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I Want to Get a Little Lost

i want to get a little lost -
view of downtown Denver from the front window

I want to get a little lost. See something new. Explore on foot. Speak another language for a while. Listen. Figure things out. Diagnosis: wanderlust.

It feels as if it has been forever since I’ve traveled. Really traveled. Until a couple of years ago, I had taken international trips multiple times a year. It was—in a word—awesome.

I want to plan a big trip. Somewhere far. And cheap. I’ll use airline miles. Stay in hostels. That sort of thing.

I’m not a high-class traveler generally. In Guatemala I lived with a family. (The entire month-long trip cost under $1,000, including airfare.) In Sevilla, I shared a tiny apartment with three women I met in Spanish class. I’ve slept in auberges, one-star hotels, and YMCA dorm rooms. And over the past two years I’ve crashed in spare bedrooms, on sofas, and in sleeping bags.

My top travel choices at present are the three-week Annapurna Circuit hike around Nepal, visits to Bhutan monasteries, the 30-day Camino de Santiago peregrino (pilgrim) hike from France to Spain, El Salvador to Colombia by bus and boat, Ecuador and Peru, and South Africa.

I love Denver. And my home in River North (RiNo). I do. But I get a little stir-crazy. I want to use my Spanish and my French. Shop in open markets. Drink beer in foreign lands with strangers. Meet travelers from around the world. Use my brain and my common sense to get around.

I want to get a little lost.

Diagnosis: Wanderlust.

Over the years, some people have suggested to me that wanderlust is really a form of running away. That it’s a grass-is-always-greener attempt to avoid the realities of daily life. I like to entertain possibilities so as to not rule them out prematurely. So maybe they’re right. But maybe they’re not.

I wonder if some people at their core just need to see a little farther than their own front yard (no matter how fab the view). I wonder if some people feel most alive when they’re strangers in a strange land.

I wonder.

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