Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TdJ: Travel

For someone who has never been anywhere, I am obsessed with travel.  I often fantasize that "some day" I will have a chance to go where I want to go and the list goes on and on.

My top choice is Ireland.  My mother's father's family is from Ireland, departure points from Dublin to the US in the years spanning 1850-1870.

Insomnia, wanderlust and a subscription to can be a dangerous thing.

I am not sure what I expect if I were ever able to get to Ireland.  Having a friend who lives there now, I do know that I would get health care when I needed it.  I know the country is also having an economic crisis.  And that I probably wouldn't make  a living wage with my educational background there either. At this point, air fare and lack of energy are still the only reasons I don't pack up and move there.

(this image of Wicklow Mountains from Ireland Chauffeur website) 
Another place I dearly want to go is Jamaica.  When it was younger I just wanted to go for the spliffies, mon.   And then I started doing some research into the culture there and Rastafarianism.  No, I am not Rasta, mon.  But every friend I have ever known who has vacationed there loved it.  Also pretty sure I could not make a living wage there doing what I do.  Alas.  But I do believe the overall climate is warmer and there would be way more access to the coast (and hopefully easier breathing) for me.  
(this image from and courtesy of Jamaica Tourism)  

I think that the urge to travel is part escapism and part thirst for new sights and experiences.  Workaday world can be awfully landlocked, both mentally and emotionally.  Travel signifies for me the ability to get a break from all the daily demands of the average of 100 people at work and the family that depends of me for everything.  Given the chance to travel "some day,"  I might be able to reinvent myself into someone who actually enjoys life for a few days. 

Some people I know enjoy travel.  Some see it as a chore.  I can understand that it could be tiring.  I have friends who fly across the country to see their families a couple of times a year and I can see that it wears their kids out.  

An aside: My 17 year old pointed out to me last week that she had never been on a plane.  She was very accusatory, and stated that I would not let her go anywhere or enjoy anything.  It breaks my heart to know that this is true - financially I have never been able to take her anywhere or go anywhere.  I know the resentment that builds from being tied down to oppressive burdens of responsibility. (Just take a look at my daily life.)  When I was her age, I graduated from high school and wanted to travel so much, but my mother chose my college (telling family members if it was good enough for her, it was good enough for me, even though it did not offer any of my top 5 career interests in majors and I had at least partial scholarships to a couple of good [Vanderbilt and Duke] schools).  Thus my downward spiral began.  I have told my daughter that if she can make the money work, she can go to an out of state school.  My parents did not pay one cent of my college education, so I really hate to do that to her.  However, the Republicans refused to sign the bill which would have saved them from capitalized on my student loan interest that had already been capitalized, so the $79,000 I borrowed for my Bachelors and Masters degrees has now been made into $127,000 and will be over $140,000 soon.  So there is no way I can sign on for her student loans too.  If I live, I will be paying on my own until I am between 80 and 85.  Since I have no retirement and no health insurance, I am hoping I don't live that long.  What a conundrum.  I want to live long enough to see my children grow up but not long enough to pay my student loans or have to be put in a pauper's nursing home.  

Then there is the ultimate travel.  I would love to go tramping about this planet.  I actually hunger to do so.  But the only trip any of us is guaranteed is the Underworld.  I think this is why I am so drawn to reading about different forms of spirituality.  When I was younger I was afraid of death and dreaded it like I was running up the down escalator.  Now I can think about passing through into another destination.  There's too many Books of the Dead that illustrate it.  Even if it all myth, it can be my myth, until it ceases to matter.  

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