Travel is about the excitement of experiencing new cultures and the indescribable thrill of broadening your horizons. It’s also a great way to leave people you feel you’ve outgrown — even if you’ve only known them for a week or so — because, sometimes, you know it just isn’t going to work out.
I suppose I’ve always been a traveler at heart. When I was a child, I’d spend hours spinning the globe my dad gave me, picking out places I’d someday go or cities I thought he might be with his new girlfriend. My thirst for adventure was further fueled by my mom frequently crying into a half-full glass of Chablis at the kitchen table. I realized she could probably be doing that anywhere in the world. So, why couldn’t I?
My passion for travel was further encouraged when Tammy Wolcott dumped me for Kevin Riley in the eighth grade. I vowed that I’d show her who’s pensive and sophisticated. I’d go places and see things that some people can only imagine. I’d drift down the Congo, sip Nescafé in the Medici Gardens, or eat a handful of magic mushrooms and go surfing in Fiji.
Then, about five years ago, after Kendra left me at the altar after a tumultuous three-year engagement, I packed a bag, grabbed my passport, and hopped on the next transatlantic flight. I haven’t looked back since. I mean, I’m super happy for Kendra, who now lives in Denver with her two kids and a husband named Dale. Even though I frequently wonder what’s so great about Dale, I know family life isn’t for me. I’m a traveler! On to the next adventure, I always say!
In addition to discovering unusual cuisines and hip nocturnal hangouts, I’ll occasionally strike up a conversation with a woman. We’ll get to know each other, even talk about me permanently settling down in this interesting, new city with her. After a few days of rigorous site-seeing, I’ll start to get a bit antsy. Suddenly, the city won’t have the same appeal as it once did. I might even get passive-aggressive whenever she asks a completely innocuous question. Then, during a last-ditch effort to salvage what’s left of the romance, I’ll tell her in some indirect way that I don’t see us having a future together.
We might be sitting on a boulder, watching the sunset over a gently undulating ocean view when I tell her, “It’s not you. It’s me.” Or while we’re silently sipping Catalonian cocktails at a sidewalk café on the Ramblas, watching the people go by, I’ll say something like, “I have to go to Tunisia tomorrow. I don’t know when I’ll return.”
I may even tell her that I’m still in love with my ex-fiancée, Kendra, even though I’m totally not.
So, join me every Thursday as I explore the world (except for the greater Denver metropolitan area), experiencing vibrant cultures and interacting with the locals, some of whom I’ll be genuinely excited to know at first, before realizing they can’t leave me if I leave them first.