A Traveling Woman

As I’ve grown, so has my desire to see, taste, and experience the world. An unquenchable thirst for encountering newness, you could say.

I’ve become a travelling woman.

Not that I often traverse great distances or see far-off places or spend much money to do so. On the contrary, my glorious little life has led me to find ways of travelling right where I am.

I moved to Nashville from New England a little over two years ago. Searching for a new adventure, a new beginning, a new everything. Everyday became an adventure of sorts: finding the most convenient grocery store, scavenging around for the cheapest gas, discovering the hidden nooks and crannies Nashville had to offer a wandering New Englander like me. But it’s taken me two years to finally begin diving into this new Southern terrain and feel freed to deeply enjoy what surround me in this still-new corner of the country.

As I’ve sought drink in all that I can, I find myself “travelling” locally. Driving across town to a new restaurant. Hiking around some of the trails close-by. Dreaming of visits to nearby cities.

But what does all this mean? I want to lean into this travelling woman and grow her and let her run wild through my life because I already know I love her deeply. I already know she is fierce and vivacious and imaginative and adventurous. She is already within me and so ready to overflow upon the world with her love of life. She is becoming me and I am becoming her, this travelling woman.

But where did she come from?

Somewhere very deep within.

But how can I let me out, let her explore, let this travelling woman of the best kind of wanderlust manifest herself within my regimented life?

Make each day an adventure.

Make my life an adventure.

I will not stand aside, hoping that exciting things will come my way or adventure will stumble into my dimly lit corner. I will seek it. Not recklessly, but I will risk. I will dare and throw up my hands at the odds and pray to a God of Great Stories that mine will be great. That mine will be worth retelling to all those who ask after me.

But my stories will not be for others. My adventures are not worn as outward adornments or sources of puffed up pride. Rather, they are expressions of my strength and curiosity. Of an insatiable desire to see and taste and experience more of this great, big, beautiful world.

Don’t you feel it too? The vastness of it all?

It’s just thrilling.

Makes me want to go out and dance and sing and run and jump and swim and kiss and laugh and skip and inhale and exhale and fill up as much space as I dare to take up. I want to make the air around me vibrate with the energy for living that burns molten inside my very bones.

Sizzles out of my hair like lightening in a summer sky.

Flames out of my eyes like a beacon on the dark shore line.

Singes the skin of those who would dare hold me back from the beautiful places for which I ache.

Near or far, I will see them. Strange or familiar, I will love them. Simple or complex, I will tell of them. High or low, I will sing of them. Sweet or bitter, I will kiss them with the lips of one who wishes to give love and linger over a beloved.

So don’t try to tell me travelling is only for those with financial means or the courage to fly in an airplane. Dear friends, travel through every day of your life and sop of the sweet, new experiences with your very being. Let the oil of life seep into your hair and scent your day with the unexpected. Let the ordinary be transformed into the extraordinary by the mere possibility of imagination.

So I will continue to travel. To New England. To the other side of the city. To another country. To distant, foggy trails. To nearer roads of crisp familiarity. I hope that my eyes will continue to seek an inviting freshness in whatever scenery surrounds me. I hope that my feet will never weary of the path, that they may never wear too deep a rut or be too timid in the midst of wilder grounds.

Take me to places of vibrant green and warm brown. To rooms of bitter incense and beds of tough canvas. To sights from mountain tops and the caverns in deep valleys. To the methodical rhythms of life to the brilliantly erratic. Oh travelling woman, help me relish in the beautifully ordinary and embrace the slightly wilder nature between which my life vacillates.

-Paige Wetzel