As one of my best and most-traveled friends, Laura, is in the habit of saying, “Something significant always happens when you travel.” Perhaps this has as much to do with the transformative nature of experiencing new places as it does with the mental and spiritual place from which one decides to take a trip.
And so I go, in the midst of what I like to call “growing pains” in my marriage and my identity, with high hopes for transformation. I’m headed first to New Orleans, where a pal moved a year ago, to “sweat and eat” and wear sundresses with someone I love dearly and check out the burlesque scene and just take things slower than my zippy New York pace.
After four days, I head to Corvallis, Oregon, that slice of God’s country where my aunt teaches Zen and is thrilled to let me into “her world.” There I cannot wait to catch up with a family member I have admired for years for her calm and compassion, and rest in the lush green of her country town, for the remaining four days of my trip.
I need rest, I need ME time. These past two weeks, I have struggled with monogamy and non-monogamy, searching for a new living space, and have, in the midst, found comfort in my own strength. My sense of myself has been tested, and continues to be, and I am, despite the heartache, better for it.
Here comes travel, albeit only for one week, as a reflection of where I am internally, rather than an impetus for change. I am excited to explore. I am excited to catch up with a good friend and a good family member. Beyond that, who knows? All I can say is that I talked travel until I was blue in the face, but it took life changes for me to drop the cash and make it a priority.