One recent afternoon I had an awful realization. We’re almost done. We have about two weeks before we need to be in Sonoma, CA. About 20 days after that we plan to be in Milwaukee, WI. Two weeks after that we fly to London from Chicago. We’ll spend three weeks in London, then return to Chicago. True, this all works out to about two and a half more months and two and a half months is more than most people spend on vacation over a few years. But when you’ve spent nearly 10 months on the road, it suddenly feels like nothing. Like there’s no time left. We’ve got to figure out what we’re doing next. All we’ve got is a storage closet full of stuff in Chicago, a minivan, a few more belongings scattered between our parents’ houses, and a bunch of crazy ideas. Where will we live, what will we do for a living? We’ve been putting these decisions off, but now they’re all coming due. So soon, so soon!
And there’s so much that we missed! Not only the things we learned about after we visited a place, but the places we had to cross out altogether, like the Florida Keys, Big Bend National Park, Yosemite National Park, the entire central and northeastern and most of the southern United States, Deception Pass in WA, Antelope Canyon in AZ, Catalina Island off the coast of CA. Cities like Nashville, Memphis, Bozeman, San Francisco. British Columbia and its amazing parks, and the biggest one of all, Alaska.
I want to return to the places I’ve loved, and I still want to find new places to love. I thought we’d see everything and be done with it, but instead we’ve seen a lot and now I just want to see it again, and more. And more. After spending so much time rambling around, I’ve come up with all of these specific trips I want to do as well. Float down the Grand Canyon (no motorized boat). Hike the 400+ mile Colorado Trail in one go. 4WD around Death Valley, Escalante National Monument in UT, Anza-Borrego State Park in CA. Hike the canyons around Vermillion Cliffs in AZ, and all of the canyons in southern Utah – every single one of them. Spend a month in a cabin on St. Joseph’s Peninsula in FL with a kayak and a paddle. There’s never enough time.
I thought I’d end this trip satiated, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. It really is a bug, this travel thing.