Notes on travel and when is it enough?
“You’ve never been to San Francisco?” the person asks in a tone of semi- horror. I don’t see it as “that” big a deal considering all of the cities I have been to but I suppose from his perspective, it is somewhat of an anomaly that I’ve never been to one of my country’s (and the world’s) most unique and visually striking cities. I mean, there’s even a direct flight from my home base of Pittsburgh, which for me as a traveler is huge since I can’t stand connecting . And yet, I still haven’t made it there, well, beyond the airport, because I have been there…connecting to other places. But I’ve never driven across Golden Gate Bridge, I’ve never been to Alcatraz, never had dim sum in the city’s world famous Chinatown. So when I hear people make the comment to me, “wow, you’ve really been to a lot of places,” I know to a degree this is true because I’ve been extremely fortunate in this regard. But then I think of San Francisco and I can’t help but feel that when it comes to travel, there’s no such thing as “enough.”
Like most people, I have a travel bucket list. However, the list is in no way inclusive of all that I want to see and do in this world of ours since it doesn’t include items like visiting the country of Georgia solely for the food or going to Mesa Verde National Park in rural, off-the-beaten path southwestern Colorado. If the unthinkable were to happen and I died tomorrow, I’m not going to lie, I’d be pretty heartbroken over all the traveling that I would have missed out on. Not to say there isn’t an afterlife, but that’s a whole other discussion for another day…
Today, we’ve become a society where, in the words of American disco artist Andrea True, we want “more more more.” And that’s exactly how I sum up my insatiable urge for travel. I return home from one trip anxiously awaiting the next one. Is my insatiability for travel a case of greed? Knowing I’ve been to more places in my early 30s than most people will ever see in their lifetime? No, I think it speaks more to me as a person, someone who is genuinely interested in seeing what’s beyond her own borders and transcending those cultural barriers and limitations that throughout history have been the cause of so much strife and misunderstanding.
There’s no such thing as “enough travel” by anyone’s standards except your own. My beloved grandfather, who passed away last year, was an avid traveler, a true “student of the world” and sadly, he was forced to “retire” from traveling much too soon due to health issues. I know for him and other travel enthusiasts who are dealt that cruel hand in the form of health impediments, there is never “enough” travel.
Some people you meet may feel you travel so much. Others you’re envious of due to the fact they’re visiting more places in two months’ time than you could get to in two years probably think you’re not traveling nearly enough. (Not that they’d ever say this outright; it comes more in the form of one of those “why you should quit your job to travel” posts.) For me personally, travel will never be enough. It’s my simple belief that I’ll never have enough of eating new foods, photographing new sights, or trying to say a word in another language. That’s why no matter how many new pins I add to my travel map, I’ll always want to add more. I could visit every country in the world but that doesn’t mean I would have grazed the surface of each individual place.
Pin me & save for later!
I’ll be taking a short break after this post as my trip to Colorado is just about here! So anxious and excited to be visiting a new state and seeing some of that gorgeous Western scenery. Stay tuned for some new content in a couple of weeks!