I love to wander.
Drop me into a strange city, and I’ll meander through the streets, temporarily and deliberately lost, but enthralled.
I’ve found the most magical places that way; from a cozy Scottish tea cafe (where I took shelter from the pouring rain) to a secluded, rocky oasis next to the roaring sea, this is how my favorite memories are made.
Don’t get me wrong — the internet is a fabulous tool when people go a-journeying, yet I find the adventure loses something when you pull up to the latest, greatest “cultural experience” where “all the locals go.”
Traveling by way of TripAdvisor, you build an idea up inside your head, determine how it “should” be and what you “should” feel ahead of time, and then when things don’t go exactly the way you’d planned in your mind’s eye, you find yourself, more often than not, disappointed.
If you follow your feet, you place no expectations on a place, a feeling, a day. Instead, you befriend locals, sample food you feel drawn to, explore little-seen nooks and crannies based on your heart’s whim, taste beverages that come recommended or sound quirky.
Wandering frees you from expectations and opens you up to surprise and spontaneity, the ambrosia and nectar of life.
Some of my wanderings:
The amount of travel I’ve done over the past year(ish) is dizzying. New Orleans & Baton Rouge, Denver, Phoenix, St. Augustine, Asheville, Denver (Again), San Francisco, Los Angeles, and now Cascais & Lisbon in Portugal.
Ultimately, I sat still only long enough to move to the East Coast.
While I covet the novelty of travel, I crave a warm homecoming with fiery fierceness.
The balance of adventuring and nesting is where happiness lies for me. I travel for pleasure and treasure, then lovingly spirit my wander-found totems home.
I have a space that I can call my own, and it feels like me. The value of ‘home’ can never be measured.
There is something special about making one’s house a home, of turning the lights off on our porch and holing up in our “dark castle”, as my beau likes to call it. Sometimes, I bring treasures I find on my travels back with me; other times, I curate the treasures that remind me of beauty I’ve seen.
In retrospect, I think I may be a dragon.
I like to be a little silly with my decor; I spent my entire childhood dreaming of all the different colors my house would be and how lovely I would make it. I will never understand people who want their houses to look like bland replicas of magazine advertisements; then again, I find joy in whimsy and lore, and choose to surround myself with it.
Knowing a warm space exists in the world, a place where I’m allowed and encouraged to be entirely ‘me’, where my critters wait for my return, where I cook dinners with and for the people I love, where I can nestle down under a mermaid-and-pirate-inspired canopy filled with twinkle lights, where I have lovingly crafted, arranged, and collected my treasures, each one a symbol for something I love… yeah, I’m most definitely a dragon.
Today, I am thankful for my travels, yet moreso for my cozy home.