Travel Lifestyler(?): One for me, please

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I’m back, and I have a new revelation: I’ve grown tired of traveling.

Let me rephrase that. I’ve grown tired of being a traveler.

Trust me, there is a difference.

Merriam Webster defines traveler like this: someone who is traveling or who travels often.

After my most recent, awesomely awesome trip, I‘ve come to define it a little differently.

Here’s my take on being a traveler:

For a traveler…

  • The journey is never long enough.
  • The necessity to return back to reality is always there (and it plain, old sucks).
  • The time-consuming preparation is stressful.
  • A lot of compromise is involved.
  • It includes a week or two (4 if you’re lucky) of living in the moment and months, sometimes years, of looking forward to and preparing for the next trip.

I’ve probably felt this way for a while. But it didn’t quite hit me until the day I was walking among the Viennese in the streets of Vienna, watching as people rode by on their bikes and walked knowingly to their destination, while I wished my feelings of comfort and excitement in watching them would never end. It too was the first time since my departure that I was quickly propelled to Monday morning when I would return to work where emails awaited me, incomplete work laid on my desk waiting for my red pen, and a number of “catch up” meetings were awaiting my presence.

My “regular” life beckoned for my return.

Therein lies the ultimate problem with being a traveler: There is always another life that is waiting for your return. For a number of people this is exactly what a vacation should be – an opportunity to escape momentarily from the routine of ones life with the hopes of returning back to normality refreshed and invigorated. I am not one of those people. As I bid my colleagues farewell before my trip to Paris, I secretly believed (and hoped) that I would not return, that while walking along the Seine I would be presented with an opportunity that would allow me to live amongst the Parisians. This would be an opportunity that I just could not refuse. As my recent trip approached, I began hoping that the travel agent hadn’t placed my parents and I next to each other on the multiple plane rides over. Again I believed (and hoped) that I would not make my scheduled return. This time it would be a business man that was in need of “a me” to help take his company to the next level that would be my escape. Yet, another opportunity that I just could not refuse.

None of this happened. As we speak, I have returned back to my home, back to work, back to my regular, normal life. There is nothing wrong with this. I don’t dislike my job. I am actually quite comfortable in the routine of my life, and some parts I was very happy and excited to return back to (read: watching reality T.V.). But, the deepest part of me wants travel to be my normalcy. A flight to Rome, a weekend in Tuscany, a fancy dinner in Paris on a Tuesday evening… I want this to be my Saturday grocery shopping, my Thursday morning drive to work. I want travel to no longer be a carrot I dangle in front of myself as yet another reason to do this or not to buy that. I want it to be something I live. I want travel to be my lifestyle.

Lifestyle Traveler/Travel Lifestyler. Although I haven’t decided what trendy name to call it, I have decided that this is what I want to be instead of just a mere traveler. You’ve seen these types before. They speak about their round the globe trips as if it were a car ride from one city to the next one. Tokyo, Barcelona, Munich, the ease and knowingness they have of these and so many foreign lands makes one wonder if they still get a surge of excitement each time their passport gets stamped with yet another destination. No pomp. No circumstance. It’s just life. For them there is no returning back to normalcy. Travel is their normalcy.

Now that I’ve determined the goal, the next part is to figure out how to get to it. Until then, I will continue to be a traveler, I think it’s the only way to keep my sanity.

Wondering what I did, what I ate, and what I wouldn’t do again while on my world-wind journey through Italy, Austria, and Germany? Stay tuned! Pictures, reviews, and commentary will be coming very shortly. Here’s a sneak peek below:

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