The Paradox of Travel

One more day.

I am in that moment of unreal excitement I always experience right before a trip. The anticipation of the unknown, adventures and mishaps, the promise of tomorrow’s journey and the discoveries that await. And yet, it feels unreal, a dream that hasn’t happened, still wrapped up in my head. I could easily wake up tomorrow and carry on about my normal routine and find that all this planning for my next adventure has been a fanciful wish.

It is that strange paradox of reality that bridges the cusp between my normal life and my travel life. I have always found the two worlds to be separate, distinct, a fence between the realities. When I am traveling the world and kicking a soccer ball in a Nepalese village in the shadow of the Himalayan foothills, that is my reality. I taste, see, smell, hear, touch that reality. Home seems far away, an alternative reality, a wisp of a memory. I am no longer enmeshed in the everyday workings of home, work, the lives of my friends and coworkers. On the flip side, when I am home, from the minute the plane touches down on the runway and I am hugged back into my everyday dimension, the travel memories become unreal – another life lived by another girl, almost as if I have been reincarnated and they are memories surfacing from another long-ago life.

I have never really articulated this to anyone. But today, as I brace for my next leap in time and space into another dimension, I wonder – am I the only one who experiences this disconnect in their travel lives?

Side note: I fly out tomorrow for Seattle and I will be traveling through the Pacific Northwest for the next 3 1/2 weeks. I plan to regularly post about my adventures, as well as managing my fibro as I travel. I invite you to come along for the adventure!

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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