To Travel or Not to Travel

It's a love/hate relationship really, the one I have with traveling. 
I adore going to unknown places, seeing new things, experiencing different cultures.
That's entirely the problem.
I fall too quickly and easily in love with almost every place I visit.
Like fall really really hard.

For example, I am crazy about Romania.
My heart broke when I came home from my year and a half spent as a missionary there.
It truly broke. 
And I promised myself that I would make it back there someday.
(That someday is only a few short weeks away, I can hardly believe it!)
And I have prayed so many prayers that life would lead me back there to live for real someday.
I feel patriotic to Romania more than I do to even the country we live in now.

The first time I went to Portland Oregon I called Ryan on his cell not 5 minutes after pulling into the city.
"This is where I want to live!" I told him. "I'm serious. I want to buy a house here and have babies here and grow old together here."
He knows me really well so this did not phase him in the least.

When we took a train to San Francisco I felt in the very deepest part of my heart that I would never ever be really truly happy living any place but there.
It felt so familiar, so like me, so comfortable and easy.
It was charming and I adored San Francisco from the very first moment I met her.
It was my favorite vacation.  
I didn't want to spend a weekend there, or a week, or a month.
Instead I wanted to go job hunting right then and there and make ourselves a real part of that beautiful city.
Burrow so deep no one would ever know we hadn't been a part of her all along.

And then New Mexico came along.
With each sun-filled new landscape and each red-orange horizon I was devising intricate plans of buying land and building a homestead for our posterity.
I felt the strongest desire to put down roots and make her our home.

And now in Switzerland it is scary how very much I feel the exact same way about here.
I want to be here for Christmases and birthdays, and children, and blessings, and send our kids to school where they will learn Italian.
It all seems so very familiar and like our life could so easily merge into this one.

It may perhaps be an understatement to say I fall easily in love with places. 
Perhaps I am a fickle admirer, but it doesn't feel fickle.
It feels so real and stays with me for so long.
Forever really, I still feel that way about all of these places. 
I want to live everywhere.
I'm still trying to figure out how in heavens name I will ever be able to make this happen.

But this is the reason that travel and I have a complicated relationship.
I love living in new places and moving to new places.
But traveling new places is an entirely different animal.
Vacationing somewhere is definitely fun but it also makes me feel acutely aware of how I am just observing the life I love when what I really want is to be living that life.
For a little while at least.
To try it on and walk around in it to see how it fits and how I feel in it.
I want the whole kit and caboodle.
The going to school, cooking meals, walking to work, grocery shopping, going to movies, watching TV even.
I want to experience the daily grind in these exotic (to me) places.
This is the only way to really truly discover a new city or country or town.

You don't get to know a place properly by skirting around tourist hot spots always on the outside of things.
It's by living in a place that you really uncover it's true-ness.
That's when you get to see and hear and taste and smell all the quirkiness of how things are done there.
Mere vacationing in a place is sort of like sucking on steak, you can taste it but you don't really get the whole experience of eating it.

So the point here is that three months in Switzerland? It's pretty much perfect for us.
Long enough to really live and belong in this place, but not too long that we would have to sacrifice our home and Ryan's job and everything about putting down roots that he especially loves and all that is waiting for us back home in Utah.
It's kind of the perfect little situation, and we are both thrilled with how it's all worked itself out!


  1. You put this so perfectly for traveling junkies! :) So happy you get these amazing experiences and hope you can continue to travel all over to experience the wonder that God has given us!

    PS. Love all your pics - keep them coming!

    1. Oh Sara, judging by the cool places you guys have been lately I am positive that you out of anyone would know exactly what I am talking about! Doesn't it feel like the deepest and most personal gift to be able to see so much of the world? I don't know how I got so lucky but I can't get enough of it! I'm sure you feel the same way.


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