I really hate traveling.
There was a time when I marveled at the idea of traveling from place to place. Like being a leaf on the wind, I felt free and independent to go anywhere, do my own thing, and not be attached to any roots.
Moving to a new place used to be an exciting prospect to me, a prospect that meant introducing myself to new people, new hangout spots, and new ways of thinking all while becoming immersed in the beauty of a culture vastly different from my own.
And while I certainly got that during my time in Rome, or Johannesburg, or Omaha, or Limerick, or Toronto, or Yosemite, or Lake Tahoe, or Bern, or Baltimore etc. etc. etc., I’ve learned that, as with anything else, too much of it causes all of those initial, wonderful feelings of excitement to fade away.
At first, moving to a new place was exciting.
Friendships happen quickly and people become fast friends in a short amount of time. New experiences are expedited due to the limited amount of time to devote to having said experiences. Seeing art, music, history, and nightlife unfold around you is overwhelming, intoxicating, wondrous, hypnotic, and romantic.
After awhile though, I started to notice things that soured these exciting moments.
Strong friendships take longer to develop. Knowing someone for a few short months isn’t the same as a friendship that’s been grown and cultivated over the years. Shared experiences are surface-deep due to the expedited nature of having said experiences. Art, music, history, and nightlife become repetitive, shallow, boring, and lonely.
As I get older, I find it more and more difficult to form long-lasting friendships or strong connections with the place I’m living. I’m getting lonelier, finding myself on a Friday night wishing to be in the company of people who I feel comfortable and safe with. I’m turning less into an excited traveler yearning for immersion in a new place, and more into a wandering hermit yearning for companionship.
And ultimately, I fear becoming a wanderer of the earth. I fear being a leaf that withers in the wind with no roots in the ground to take hold of when the storms come, no seeds sown into the earth to grow and cultivate into a tree brimming with life.
I no longer wish to be a leaf on the wind, but a seed in the ground.