Friday, January 27, 2012

Why I'm A Homebound Gypsy

I have a lot of fantasies about almost every kind of travel. Route 66 by motorcycle, the U.K. by train, Eastern Europe with a backpack, and the Greek islands by yacht top my list.

The sad truth? I don't have a passport, don't have the funds, and have never been further out of the country than Tijuana, Mexico (back in 2002 when it was safe enough to visit). The most exotic place I've ever been is Honolulu, Hawaii, and quite frankly, most of that was on someone else's dime.

True, I've been places. New York, Chicago, L.A.,  and San Francisco, for example. The problem is that some were back when was single, and the others were pre-economic crisis.

What depresses me most some days is that I never knew I would be interested in backpacking across Europe or traveling cross-country by bus until about a year ago. My husband and I were considering an overnight hiking trip, and I searched Google for a suggested list of items to take. I ended up on a website about the *other* kind of backpacking,  -- http://travelindependent.info/index.htm --which led to travel blogs, and I've been obsessed ever since.

Now I am 32, fat, boring, with a husband, 2 kids, a mortgage, and a guilty conscience that kicks in any time I start harboring fantasies about said backpacking-across-Europe trip. I discovered it too late in my life. By the time my kids are grown, my bills manageable, and my guilty conscience faded, I will be 50.

I'm not giving up, but I am willing to face the reality that family trips to Disneyland, maybe 1 more time to Chicago, and various cheapy local trips, are probably it for me. No Spain, Greece, Croatia, or Isle of Mann. My only hope for significant income is becoming a published novelist, and any writer with an adequate sense of reality knows how likely that is. So, for now, I travel via travel blogs, travel memoirs, Google Earth, and the Travel Channel. And that's ok, I guess.