It was around this time last year that I bought my plane ticket to Spain. It’s been eight months since I’ve been back, and lately the Camino has been constantly on my mind. I’m missing it. How could I not? The experience was so incredible. But I know it can never be remade. Even if I walked the trail again, it wouldn’t be remotely the same experience.
What I’m missing is the discovery, the independence, the joy, and the trials of travel. I’m having a wonderful season here at Mesa Verde. My tours are going great, my visitors have been largely wonderful, and the weather has even cooled off a bit. But every night when I come home I find myself dreaming of new challenges and adventures to come. My bank account is still a little too dry to purchase another plane ticket just yet, but a girl can dream! And boy am I dreaming… The opportunities are limitless, but here are the places I’d like to be this winter:
Does it count as travel if you’ve already been there? What about if you’ve already lived there? For whatever reason I’ve been missing the east coast recently – mostly those three golden cities and my friends that live within them. I would love to arrange a Boston-NYC-DC trip, to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the life I left behind when I packed my bags and moved west. For the record, I’m not regretting that choice. But those days were happy and these cities beautiful, and it’s been two years since I’ve seen certain people I still consider best friends. Add to all of this that my boyfriend hasn’t seen a whole lot of the Atlantic, and the desire to show him where I came from looms large. My experience in these cities largely shaped who I am today, and it would be really neat to share that with him.
My grandparents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this December, and I’d love to be able to take part in those festivities. We haven’t had a reunion on this side of the family since 2002. And should we get our act together in time to organize another, it could be really special to have everyone together again. The problem? Plane tickets to this particular island run pricey, and with holiday rates at their peak right around anniversary-time it makes the most financial sense to stay for a longer period in order to avoid the Christmas rush. It could be neat to explore the country, and the idea of anyplace surrounded on three sides by ocean sounds heavenly. I’ve been landlocked for so long that even just the word ‘beach’ makes my heart happy. Especially a Caribbean one…. oh how those warm clear waters are calling my name!
And then there are the real adventures, the ones that are longer-term and totally foreign. A and I have been talking about Peru since we met. In addition to a long shore of beaches (and waves for my surfer-boyfriend), there’s also access to the Amazon and cultures as ancient as the ruins I work in today. Since coming to Mesa Verde a fleeting interest in archaeology has turned into my 9 to 5, and with it my knowledge-base has expanded and is begging for more. How cool would it be if my next camino was along the Inca Trail?
But there are also a myriad of adventures to be had just south of the border, and the relatively close distance would make that plane ticket significantly cheaper. A has been here before but having him as a guide wouldn’t be the worst situation in the world. Mostly what I’m looking for this winter is a beach, a foreign culture, access to new and interesting people, and a place where I could continue to practice my Spanish. These could all be easily checked off in a number of countries in the central section of the Americas.
Obviously, my measly government paycheck will not allow for all four adventures to happen this winter. But one may be managed, maybe even two if I work it right. Wherever I end up, man am I looking forward to it. And don’t worry single reader, I’ll keep you updated. 😉