One of the biggest difficulties I have come across in my traveling has been my ability to be where I am. This can be a challenge for anybody as it is natural for people to be curious about what life would be like elsewhere.
Surprisingly, this curiosity has not been eased through my travel but, instead, it has multiplied. My traveling has only brought more destinations to mind through recommendations from others travellers and locals in whatever place I may be. It seems even people back home attempt to live vicariously through me by telling me about places they would like to go, “it would be great there, you should go,” they’ll say.
I’m not traveling for them, but I always find some portion of my mind reserved for considering what place I will go to next.
Planning ahead is good, but I do find some regret in the fact that during two and a half months I spent living in France I only visited Lyon(the nearest city to where I lived) two times. It was not nearly enough. I occupied too much of my time trying to find my next job so I could start making money again. It made what was supposed to be a relaxed vacation of part-time work(I was tutoring a family in English) into a stressful experience of limited cultural immersion.
Now, in Japan, anytime I hear an utterance of French, see a model of the Eiffel Tower, drink wine, or see croissant, I am reminded of France and my desire to go back. While there many things remain on my list of places to go, France still sits at the top. It’s nice to know there is at least some consistency.
New places are always added to my list, and destinations are highlighted for returns, but the real job remains to appreciate the place I stand. Now is Japan. Soon, for three weeks, it will be America again. It can be difficult to keep the mind in one place, but by maintaining that focus I can be sure not to miss anything while I’m there. Appreciation for the things around me is my most important job. It is a skill that everyone would be wise to improve.