Friday, November 10, 2006

Travel Junkie Craves...

I don't own much of anything. I own a car. It's a good car. A Honda. It's a practical car. It will run for a very long time.

I'm not attached to much. I don't own any furniture. A year and a half ago, for what I considered a small fortune ($133.00), I bought a rather nice dark wood, contemporary-looking leather chair, thinking that I would own it forever, but I didn't want to lug it around the country, so I sold it for $150.00. I quietly smiled to myself when this transaction took place, for I actually got paid to sit on a nice chair for a year.

Also last year, a man who I worked with took a liking to me and gave me a beautiful stained glass window panel that he made. Perhaps I will have it forever, but as of right now, it is sitting in my brother's spare bedroom. (He's the one that owns his own furniture and will require a moving van, should a moving van ever be a concern.)

Ah, yes, my diplomas--those very expensive pieces of paper place behind equally ostentatious glass and cherry wood frames--are sitting in my brother's attic. At the moment, I have no urge for their prominent display. Last year, they hung above my bed (because there were no other studs in the wall of my living quarters). This disturbed me.

I own books. A lot of books. I like books. And from time to time, I like to purge them. I sell the ones I don't need on Amazon. I have more than I need. They are currently still in their boxes. I'm scared to unpack them. I am fundamentally against their unpacking. As a matter of fact, I shall put them in a closet until my next move. I would rather not unpack if it means only having to turn around and pack up again in 6 months. Meh.

I'm a pragmatist. I don't wear lots of designer stuff or fancy jewerly. When I do, it's for a reason. I found a great pair of Seven jeans at the thrift store last week. I had to mend a small hole in the crotch, but they fit me perfectly. I own a set of pearls that my father brought back from one of his trips for my 21st birthday. They're nice. I'll wear them forever. For a few years, I allowed myself to sweat every time I passed the Chanel area of the perfume store in duty free shops. Every time I traveled, I would indulge myself with copious sprays of Chanel Chance, but never once considered spending money on the product. Finally, as a treat for surviving my little war zone this summer, I broke down and spent $80.00 on a bottle of Chanel that will no doubt last me for two years. I like nice things, and prefer quality over quantity. But I don't break my bank account in the pursuit of material happiness.

I travel, and yes, this is probably my biggest financial weakness. As I'm getting older, I'm starting to veer away from the $10/night youth hostel that smells like piss and vomit and has no lock on the shower door. That said, I'm not above it. I'm not above sleeping on the floor of the Charles deGaulle airport because I'm so broke that I can't even afford to eat in the airport, let along pay for the tram into Paris. I'm not above spending a rainy November night shivering on the cement of the Rome central bus terminal because I can't manage to justify swinging for 4 hours of sleep in a fleebag hotel. I'll stay up and walk around Rome all night before I'll pay for something that gets me next to nothing. One of my favorite things about traveling is feeling hungry. I know, it's completely crazy, but I love it. It enhances my senses a little bit, until I finally find that ultimate cup of non-American coffee that makes me feel whole again, or the $8.00 five course meal that makes me want to dry-hump the chef. (This by the way, has been done before. In Portugal. I have the pictures.)

What is my point? My point is that I'm starting to itch again...starting to formulate my next jaunt across the moat. I'm to look around and ask myself, "What do I really need?"...and honestly, all I need is a little bit of cash, a good map, a comfortable pair of shoes, a versatile black dress, sunscreen, and a fairly stable sense of humor.

(To be continued...)

1 comment:

VJ said...

One thought on traveling with RA or any disability. I envy the female friend mentioned above as she wheels around in her wheelchair. No not her hubby who has indeed carried her and chair across Roman ruins and Pompeii. She was at the Vatican gate one year. They were late and she wanted in. She's hard to refuse, she's very diplomatic and can play up this Sarlett O. 'Southern Charm' bit to the hilt when she has to. She had to that day. She insisted she'd traveled a long way to see it and she would not be refused by anyone other than the Vatican's doorman himself. She got the guy. Naturally he's very gracious and can not refuse her request and takes her on a private tour of the place. He befriends her, obviously taken in by her vivacious natural charm. All 100lbs excess weight and not especially mobile charm, but a special unique & real charm it is. He's also naturally some sort of minor Italian royalty himself, and he's got a spacious ancient villa in a small town on one of the old Roman roads leading to Rome. That's where they stayed when they visited Rome this year on one of their whirlwind tours. And this sort of thing happens to her all the time. She's always staying with friends, new & old to save money to go further and on longer trips. We're all jealous of her. The only special friends I've got in the travel biz run a family owned bus tour company in the next town over. They're not staying in 600 year old villas too often I bet. Not for free either! Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'