Chapter 4: An Autobiography of an Idealist

There’s No Word for “Fear of Staying in One Place”

img_0826This 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.

img_0823At 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.

img_0822And 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?


4 thoughts on “There’s No Word for “Fear of Staying in One Place”

  1. Do it all while you can. It’s a lifestyle of uncertain adventures . “[. . . T]here is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” (1.115) –the alchemist

    Ragecage 4 Life.

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