A Restless Feeling in My Bones

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.
–Hans Christian Andersen


at the foot of the “God Bless America” statue by J. Seward Johnson, Chicago,IL.


The peace some feel in the security of their home, I feel when I’m traveling. The onward motion, just going, whichever direction, soothes me. Even on the days when I’m at home with my child, a restless feeling in my bones will prompt me to sit him in the pram and walk out together into the sunshine, for miles sometimes.

Still, after having Sweet Baby, I have been doggedly determined to be content as possible within our little nest. We put artwork on the walls — paintings from India, silk embroidery from Korea, a Hmong tapestry from Laos, a canvas photo of ourselves waving blithely from a high, rocky outcrop in Petra. We bought a couch, and rested on it a large, quirky cat cushion from Thailand. We bought an ottoman, and rested our world-weary feet against it.

But some days, when I’d turn on the computer, I’d notice Liam had left open a website linked to a job in his field located in the Caribbean or the Middle East. “Let’s go,” I’d always say to him, even when the country was unfamiliar to me. The unfamiliarity only made it all the more enticing. I would do a Google image search, trying to imagine what it would look like to live there, wherever there was. Liam would Wiki the local cuisine. Both of these things suit our personalities more than you may know. But before going to bed, we’d close all those tabs browsing a different life. The ghost ship of our lives-that-might-have-been quietly sailed past.

“We can’t move abroad until Sweet Baby gets a bit older,” we wistfully tell each other. “We can’t travel for the next few years. We need to save money,” we sensibly remind one another. But with a certain degree of pride, I’ll admit I’m not known for always doing the most sensible thing. (How dull that would be!)

So it’s with great excitement that Liam and I, along with Sweet Baby, unexpectedly find ourselves planning two trips for this year, thanks to a flashfare plane ticket sale (and thanks to our friend Holly who promptly sent us the link).

I can’t explain how much it means to me. I feel like Sleeping Beauty waking up from her generation-long nap. I get to backpack again. I get to be myself again. There is no freedom like the freedom of the road.