Back in the height of my wandering (have I reached the valley yet?), I read a blog about the importance of traveling. I have no idea who wrote it or where the link stands today, but there’s one tip from the post I’ll never forget. I’ve implemented it ever since I read it, and it’s something anyone will notice upon entering my bedroom.
An open suitcase. Always keep an open suitcase in your room.
I see it every time I step inside. I see it every time I leave. An open suitcase, ready to be packed for a long planned trip —
— or especially on a whim. When the wanderlust strikes.
I’ve often felt trapped since #RunningTo ran out. I felt trapped for a year while living in Charlotte, and I still feel trapped sometimes living in Asheville — although the fact that I’ve now willingly called the Jewel of the Blue Ridge home for nearly two years says a lot.
I ran away for 7 weeks this summer, quitting my job and hitting the road from Colorado to Pennsylvania and back home to North Carolina.
The escape helped. I felt like my old nomadic self again.
But by week 5 on the road, I was kinda over it honestly.
I know. Me? “Over” the road?
I must be old now.
I enjoyed the traveling at first. The return to freedom. The renewed whimsy. The breath of fresh mountain and prairie air.
But after living in Asheville the last two years, I’m realizing that while my heart indeed craves the road, it equally — not less so, not more so — yearns for a home.
I need both.
The key to my longterm happiness isn’t following one extreme of my heart over the other — a lifetime as a nomad nor a lifetime as a homebody — but configuring both pieces of my heart, together.
I need to stay.
And I need to wander.
Back and forth. Like a yo-yo. Never growing too comfortable with home or the road for more than a few weeks at a time.
And so. I want to unite both halves of my heart next year.
I figure I’ve put enough miles on my various vehicles over the years to give my wheels a break and take to the skies.
Consider 2018 a new experiment for my soul. Consider this my first “resolution.”
Each month next year, January to December, I will fly somewhere. Somewhere different every month.
I might fly to a city I already love.
I might fly somewhere I’ve never been.
I might fly domestic.
I might fly international.
I might fly many months planned in advance.
I might fly the next day with no clue where I’m sleeping that night.
I already know where I’m flying in January. And I’ve got a hunch for February. And March.
After that? Who knows.
As long as I’m wandering again. As long as I’m flooding my senses and soul with movement again.
As I come home to Asheville again. And again.
My open suitcase is ready. It’s always ready.