1,000 traveling bugs

I’ll admit that, at times, I can be a little overly dramatic about certain things. I tend to post disproportionately about the Indiana Pacers, mainly because the Pacers occupy some part of my mind – regardless of how large or small – over the seven and a half months of the NBA season. I live and die for the team, especially during playoff time, and my mood can be changed easily; it raises when they win, it lowers when they lose. This is not healthy. I know this.

Sometimes, however, I’m overly dramatic about things that truly eat at me, regardless of how realistic it is. One of these things is travel. As in: there are so many places that I haven’t visited and I want to, and until I have visited these places my gut continues to twist about it.

I’ve felt this way about England ever since I left; more specifically, ever since a few weeks after my return to the States. I knew that I loved the place. I knew that I wanted to return. I had felt as if I didn’t see enough when I was there. I had caught a traveling bug that has only been fueled by numerous Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux books.

Today, as a birthday gift, I received a copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. If I were unrealistic, I’d say my goal in life is to actually visit every one of the places included.

Unfortunately, I’m feeling very unrealistic about it. Upon flipping through it for the hundredth time (the first 99 times happened to occur in the travel section at Barnes & Noble) I realized that, without a doubt, I wanted to go to each and every place in the book – all thousand of them. I wanted to visit every ritzy hotel; gander upon every hallowed landscape; tread upon historic sites trod upon frequently for the past thousands of years.

I want to see all of it. I don’t just want to stop at England – I want to see Angel Falls, and visit Mayan ruins, and put myself in places that I’m not meant to be placed in at all. This book does nothing but gnaw away at my very being, filling me with the desire to run around wantonly without any care for responsibility, home life, or relationships – something I can’t do anyway.

Let me put it this way – I don’t desire to leave everything behind and live uncomfortably but thrillingly on the road. I love Sioux Falls, and I love where I live, and I love the relationships I have with everyone in this town. I don’t want to leave that.

I do, however, want to take Kerrie and fly to a different country once a month – enough to satiate the desire to see new places, to be able to tell people firsthand what makes certain foreign countries – continents – great. I want to be as well traveled as I am well read. I want to be the next Rick Steeves. I want to be the next Bill Bryson.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 21st, 2005