This summer, while I was living the dream as a whitewater raft guide in Tennessee, I decided to commit to living in Houston for a full year with my best friend. You see, I missed Texas. I missed two-stepping, and being with the people I have known and loved for years. I missed the familiarity of Texas highways, having my own room, and having a bathroom and kitchen in the same building as where I live. I missed routine and dressing up regularly and (heaven forbid) the city. So I should go home and stay a while. Easy choice.
At the end of the rafting season, everything went smoothly. I had a lovely solo road trip back, stopping to see sights such as the memorial for the site of the first human dissection in Arkansas, and taking a bathroom break while surveying a town square in a box made of one-way mirrors.* I visited friends and family I hadn’t seen for months. I moved in with my best friend and we had a lovely reunion. I went country dancing. I started scouting out Catholic churches, and dove into the job search. A dream job opportunity fell into my lap. I wore pretty dresses.
*Pro-tip: to find odd road trip stops, download the Roadtrippers app. It’s good stuff.
And yet, I’m jittery and anxious. I’m on the brink of making a year-long commitment, which is what I wanted after all, and yet I find myself researching au pair opportunities in Germany, and looking up Antarctic tourist expeditions. I’ve only been home a month, and I already have itchy feet that are getting itchier by the day. Am I doomed to always be the victim of either itchy feet or a homesick heart?
Weirdly, right now it would be easier to book a flight somewhere I don’t know anybody than to stay somewhere where I know what the shape of my life will be for the near future. For me, at this moment, it takes more courage to jump into a known than to jump into an unknown.
But I think it’s what I need to do.
Does this happen to the other travelers out there? How do you keep from being victim to your travel impulses?