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“Travel and you leave yourself, escape your soul, fasten your skin against that great, numb blur of motion that puts everything to sleep.” – A.L. Kennedy, Paradise

What actually defines travel? Is it the actual vacation type of escape where you plot and plan, have a ticket to leave by plane, bus or train? Fill the gas tank and cross a state line? Or is travel simply the act of movement into something new? Taking a different turn at the corner, trying a new restaurant, or a route to work, or getting off at a stop you have never seen to discover a part of the city you live in that is yet unknown to you? Or, could it be a dream you had? The experience of the world a book creates in your imagination as you read? Could it also be the way you can get lost, and transported somewhere else, in a song?

For as long as I can recall I have longed to travel, or more honestly, to escape. Spent most of my days curled up and disappearing into the pages of well-worn books, or eyes-glazed and lost with a too big set of headphones over my ears whilst the turntable spun in circles. I would beg a seat on whatever trip my Grandparents took, even if it was a simple Sunday drive, and devoured the sights of the road (small towns, diners, local cemeteries, museums, gift shops). My first care was like a precious gift of freedom, the road spread out before me with a myriad of possibilities. I still wish I had thrown it all in a few times, when I was younger, and drove until I found a place that felt like home; that I had that kind of gumption, and bravery.

Now I close my eyes sometimes and see the outlines of maps in my mind. I try to believe that forty-four (tomorrow) is not too old to really live, see, and explore. I try to imagine a time in the not-so-far-off future when I can cover a wall with postcards of places I have been, or fill a jar overflowing with matchbooks and other souvenirs. My gypsy soul, she is screaming for satisfaction.

Map of the World :: Monsters of Folk

There’s a map of the world,
on the wall in your room.
Green pins where ya wanna to go,
white pins where ya been,
There isn’t even ten.”

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