Over the past five years, I’ve developed deep respect for my wanderlust. I know it’s more than just an itch scratched by an airport Bloody Mary, IKEA-dressed Airbnb, and 10 gallery tour.

The change of environment levels my mania. The anonymity of travel reboots my sanity.

I left Buffalo, New York very little as a child, only because my mother’s poor health and restricted earnings dictated that outcome. Her yearning to see the world was palpable (heartbreaking, at times), and it greatly influenced the healing properties of the spontaneous road trip or plane ticket for me.

My roster of destinations is more remarkable domestically than internationally (there’s only 13 states I haven’t traveled or lived within) but my intercontinental explorations have been curated well. Most extraordinary, and formative, was the time I spent in Sweden, primarily in Åstorp and Helsingborg. In April 2015, as I sat at my desk in North County San Diego, California, and wrote for this blog, an overwhelming need to destroy the redundancy of life in order to foster new growth took over. I put my plan in motion in about five minutes. It was the best decision I made for myself at that time; as I wrote about previously, Sweden saved my soul, literally.

This same overwhelming need is what clocked me across the jaw the morning of Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The bleak path I was walking was losing what color remained by the hour and if I didn’t shake shit up – destroy the redundancy of life in order to foster new growth – I questioned how things would be when all was a dull gray. “Get to New Mexico” was the broken record playing in my head.

Similar to what initiated my interest in Sweden, a dear friend, who moved to Albuquerque nearly two years prior, had been encouraging me to visit. I enjoyed Santa Fe when I briefly stopped in 2009 on a cross-country road trip from Buffalo to San Diego post-close out of my mother’s affairs. My friend, who I’ll refer to as Demetria, was one to always treat me kindly; encourage my personal and professional development; and match my imitation of SNL’s Sweeney Sisters note for note. She’s an amateur interior designer and one hell of a home cook. When we’re together, we laugh ourselves into hysterics.

The idea of fleeing to Demetria’s house, and her welcoming energy, was the one thing that pulled me up off the couch where I was sleeping, gently nudged me to close out my immediate obligations in San Diego, and pack my belongings. This, along with a response to my “taking off to Albuquerque, don’t know when I’ll be back” text from KJ, my guru originally from Albuquerque, that read, “Do you need a co-pilot?”

It was once again time to honor the call of wanderlust and get the hell out of dodge. Get the fuck out of my head as well for a bit.

More to come.


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