How dull is my job today? I dreamed I went to Singapore, got bored and robbed a liquor store.
Sometimes I think that instead of taking this position last month I should have just stuck with the Mary Poppins lifestyle I’d been leading for the last five years: Land somewhere, live out of a bag, have some fun, do a little dance, make some friends, leave an impression, then pack up and go wherever the wind takes my umbrella transportation unit, ideally leaving a young muffin like Bert in my wake wishing he’d had just a few days more to soak up my enchanting presence.
It worked for the guy on Quantum Leap, and Doctor Who. And in a less fantastical way, George on Seinfeld. He had that one episode where he decided to always leave on a high note.
And although traveling alone can be, well, lonely, I reaped huge rewards from my nomadic existence. In any given week now I get email from Germany, postcards from Norway, phone calls from Japan, or text messages from Australia. I met people who introduced me to people who then scattered all over the world, going back to where they were from or traveling on further.
For the past five years I’ve kept in touch with a guy I met at a nightclub and talked to for all of about two hours. I still hear from a girl who I shared a bus ride with three years ago. It’s awesome to have friends all over the world, especially when my vacations usually involve borrowing a couch for a few days, and I’m always ready to pack my bags for somewhere new.
Sometimes though, I just want to sit still. Maybe it’s part of getting older and having those nesting instincts kick in. I want to invest more money in my IRA than my luggage. I want to shop for matching linens. I want to unpack my bags and leave them that way, get good and settled in long enough that I can buy condiments for the fridge without wasting them and accumulate enough pencils and thumbtacks and half-used batteries to constitute a respectable junk drawer. Last month, I bought a bookshelf and matching cabinet thingy – and not the cheap, disposable, non-committal IKEA kind. I know. It shocked me too.
And maybe that’s why the lyrics to “Rand McNally” have been stuck in my head all week. Because it’s a song that reflects all the wickedly cool parts of traveling the world, but in the end (to me, I don’t want to put words into the Prophet’s mouth) is about doing your globetrotting, only to decide that once you get home, it’s nice to stay there.
But one more thing before I go
There’s never been any place like this home
For once in a lifetime maybe I’d be foolish not to stay
C’est la vie,