The Traveler’s Heresy?

Antsy—the feeling I get when it has been a few months since I’ve traveled.

Most individuals are disturbed with change.  Perhaps it was the constant moving I did as a child, but I am comfortable with it.  I feel unsettled if I am in a place too long or don’t take breaks from where I’m at through travel.  Also, I typically count travel as somewhere I have never been, uncharted territory for my curious soul.

The last new place I toured was Australia and NZ back in November.  It has been around 7 months since that trip.  About 2 months ago my family took a trip to my Alma Mater.  While it was an enjoyable trip and I was able to see a few friends, it wasn’t new land for me.  It was too familiar.  Sure it has changed because it is a college town, but it still had my flavorful history permeating the air.  I want to breathe in a new experience, a fresh place with people I’ve never met before, an area beckoning new friendships that have vibrant challenges waiting.

Traversing distant lands my feet have yet to imprint is difficult when you are married to an individual who 1.) isn’t paid for time off with bills to pay and 2.) doesn’t feel the same need or urgency for traveling.  My husband and I live 10-15 min. from where he grew up.  I gave him permission to look for a job anywhere in the US (he’s in the Reserves otherwise I would have said world).  He found one in NJ.

While racked with disappointment, partially because NJ is so expensive, I know that this place is where God has me.  I’m meant to be in this place.  I just feel that traveling every quarter is my way of settling this restless soul, my compromise with God.  (Are we supposed to make those?  I’m probably not supposed to do that; maybe that’s why the opportunity to fly, drive, or sail hasn’t occurred recently.)

Also, I’ve had a lot of change in my life—a new baby and a new house.  Several individuals might think that should be enough to silence the yearning-for-a-trip heart.  I moved 5 minutes from my apartment.  Let me state that I am not discounting these blessings.  I’m extremely grateful for my life and the way it has turned out.  I just like to meet new people and see new places so I might become a revived person, hopefully renewed to reflect the image of Christ better as I’m refined through the obstacles which navigating new territories always instills.

Am I trying to justify my fear of vulnerability instead?  When you stay rooted, you are likely to build more authentic relationships, have a more intimate community.  I frequently tell myself, and others, this is what I want; but is my constant drive for newness revealing that I actually dread opening myself up?

The approval addict, who doesn’t want to let that sin go, doesn’t want to see that this may be the case.  This could be why every verse I’ve been reading lately has the theme of courage.  “Do not be afraid or discouraged.  The Lord your God is with you.”  He is with me through changes and the monotony of staying rooted in one place.  Maybe one day my thick skull will be at peace with that as I surrender more fully into his wonderful, yet frustrating (because while I enjoy change I dislike uncertainty) will.  Perhaps as I trust him I might attain the peace which surpasses all understanding and start living fully where I’m at without the constant desire to keep moving.

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2 Replies to “The Traveler’s Heresy?”

  1. I totally understand this. Even though I’m the one who hasn’t moved more than an hour from where I grew up (except for college and studying abroad), I still get the travel bug. And regardless of how near I’ve stayed to my roots, I’ve never had a feeling of permanence. I always feel a sense of transience, like I shouldn’t get too invested. Chad and I were talking about our upcoming renovation (no details to report yet though) and how long we planned on staying in our house, and he said, Well since we’re renovating the house, I think several years, otherwise we wouldn’t bother with the new bedroom. And my reaction was surprise because I always expect change to happen, and feel like it’s just around the corner. I have no plans to move, but the feeling is always there for some reason. Anyway, I have the travel bug too! I really, really want to make France happen in the next few months, but we’ll see what happens. If you could go, where would it be this time?

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