A new way of seeing things

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”  – Henry Miller

French Quarter, New Orleans :: 2000When I was 23, I was in love with a young man who was in love with the open road. When I looked at him, I fell under the intoxicating spell of his wide grin and the wonder in his bright blue eyes. He saw hopping trains across the desert, hitchhiking through mountain passes and sleeping under the stars. When I was 25, I was in love with a young man who was in love with flying over oceans to faraway lands. When I looked at him, I saw the tossle of his moppy hair, the way his fingers hit guitar strings and our future life as an acoustic musical duo. He saw the dusty markets of India and the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas.

When I was 23 and 25, my travel longings were limited to California and going back to France. I was too pre-occupied with my brilliant future as a film director to concern myself with the childish yearnings of restless international meandering. Damn hippies.

I was always drawn to other places and in awe of faraway lands, but I was slow to dip my feet in the water. I will admit that for many years, these worldly types, these hippies, they intimidated the living crap out of me with their ease and their insatiable curiosity. I even resented it. I mean, I was adorable and had a lovely voice. True. But it’s hard to compete with the world’s tallest mountain range or the perfect passing moment with a stranger on a train.

When I was 26, I hopped in my car, waved goodbye to Boston and drove for several months. By the time I reached California, the travel wishlist in my beat-up journal — that began with “Alaska” and “Japan” — now filled the whole page with places that had never even occurred to me. By the time I reached California, it was really hard for life as I’d previously known it to compete with the open road, snowcapped peaks or perfect passing moments with strangers.

And so I became a gypsy. More or less. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. The more places that are crossed off the list, the more are added to it. That list is long and I still haven’t been back to France, but at least now I’ve been to Alaska and Japan.
Zapote Carnival, Costa Rica :: 2002

Babbling about traveling and photos in two acts over at travelmuse.com.

6 Responses to “A new way of seeing things”

  1. Alyssa says:

    **smiling**

  2. jhawke says:

    i *heart* that quote and this post.

    you are awesome, girly.

  3. thedoo says:

    nice writing. i enjoyed. :-)

  4. heidi says:

    this child from the home for little wanderers loves you and your 5 senses – actually 6. happy anniversary!

Leave a Reply