For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in other cultures. Some of my report cards from primary (elementary) school have comments about my kindness with foreign students. I guess I was a budding anthropologist even as a kid :). For as long as I can remember I’ve also wanted to travel. As I got older that desire just grew stronger until it became a need for me to see the world. I always thought I’d leave New Zealand as soon as I got my degree and would never return. Things got a little complicated when I met Guy at 16 and my grand plans didn’t eventuate but the burning desire never died out. [Finally after many years of talking about it we’re leaving NZ indefinitely at the end of the year].
Although my biggest and deepest desire has always been to explore the far flung corners of the earth, very few of my friends have shared this goal. My oldest, closest and most dearest friend has never traveled farther than Australia and I don’t think she ever will. She has absolutely no desire to step a foot in foreign lands. Very few of my friends do. Some have travelled a little bit – taking a holiday here or there. One spent a few months in Europe, another lived in London for a year, and one is currently making her way through Asia en route to the UK. But the majority of my friends are settling down in New Zealand now. They are married with houses and children. Those that aren’t are focusing on their careers. Travel isn’t a passion for them like it is for us, they don’t feel the restlessness and the burning need to be somewhere else. They don’t relish in the fear and discomfort being alone in a strange land brings. They don’t delight in forming foreign sounding words on their tongues, and daring themselves to eat those scary looking local dishes.
And yet, I don’t understand the security of owning my own home. I don’t have a craving to hear the pitter and patter of my tiny feet. I’m yet to discover my true career, at least in New Zealand. So I have no judgement.
I wouldn’t change any of my friends for the world, they are in so many ways more dear to me than my family – they are my family. But, one of the (many) reasons I desire travel so strongly is to meet more kindred spirits. Its my dream to surround myself – literally or figuratively – with wanderers who want nothing more than to explore the world. Who I can swap stories with, who can give me advice, who will inspire me who I can learn from. Because sometimes being the only traveler is lonely.
That’s one of my favourite things about the travel blogging community so far in fact. I can only hope that over time as I make more blogging buddies my friendships will grow and maybe even spill over into ‘the real world’.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂