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16 January 2014 @ 10:31 pm
The road less traveled, the dream not pursued.  
I had coffee today with Anna, one of my old coworkers from Lush. She’s a fascinating person. When I worked with her, she was a very bright, capable teenager who started taking college classes at sixteen or seventeen. But after a year or two in college, she dropped it, and settled into a much more nomadic lifestyle, roaming around the country modeling and doing odd jobs. She’s very independent and self-sufficient (she supports herself and doesn’t rely on her parents to fund her bohemian lifestyle) and I really admire her for being able to live life as she does.

Sometimes, I admit, I feel rather envious of it. Wouldn’t life be grand if it was a long adventure, and you could pick up and go somewhere new whenever you felt like it? Seanie and I often talk about going on a long-term vacation, taking a year off from our responsibilities and just driving around the country to see what there is to see. But then I look around the house, at my vast collection of books and my large wardrobe full of dresses and skirts and my kitchen with its small-but-growing collection of gadgets and realize that perhaps I am too much a creature of habit and comfort to tolerate a nomadic life. My things tether me too firmly to this part of the world, as does my family and my friends and the perfect California weather.

Sidenote: We’ve been having seventy and eighty degree days this week, how cool is that?

But whenever I hear Anna's stories, I feel the bite of the travel bug. Tomorrow, she’ll be boarding a plane with a one-way ticket to Thailand. No idea when she’ll return – she and some friends are just going to hang out and see what it’s like to live overseas until the money runs out. She might be gone for two months or two years. It sounds like so much fun!

Of course, I’m not hearing the bad stories. She leaves them out of the narrative, focusing on the fun and the exotic. There are times when she misses having a more stable life, or being around her family. But Anna’s out there, living her life to the fullest every day, and I really admire her for it.

It gives me a goal to strive for in my own life: to put forth the effort to appreciate the world each and every day, no matter what that world looks like.