I am constantly reminded of what travel does–the power it holds.
Even if it’s just here in Arizona, a family Christmas trip. The cold night air clings to my cousin’s bleach blonde hair as we all scream Justin Beiber lyrics and drive around like maniacs, searching for a desert bonfire spot. There’s happiness here, a few states away, in my aunt’s “Reindeer Punch” and my uncle getting us Cardinals-Packers tickets and a cheesy cactus photo instead of a cheesy Christmas tree photo. My little cousins are everything and nothing like me, they keep me young, and I love them ferociously. Even if it’s just for a moment, I forget about all the bad and focus on “the official rules of calling shotgun” and “why I should download Snapchat.”
Traveling is my sanity. I would’ve broken into pieces by now if it wasn’t for the saving grace of a plane ride two to three times a year. I wish I could explain it better.
All I know is that in Punta Cana earlier this month, it was like every salty wave and spritz of sunscreen and “Hola, bee-you-tee-ful lay-dees!” was reviving my entire sense of being, my soul (that’s been a little bit crushed lately, to be honest). I read so much more than I’m ever able to read, we swam up to pool bars and ordered icy deliciousness in fancy glasses, and we basked in the sun, feeling like sandy-footed goddesses.
In California for Turkey Day, I felt like a giddy, ridiculous little kid traipsing around Disneyland, Fastpasses and lunchtime my life’s biggest concerns. I could conquer the world easily, I thought, as I walked down Santa Monica Pier and picked out a Thai restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. Sipping a beer on Venice Beach, walking around Hollywood, driving down Sunset pretending I was in the cast of Entourage–smiling is all there is to do in times like those. Every time I travel, I wish that traveling could be my entire life–that I could just continue from that place to the next.
Coming home is always bittersweet, but I’m feeling more and more like myself, thanks to the three trips I’ve made in the last couple months. It’s fucking hard to get back to your usual, happy self after someone stomps on your heart, it just is.
Seeing new places, meeting new people, exploring, adventuring, tasting, smelling, capturing…travel as often as you can. I’m counting down until my next trip: Egypt in March! I am fully prepared to cruise down the Nile, pretending I am ancient, pyramid-worthy royalty.