Thursday, July 10, 2014
Desperation of a Trapped Wanderluster
I'm the kind of person who wants to see everything. I want to walk the streets of Paris and explore the bookshops of London. I want to get lost in Barcelona and drink wine on a summer night in Florence. I want to see the Egyptian pyramids and the Mayan Temples of South America. I want to watch the cherry blossoms rain over Kyoto, do yoga in India, and spend an evening writing on the green cliffs of Ireland.
I have trouble sitting still. I always have, really, but it is getting worse as I get older. I feel trapped. I am growing desperate to get out and see the world. I've been looking at the possibility of going abroad for grad school, or even forgoing grad school- for now anyway- and taking a gap year to travel. I could find a job that required travel or relocation. I could do freelance work and just work my way through Europe, three months at a time. Maybe I could make writing work. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
I am the kind of person who struggles with the maybes of life.
My need to keep moving is shifting from wanderlust to anxiety, almost a feeling of claustrophobia. Last night I went from being almost asleep to being almost in tears because suddenly I could not stop thinking about the fact that I don't have my driver's license yet and how am I going to get it now and why the hell couldn't I have just passed that damn test the first time. I am confident that getting my license (and a car) would help. It would at least give me the freedom to get around locally when the urge to runaway for an afternoon came. But it would only be a partial solution, a half way fix.
I spent four weeks studying abroad in Turkey last summer. I got restless. I had to get out, had to go somewhere, anywhere. And a few months later I was on a plane bound for Istanbul. I had hoped that when I returned I would be able to anchor myself more easily, at least long enough for me to finish my undergrad and figure out what came next. And for a few months it did. But soon I was back online, looking at volunteer and internship opportunities across the pond. If I had been able to afford it I would have spent three weeks building schools in Tanzania this summer without a second thought. Instead, I settled for spending the summer in Grand Rapids, a small improvement, but still not nearly enough to satisfy my restless soul.
I know that someday I will watch the sun rise over the ocean from a sandy Thailand shore. Someday I will spend a summer in Amsterdam. Someday I will make a fool out of myself trying to order dinner in Berlin. But I am impatient woman with 2 years left before graduation. And I'm just not sure what I'm going to do with myself until then.