Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 in 5

I have officially entered my end of season travel funk. Our last camping trip was last weekend to Lake George, NY….our usual fall destination. We love it there. It’s a place where time seems to have stood still. There are old time motels that have obviously not changed in decades and are undoubtedly filled with the same people year after year. Each year we always build in time to go on a hike, get some warm apple cider donuts, and bike ride through the changing leaves. 

When I get home I am always filled with mixed emotions – happy to have gone on so many great adventures throughout the year, happy to have had such a great last camping trip and sad that the camping season is over.
As I looked back on the trips we took this year, I thought about our July family vacation. The drive to the Outerbanks this summer took forever, or at least it felt like it. Don’t get me wrong…I love a good road trip. It was an interesting ride though – through cities, run down little towns, over farmland, and through beach towns with sandy roads. When we take road trips the kids are usually absorbed in watching DVD’s and we ride in silence. Sometimes we talk, especially when Tim wants to drive late into the night and I fear he will fall asleep at the wheel. So, I chirp along like a bird talking about the most inane topics. Other times we drive in silence for hours, just lost in our own thoughts, with the occasionally smattering of laughter from the kids slicing through the quiet.

My love of travel sometimes translates into the desire to live in different places. I would love to just pick up and go live someplace for a year and then move someplace completely different and start all over again. Technically, I probably wouldn’t like it….all that packing and unpacking, trying to find a new job, etc.  But the idea of it is exciting to me. Of course I would never do that with my kids. Tim and I tell them all the time that once they are done with college we are going to pack it up and go for a cross country RV trip like no other….just roaming around the country checking new places out. They are horrified, of course. “What about the cats, the bunny, and the turtle?!” and “What about our house?! You can’t sell it!” they cry. God help me if that turtle is still with us once Jack graduates college. It was his 5th birthday gift from my sister. This is another story entirely but yes, her son is getting a turtle for his 5th birthday.
Passing through so many diverse environments, I asked Tim to pick the top 5 places he would live if it wasn’t for where we are now. Turns out we had very similar ideas. It got me thinking….it would be great to do an experiment and live in 5 different places in 5 years and write about the experiences. What would it be like to live in NYC for a year vs. living on a farm in the middle of the US someplace? Then, what if you moved to a Caribbean island after that and then moved to Nantucket for a year? How would those “beach communities” differ? What similarities would you find? Then, how about ending your five year stint in the mountains? Colorado, Montana, or someplace like that? I would read a book about someone’s perspectives after that adventure, wouldn’t you?

I bet there would be universal things that would always be the same, regardless of where you lived. Things like… you missed your family and friends or that the core values and essence of who you are travel with you no matter where you go. But, I’m sure the types of people you would encounter in each place would be different, yet similar within that environment. The pace of life in each place would be different, with each place having its own energy and life to it. The things that people spent their time on and the way they lived their life would likely be very different as well. For me, seeing how I reacted to each environment and the life within it would interest me the most. How would I change my behavior to adapt? Or would I? How would each experience change me and shape my future self?  You can tell I was a psychology major, can’t you?
It would be fun though, wouldn’t it?

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