Chapter 2: The Way Less Traveled By

Once Upon a Time I Could Hop on a Bus

Finals week is over, and you can almost hear the college kids’ collective sigh of relief rolling across the country.  Never mind that we probably spent more time putting off studying than getting down to it–I myself read through four novels for fun in the midst the most stressful week of the semester, despite the fact that I “never have time to read” at any other point in the school year.  But I somehow pounded out a few papers and sat through a few tests, all on the last tasteless dregs of my motivation, and here I am without any deadlines or reason to get up at a specific hour in the morning.  I should feel free without the weight of obligations and the niggling sensation of the more productive thing I could be doing, but I’m not.  Somehow, even with my responsibilities suspended for the moment, I feel more trapped than ever.

At this point in the semester in Costa Rica, I could take a bus to anywhere and within hours be on the beach with a group of friends I just met at the hostel.  I could climb a volcano spur of the moment or wander around San Jose with a cup of black coffee and no sense of direction.

The yearning for this kind of adventure held off for the last six months since I couldn’t really see past the paper deadlines and volleyball tournaments, but now that I’m done for a while and I don’t have obligations holding me back, it’s driving me nuts to sit in my apartment.

I’ve spent a good chunk of time the last couple of days looking up flight prices to Nicaragua, Argentina, New York, and Poland, among others, but there’s a difference between a $400 plane ticket (at best) and a $10 bus ticket.  I know can’t practically go anywhere, it’s just, vegging around the house seems like a waste.

Sister and I last Thanksgiving after not seeing each other for five months.

It’s funny, because I remember when last year I would have given up all the adventure in the world to be able to hug my sister or chill with my best friend.  One nice thing about leaving is that when I’m home, I value the time I have with the people I love like no other.  These past two Thanksgivings have been my best Thanksgivings ever because I never know if I’m going to be able to spend the next one passed out on the floor with my cousins in front of the Cowboys game, or if I’ll be in some country without my cousins that doesn’t have Thanksgiving or even appreciate football.  I’m treasuring these moments and the time to build deeper relationships with new friends and I know it’s a good thing to be in one place for a year.

And yet.  I need to get out and go somewhere, and I can’t.  And it’s frustrating.

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