Wanderlust is such a juicy, beautiful word. Appropriate to kick off this blog. My favorite definition: “a strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.” Wandering doesn’t have to be a grand tour of a far-away place. Wandering can be a meandering of back roads, and picking up a bushel of fruit at a farm stand, or a deep, dark coffee and a sugary pastry in a café or small town eatery. Most definitely, wandering can be a big scale, multi-airport soiree, too. The deliciousness of planning the trip, with research and maps and pictures…modern day explorers!
I’m a seeker. Whether it be my own personal dream vacation, or a mandatory corporate trip, there is never, not once ever, a time that I have not taken a little slice of the local flavor home with me. A memory. If that could be my one piece of advice to the world… it would be this: experience one real thing about everywhere you go. Don’t eat in the chains and go to the mall, or take the tour bus. Don’t play it safe. Eat the squid on the stick (more about that later) and visit the small shop, have a quick drink in the corner pub, walk down that side street and peek at the houses and dream about what it would be like to live there, and pick your favorite things. That is your gift. Not the T-shirt or the selfie. It’s the moment that you dared to live a little bit outside of your herd, outside of your comfy bubble. Do it wherever you go.
Thus, I kick off this blog with a photo of the water in Venice, circa 1984. I paid for my own trip to Italy by checking coats in a restaurant. I earned it a dollar at a time. A silly 14 year old girl that was worried about boys and clothes and superficial things, and yet somehow, through that haze of American teendom, was bulldozed over with wanderlust. My cappuccino at St. Marks Square in Venice has clung to me like an exotic perfume, all of these years later. I can see the silver tray, the white cup, the frothy milk, and feel the April sun in the medieval piazza. The quest began on that trip, and has never ceased.