Ever since reading King Solomon’s Mines as a boy, far off lands and journeys have fascinated me. Later, as a young man, wanderlust urged me to find out in person what lay on the other side of the ocean. To my dismay, however, I discovered I wasn’t a natural traveler.
Sure I could do it, but moving my body from one international location to another just never came easy. I quickly learned that although my mind was eager to absorb new cultures and experiences, my body wasn’t.
New foods, new time zones, and new bathrooms would slowly grind me down until, about mid-journey, I’d begin turning off to everything around me and retreat within in an attempt to preserve my equilibrium. And let me tell you, there’s not much joy in traveling when all you’re doing is yearning for home.
So following several challenging international excursions, I accepted my limitations and resigned myself to fantasy travel alone, the kind found in books, films, and the imagination.
But life can be quirky and sometimes more than a little mischievous. No matter what one might set one’s mind on, life has a habit of stubbornly following its own plans.
Despite my stoic determination to never again venture far from the familiarity of home, several years later I found myself immigrating to a country halfway around the world. These days I live about as far from my beloved birthplace as a body could get without leaving planet earth.
Like I said, quirky!
Here’s a drawing from one of my imaginative journeys, one that didn’t involve passports, checkpoints, suitcases, or strange, unsettling outhouses.