As I write this, it’s a balmy 2 degrees Fahrenheit here on the eastern plains of Colorado. (That’s –17 Celsius, for those of us who can’t do the conversion in our heads.)
As someone whose fingers turn to ice when it dips below 72, I’m not in what I’d call my “happy place” right now. The birdfeeder has seen a ton of action in the last couple of days, but I’m afraid if I go outside to refill it, I’ll crack into small, frozen pieces. The driveway needs shoveling, but, come on. The UPS delivery guy wears boots on days like today, right?
If I squint my eyes just right, I can pretend the sparkling snow outside my window is sparkling grains of sand on a Caribbean beach. I look up at the blue sky peeking through the puffy white clouds, and I imagine I’m watching clouds scuttle across an Italian landscape filled with red-tiled roofs and rolling vineyards. I stand on top of the floor register to warm my toes in the heated air, and I fantasize I’m sitting in a Sonoma Valley winery, tasting a lovely ancient-vine zinfandel while I wiggle my sandaled toes in the dry breeze.
Oh, yeah. I’m suffering from a severe case of wanderlust.
I know I’m not alone. Many of my friends are stuck in travel-limbo with me. We look at travel websites. We peruse resort offerings. We stare at photos of palm trees until we can hear their fronds rattling in the sea-breeze. We read up on travel requirements, mask mandates, and vaccination rules. We double-check that our vax record is safely available on our phones.
And we plot our escapes.
Tentatively, we’ve started making plans. As the spring draws nigh (it’s drawing nigh, right? RIGHT?), we’re looking more seriously at flights. (And being shocked at the prices, which are surprisingly low in all the places we don’t want to go, and ridiculously high in all the places we do.)
I miss the world. But I also value my health, and I value living long enough and healthy enough to enjoy all the places I’ve yet to see. So, I’ve been patient.
I’ve been on a few test-run trips with my husband and a few close friends in the last year—mostly to rental houses or cabins where we can keep to ourselves and spend time outdoors. And that’s been grand.
But my passport is lonely. My toes miss the sand. My creative self misses the inspiration of new experiences to flavor my writing—she’s quite tired of staring out the same frosty windows. My heart misses the call of new lands and the jingle of foreign coins in my pocket.
Soon, world. I’m coming. I promise.
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