I had my nails painted the brightest cherry red for our trip to Hawaii (but stayed with my go-to deep purple on my toes). This is my first trip off of North America, and I keep telling people I think 26 is old enough to make a journey off of one's home continent. I know this is the age of wanderlust and pinning and displaying one's travels on Instagram as a kind of status symbol, but I hope my determination to travel has a little more soul to it than that.
I am peeling back the layers and habits formed over 26 years that have made me prone to try and control situations, to manage everything and everyone to make things okay. At times, I have a difficult time separating myself from the selves of others, and can feel responsibility for emotions or experiences I can't actually do anything about..
Travel, to me, seems like one important way I can push back against this impulse to control. Even the most whimsical and spontaneous of people are made uncomfortable by travel--missed connections, traffic signs in foreign languages, food adventures, new climates, one small bag containing everything one might need. It's exhilarating, but also unnerving and even awkward. And we need this, to get outside the lines where we know what to expect. Habit and rhythm can be good, these things shape us and form us into the people we are--but we also need to be thrown into situations that demand our full attention, that wake us up and remind us we have this one, wild life to live.
I want to be a little uncomfortable. I want to see the world because I believe it will make me a different kind of person when I'm back home--more aware, imaginative, engaged, free.
So I'm off to my first tropical beach, on my first plane trip over the ocean. Even a week on the beach in a new corner of the world can invite me to tiptoe out of my comfort zone, to push against my habits, to set aside my impulse to control and approach the world with more openness.
"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!"