The need to explore

I have started planning a trip to Europe this spring, which brought me to think of other trips I’ve taken in my past. A favourite photograph from my solo adventure to Asia in 2007.

I took that picture when I was visiting my friend, Rosie, who at the time was teaching in South Korea. This year’s trip will involve visiting her again, although this time she will have just moved back to Scotland from a couple of years in New Zealand (she’s hard to keep track of!).

My desire to travel stems from my need to explore and experience new things. While my situation here in Montreal is really wonderful, staying in one place for too long always makes me restless. In the email Rosie wrote to me this morning (I hope you don’t mind!) she eloquently put into words how different moments in life create different needs in us.

“I understand your desire to take this trip totally. Settling down is pretty scary. I think perhaps that is why I have spent the last four years flitting about the place. And I understand that things can be totally fantastic at home but you still need that little taste of the unfamiliar. As for me, I’m just aching to get into that position where I do feel so settled that a trip to another continent is a welcome and deserved escapade. Right now I envy you your little family unit, in your home, with your steady jobs, and your reliable daycare!”

I do hope she finds what she’s looking for. While we all react differently to the idea of settling down in one place, I understand completely the need for stability and a steady paycheck. But now that I have them, I sort of just want to take off again, if only for a few weeks of something totally new.

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