I like to travel. I didn’t know how much I liked to travel until I was well into my 30s. But it turns out, I really do like it. And I don’t mean the “let’s go to Hawaii and check into a resort hotel” kind of travel although that certainly has its time and place I suppose (like when you have very small children and the idea of one-stop shopping for relaxing and playtime seems appealing). I don’t even mean the “let’s go to Europe” kind of travel, although that has an appeal too (stronger when the dollar was more potent, certainly more interesting before the Euro). No. What I mean is the let’s go somewhere really exotic kind of travel. Let’s go to a place that is hard to get to. Let’s go to a place that may or may not have decent cell reception or consistent internet access. Let’s go to a place not many people we know have gone before. Let’s go, most importantly, to a place with just a little edge.
I remember my first trip to Africa. Ex-Husband and I decided to go on safari for our honeymoon (clearly he wasn’t “Ex” in those days). The minute my feet touched the ground, I took a joyous breath in and I knew I would have a place in my heart for this wild and varied continent my whole life. I also knew I’d married the wrong man as he shared none of my passion for extremes of beauty and pain, sweetness and horror that make up places like Kenya and Tanzania. And so I returned the next year without him, and we divorced shortly thereafter.
I was suffering severe heartache when I forged into the next part of my great world adventure and planned a solo trip to India via Thailand. The extremes of Africa paled in comparison to my experiences in the Far East and, though a much more difficult trip, I yearn to return when the next opportunity arises. I knew from that trip that what I love most about travel is adventure and discovery.
One of the great joys of Sig Other has been traveling with him. Unlike Ex-Husband, Sig Other is a perfect travel companion. Together, Sig Other and I have been to Morocco and Mexico, Israel and England, the wilds of Canada and all over Europe. Sometimes we bring the children and the sheer delight of introducing them to the world is its own great adventure.
But the great and recent surprise of my life is that travel without Sig Other is not so fun. Travel without Sig Other is not something I like at all. I don’t fantasize about business trips with room service and big fluffy beds all to myself. That isn’t fun to me. It isn’t a much-needed escape from my everyday life. I love my everyday life. Which is both liberating and sort of frightening. What happened to the independent girl who loved the anonymity of a new place and unknown corners? What happened to the girl who looked forward to time alone and fantasized about space and privacy? She fell in love I guess. How trite. How utterly mundane. And how perfectly wonderful!