Travels for the Soul

11:49 AM

{sigh}

I miss traveling.  I miss the excitement of stepping off a plane and being enveloped into a world of the unknown.  Smells that make your nose hairs burn.  Sounds that makes your toes curl.  Sights that are so unbelievably breathtakingly beautiful that you cannot help but close your eyes and attempt to file it away in your mind.  The bliss of knowing that everything is out there just waiting for you to explore - a feeling of total childhood wonder.

I was exposed to a life-altering opportunity and a multitude of cultures and experiences that most people can only read about in a Frommer's travel guide book or see Anthony Bourdain tour on tv.

I'm an ex-pat kid, but not military.  I had two full passports before a driver's license.  I had no idea how to do laundry until I was in college.  I will drive miles for good Asian food.  I get a good laugh and shoot an evil eye when someone talks about their 'long flight across country to the opposite coast.'  Don't talk to me about long flights until you have spent 29 consecutive hours trying to get back to your own bed.  My school field trips were out of country and yes, some were actually required.

Ex-pat kids have a rootless sense of the world and experiences that most people can never fully understand.  We are a privileged group, one that has been everywhere but cannot identify with anyone.  Ask me where I'm from, I cannot tell you.  I never lived in one place long enough to call home, until now. 

To me, home is where the memories are.  I don't live in the past, but these priceless moments define who I am. 

I have vivid memories of...
Newton circus in Singapore.
The way that I felt when I stepped off the plane in Lombok into their tiny little hut of an airport.
Road trips to Kaula Lumpur.
India.  Sitting inside the Taj Mahal with three old Indian ladies; watching the sunrise at the top of the mountain; my camel, Journey, that had a mind of its own and would just wander off.
The first time I rode in a Tuk-tuk.
Bali.
Football games in Korea.
Phuket.  Phi-Phi.
Nepal.  Oh, Nepal, such a sad place with beautiful surroundings...  Swayambunath monkey temple where the monkey's pulled a girl's pigtails, the river of life and death, Royal Chitwan National Park where the rhino decided that it would be fun to charge us.
Chatcuhak and PatPong in Bangkok. 
Elephant rides in Chiang Rai.
Europe - France, England, Italy, Holland, Greece...

Go ahead, say it, I do:  I'm a spoiled ex-pat kid.  However, I'm also well adjusted.  Tolerant.  Knowledgeable.  Lucky.  So, so lucky and so very humbled.

{sigh}

I'm hopeful that I am able to give my child(ren) similar lessons and experiences than I was exposed to.
It's good for the soul.

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