I love traveling. I love taking any trip, whether it be a trip a few towns over or a journey to another land, whatever it is, if it’s going to take me somewhere else, I love it. But I think I love it so, because I am, in my heart of hearts, a nomad. Someone who moves from place to place. Someone who has an inability to commit her heart and the rest of her life to any one of them forever.
I am not sure how this started. But I am almost positive it has everything to do with the fact that I moved around a million times in my lifetime. At first it was my father who was to blame. No he was never in the service, nor did he serve as a diplomat of any kind. But he always had something to run away from, someone to avoid. Some thing. And sometimes he took me with him, sometimes he left me behind, with strangers, people he barely knew who agreed to the favor of caring for his oldest daughter while he finished one thing or another.
He separated me from my mother…ok, well, he actually kidnapped me, but that’s a tale for the book I will write someday…when I was 5. By then I had already moved a few times, but those trips I don’t recall. I do recall, however, being taken from my mother and every journey I made since then. I remember my best friend ever. Francine. From Teaneck, NJ. I loved Francine. She was this beautiful Jewish girl that reminded me of the picture of this other beautiful Jewish girl named Anne Frank in a book our teacher had us read once. Her mother was the worst cook ever, but Francine was lovely. I so loved her. And then we moved. It broke my heart. I was 8. It hurt so bad, that I never allowed myself to get close to anyone like that ever again. And I never did. Throughout high school, I always envisioned myself somewhere else, so my first love, was “the love of my life till my Senior year when I was moving”. And I did and never looked back…again, and again. And the next time I fell in love, I just married the guy so that he would have to come with me where ever I went.
Now, at 38, I find myself still moving, traveling, either in my mind or in actuality. And I find that in my trips, I am looking to see if indeed the grass is greener.
I wish I was one of those people who has lived here, or there, for 2, 5, 10, 20 years. But I can’t even imagine that. I always thought in my younger days that at this stage in my life of wife, and mother-dom, that I would have “settled down”, but yet, I find that is not the case. Everywhere I visit, I visit full of wonder and anticipation. I tend to notice the strangest of cultural customs or habits because I envision myself in every city, town, country, as living there. If I am lucky, I will find something that is a clear sign that I would hate it, or not be happy. But, if not, and I am unfortunate enough to love it and not be in tune to the flaws during my visit, I will be tormented with the ideas of living there and the “what ifs” and “why nots” of the move.
But as a mother, I long to be grounded. To claim a space in this world to call my own – our own, forever and ever till my dying days. A place where my children, and their children, can build memories and call home. A place where each room is stitched together with a collection of happy words, and scenes of a growing family, and the aging couple who raised them and loved them. Where boo-boos where kissed, and homework was done. Where dinners were had, and advice was given. Where arguments were settled and embraces were shared. I want my husband and I to be that old couple seen holding hands as they walk through Central Park (yes, of course it’s Central Park, what other park is there?) in the DeBeers commercial.
We’ve started now, my family and I, to settle down. I am marking my spot by painting my hallway a bright color not easily painted over before a sudden move anywhere. But many of our memories are in various parts of the country, in different homes spread throughout. I have episodes of my life that start and end across various borders in the world. Pieces of me left here and there, with people and places I may not see again.
And so I travel, but with the hope that each journey will bring me back to this place I call home. With the notion that this place will always be the light at the end of every traveling tunnel I may go through.
And for now, it’s enough that I travel, and I write, and I discover and I share. I am a traveling mom, with a nomadic heart, trying to build her home in this beautiful and wonderful city of New York.