The first time I traveled around the world, I really wasn’t running away from anything. It was more like I was running toward something – a dream; doing something I had always wanted to do, but just never could. But then a small window opened and I slipped out into the world and never looked back.
That was two years ago now. Starting October 2006, I left the comforts of my well-appointed home in Chicago and traveled, literally, around the world – staying with friends, meeting strangers who became friends, and having the time of my life. Fifteen months later, I returned to the US. For eight months I bopped between coasts from New York City to Chicago to Los Angeles and back to New York again. And now I actually think I am running away – away from having to ‘root’ myself in an ordinary life; away from having to make a decision about where to live; away from having to work full time again; away from having to pay actual bills and away from the reality of the fact that eventually I will have to give up this vagabond lifestyle and someday buy a bed of my own again. Or maybe I figure I should just keep traveling until I just can’t stand it anymore. But I think that is highly unlikely.
I am sitting in seat 21D on a Swiss Air flight headed to Europe. This time around it didn’t seem as monumental leaving the US and all; sort of anti-climatic actually. No goodbye parties. No big farewells. No major life changes. I just hopped the subway to JFK in New York City and blew a kiss goodbye to one of my favorite cities.
And soon I will be in Berlin, perhaps my favorite city from my last trip. I am returning for several meetings/interviews for some possible freelance opportunities. Then I will be heading to France and Italy for a few months. I’ve been to these popular destinations a few times before, but not on my last trip. Paris was the first city I had ever set foot in in Europe more than 10 years ago and it had me at ‘bon jour.’ And Italy, oh Italia, I’ve been three times and am anxious to return to see if I still love it like I did every time I was there in the past.
Then I’m not sure where my wanderings will take me. As any traveler knows, my list has not gotten any shorter. In fact the more you travel, the longer it gets. This trip is currently looking something like this:
- France (Paris, Normandy, Lyon, Swiss Border towns, Provence, Bordeaux ?)
- Italy (some of these: Turino, Verona, Assisi, Gubio, Orevieto, Bologna, Perugia, Arezzo, Lucca, Roma, Sicily)
- Cyprus ?
- St. Petersburg
- The Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania)
- and eventually back to Berlin and Paris again.
As always, if you know anyone – friend, family, animal, mineral – in any of these locales, please let me know. I would really appreciate it. I love to meet new people and have new friends when I get to a new town.
Unlike the last trip, this time I do have a return ticket. For two reasons: one, I’m taking advantage of all my racked up frequent flyer miles and flying for free to and from Europe therefore needing to book an actual roundtrip ticket and, two, I have a ‘save the date’ in New Jersey in the Spring. I will return home for my father’s wedding. After thirty odd years of bachelorhood, dear old dad is tying the knot and my tiny family is getting just a bit bigger. Mazel Tov!
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woman! you are bypassing spain. actually, i understand. between you and me, france is a lot nicer and i will prob be moving there this summer.
and yes paris had me at 'bon jour' too! i love that city! i can't eat the bread in spain anymore bc it is so damn good in paris! and i won't even go into the shoes…
so. i do have a friend in paris, i can give him a heads up that you are coming and get his email. right now i only have his facebook. but he is a really cool guy and has lived in paris forever and i'm sure he would be happy to have a visitor.
and congratulations dad!! that's awesome! love is possible!! big hug to lisa's dad! that is really exciting and i wish them all the happiness in the world!
i'm sorry that you are not coming to spain but i am coming to france in december so maybe you be around … maybe?
good luck on all the interviews! i know you will find something really amazing! and anyone would be lucky to have you!
big hug, reb
Sometimes it's not running away but running towards something. Perhaps you're running towards discovering what you want to do next?
It was great to see you in LA. Sorry I fell off the world- life kind of exploded around me and all I could do was keep my head down. Your site came out wonderfully!
Love your blog LL. A fellow sojourner, I've been bitten by the bug too. Have you settled down now? DId you visit Roma, Orvieto (FAVE TOWN EVER!), Espana? Hope all's well. You live a fascinating life. I hope you're enjoying every moment 🙂
Thanks Summer! Nice to hear from you. For right now I am temporarily settled in Chicago. But been heading out still every so often! I have been to Roma many times – it's changed a lot over the last decade. And wrote a lot about Espana when I spent a month there. Happy Travels!