Jumping over the lazy dog

or, taking the bull by the horns.

Spontaneous wanderlustion*, or, these boots were made for walking.

I’ve been weeding through old magazines and stumbled upon this article in the January 2009 issue of O. As I read the piece I had a moment of déjà vu, as I was struck, once again, with a strong desire to move, to get out, to feel this freedom that Hutton found in Paris. When I first read the piece almost six months ago, it had been six months since my last journey, a three-week solo expedition to Europe. Now, almost a year later, my feet are itching to get on the road, my taste buds craving a the crackly crust and gooey filling of pain au chocolat, my neck craving the crick you can only get after spending your time watching movies on an impossibly positioned screen during a six-hour flight (okay, maybe not that last one).

I felt a certain kind of peace in these craggy trees mounted with battered road signs directing wanderers further into nowhere.

I felt a certain kind of peace in these spindly trees mounted with battered road signs directing wanderers further into nowhere. (Fontainebleau, France)

Is this wanderlust something that strikes every twenty-something?  Or perhaps every twenty-something of my generation? It hasn’t struck my brother: he’d much rather be indoors playing Rock Band (a wonderful game that even I, a techno-failure, can enjoy) than gallivanting off for a quick tour of the Netherlands.  Am I predisposed, then, in some way, to this condition?  My aunt and uncle have been travelers their whole lives, and I recall even as a child being in awe of the photographs my uncle projected onto the white screen set up in my grandmother’s apartment in Bombay.  There must be something of a traveler-gene, not so much a bug, that managed to skip sideways a generation: my parents don’t seem as infatuated with wandering as I am, either.

What I admired particularly about Hutton’s tale is its spontaneity.  I’m a spontaneous person…when not dealing with a shrinking bank account, rising gas prices and my parents’ roof over my head.  There’s a fine line between a life of spontaneity and a weekend of financial suicide (I don’t, for example, have $7000 to blow on a $2000 per night room at the Ritz in Paris).  Eco-friendly travel ought to stand for economy-friendly travel. Yeah, sure, I want to help the earth – but I could use some tips on how to do it while traveling cheaply!

For the time being, I suppose I’ll have to console myself by remembering meandering through Paris’ City of the Dead and dancing on houseboats until 3AM in Lyon…and maybe taking a quick hop skip and jump to Roanoke.

* That was supposed to be a little play on spontaneous combustion. It clearly failed.

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