A Skipping Stone

I have this problem where I can’t seem to stop hopping across the pond. Well, I call it a problem, but it’s not really a problem, more of a habit. Well, it’s not really a habit, more of an addiction. I can’t help it, I just like to travel. And we’re not talking about getting in a car in Houston, Texas and driving down one road for 200 miles until I hit San Antonio, then veering North for another hour until I hit Austin. We’re talking world travel. You know, that thing that involves the giant metal sardine can that piles in people, their bags, and sometimes their pets and sends them soaring into the sky at 400-500mph across a giant body of water or an entire continent until you land somewhere completely different several drinks and bad movies later.

I’m bringing this up because I’m going back to England in a month. I was going to go look for a job there, you know, one of those permanent ones where I go to an office and do the same thing every day for the rest of my life? One of those. It kills me just to think about being stuck like that, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Plus, what with the riots going on there right now I’m sure I’ll get hazard pay for working in London. That place is like a third world country right now. That’s also part of why it’s so alluring to me right now. Other reasons involve the fact that I’ve never spent much time with any of my family as I grew up, primarily because they lived in one country and I lived in 15 different ones. Another reason would be that I’m in love with an English girl, but that’s a whole different story for a whole different life.

So I’m hopping the pond. I do it a lot, really. Well, as often as I can. A lot is a matter of reference, and seeing as I technically don’t have a job and just travel and help SMBs or write content or book travel or create marketing strategies when there’s work to be done, I travel a lot for me. I miss it when I don’t. It comes over me like an illness, or better yet, like a man kicking an addiction or habit. I recently quit smoking (2 weeks today), so I know the feeling of shaking an addiction-habit very well. If I don’t travel, I go through these steps:

1) I start to get antsy. I feel like a prisoner to my home (one of the best things about not having a home is when this step comes up I can just switch locations). I need to get out, to go somewhere, to just drive my car in any direction and go. And usually I do. It puts the feeling at bay for a while, but it always comes back later, stronger and more commanding than the time before.

2) I get mad. Really mad. I start hating the country I’m in, I hate my house, I find reasons to hate my friends. Sometimes I even hate Rogue, my beautiful Corgi-Lab mix. Of course, that doesn’t last long. But the rest of it does, and it bleeds into my life, telling me I hate my job and that the grass is so much greener somewhere else. I actually start to believe that if I were to just drop it all and get on a plane everything would be fine. That’s why I got Rogue, actually. She stops me leaving.

3) I get depressed. Unbelievably depressed to the point that I think everything is hopeless. I’ll never get to travel again, I’ll never make enough money to have the life I want, I start believing I’m valueless and that it’s impossible for me to achieve the life I used to have as a kid. Of course, none of this is true, I travel all the time, having published works has proven I’m a strong writer, and happy clients proves I am good at my roles as an online marketing consultant.

4) I go. This is the kicker. I always end up going. Somehow, I end up hopping on a plane and crossing the pond for no apparent reason. Mostly it is to England, and a big part of that is family and romance, but I always end up going. And when I’m there, it really does take every single inch of self control to get back on that plane and come back to America. The hardest part, every single time, is leaving.

And that’s why I travel. Sure, I do it because I want to. I do it because I love to. But honestly, deep down in the core of my existence where the little ideas that drive us to live the lives we lead, I have a tiny little man constantly whispering “Isn’t it time you went somewhere else, James?” And in all my life, I’ve never been able to ignore him. Of course, if I could, why would I ever want to?

Post by: James R. Mitchener

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