Following My Own Prescription For Wanderlust and Mid-winter Blahs


Earlier in the week, I wrote about my lovely, lifelong affliction of wanderlust. There are lots of ways to nurture it and indulge in it. Currently, I plan trips (some that I may not take for years) and schedule time to reunite with old friends.

For my own wanderlust, I just requested a brochure from the Santa Barbara, California visitor’s office. I made reservations (which I can cancel) for two nights at a cheap motel near the beach. I have an e-mail alert for cheap flights from Denver. When I shower, I dream of ocean waves.

I work out an itinerary to see close friends for a long weekend in Washington, D.C. I am getting in touch, enjoying the time to chat, even if the trip will not come to fruition this year.

I plan a cross-country road trip, marking up an old AAA map in blue ink, highlighting what William Least Heat-Moon calls the “blue highways.” I draw stars and circles on the maps where friends and family live, measuring with string the miles and time, lost in dreams.

I read Willa Cather novels and a book of her short stories, with the idea of a weekend trip to Red Cloud, Nebraska. I was there for two hours last spring, but figure a few days in the prairie lands that inspired a literary master might be my own escape.

I dream of a trip to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It will mostly likely be a couple of years before I go, but I practice my halting Spanish and I check out guidebooks from the library. I dream of connecting and seeking.

I plot a trip to Pueblo, Colorado. This used to be the halfway stop between my parents’ lives, when my sister and I were shuttled between homes on school breaks and summer trips. Now, I want to explore the city as a tourist, to see and enjoy the sights and discover what I have ignored in all the years of pit stops.

I devise a trip to eastern Colorado to explore grasslands and to see dinosaur tracks. I figure out where to plant my tent and this spring or summer, I will step into the tracks of giants, feeling small and excited.

I ponder a road trip to and through Texas. It has been years since I have visited and there are lots of friends and family who live in that big ol’ state. It would be fun to visit a “whole other country.”

I make an appointment with an ex, a person whom I still love as a friend. I am grateful that we can meet up and catch up. Together we know that we made a good decision to date for two-and-a-half years. We also made a good decision to break up, but still remain in each other’s lives.

I schedule a visit to my hometown of Springer, New Mexico. It has been over a year since I last visited. I have a friend living there who is a bit down in the dumps, trying to figure out future directions. Maybe I can be someone’s sunshine. Either way, it will be fun to go to breakfast and have a real live encounter, instead of an online chat.

Dreaming. Doing. It’s all there.


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