV.
That should sate my desire to travel, right?
As gratifying and fun as each of these were, my wanderlust began to cause my feet to itch each summer before the time came to move on. What’s next?
In addition to our summer jobs, we’ve tacked on some nice touristy travels. We’ve been to all 50 states and our next trip, an Amazon cruise, will allow me to tag my seventh continent.
Next year, as I’ve mentioned here before, we’re returning to the same jobs as last summer. Before starting work, however, we plan to hike the Erie Canal, more than a month walking 360 miles along the historic waterway.
All of this should satisfy my wanderlust, right?
Alas, I caught myself the other day looking at some travel possibilities. And then some friends are exploring the possibility of opening a business in Thailand. Hey, we have former co-workers who live in Thailand. We’ll come visit you and maybe see some of them.
But my love of wandering is not limited to big plans. A few weeks ago, I found a need to hop in the car and drive to the beach. Last week, Leah and I drove to nearby Pflugerville – less than an hour – to take care of some business. Returning home, looking at the open road between Hutto and Taylor, I thought, “Can’t we just keep driving?”
Yes, like I said at the beginning, it’s a problem.
What? No, no, my desire isn’t the problem. My problem is, how can I continue to go everywhere I want?
Advice and monetary contributions are accepted.