Thursday, 13 October 2011

On the Road: home sweet home

When I sent out the requests to some of my internet friends to write about traveling I should have been more clear.  I know the go-to thought when one hears ‘travel’ is exotic locales and strange foods and while I admit to this thought-process as well, there is plenty of ‘travel’ to be had at home.  For me, travel is an escape, but an escape does not always have to be dramatic or scenic.  Emily escapes from the mess of DC with a good beer and pizza.  What’s not to love about that?

Hi!  I’m Emily.  Ariel asked me to write about traveling while she is, in fact, traveling!
However, I had some trouble writing about this because, well, I haven’t traveled much.  I’ve never left the east coast of the United States, except to go to Ohio.  Let me tell you, that definitely isn’t something to write home about.  So instead, I’m going to tell you about the trips I haven’t taken.  Believe me, you don’t want to hear about Ohio!
If you can believe it, I’ve never seen New York City.  I currently live a few hours away from the Big Apple and can’t seem to find the time (or money) to get away for a weekend.  I’ve never tasted a real New York pizza or bagel, though I hear they’re both fantastic.  I have, however, eaten at Mellow Mushrooms across the American South, and I must say, that pizza will be hard to beat.
I’ve never seen the Eiffel Tower!  Except in pictures, of course; I’m not that sheltered.  I have tasted macarons, but they were from a French bakery in Savannah, Georgia, not Laduree.  My French baguettes have, sadly, always come from Panera or my local grocery store instead of a café where I can sit and enjoy them with chocolate or butter…or both.  (Side note: my five-year plan is to visit Paris, mostly for food-related reasons.  Notice I didn’t mention anything but food and the most recognizable landmark when talking about the city.)
India is nothing to me except a backdrop in The Darjeeling Limited.  The colors, sights, sounds and smells are all about as abstract as they can get—I’m sure that whatever I imagine is nowhere near the truth.  I’ve never even eaten Indian food.  Though I do find this culture very inspiring, it just hasn’t happened yet!
While I’m not so sheltered that I haven’t tasted beer (I know some of you are reading this and are completely appalled—but I assure you, I’m living my life!), I’ve never had a Guinness, and I’ve surely never had a Guinness in Dublin!  I love my American craft brews; why would I cheat?
The families my boyfriend and I grew up in didn’t value traveling; our vacations were spent either at home or at our extended families’ houses out of state (Ohio and South Carolina for me; North Carolina for him).  We didn’t venture from those destinations often, except to take a daytrip here and there.  Our parents haven’t done much traveling, either; mine haven’t seen New England or much of the west coast, though my father travels for work, and the furthest away from American they’ve been is the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  It isn’t seen as a priority, though I know we’re in the majority in that regard!
As I said, many readers (and people I know) are completely stunned by this lifestyle.  They ask, what is there to live for if not traveling?  What do you do with your vacations?  Well, I mostly take that time to see family or to focus on myself.  I’m a homebody who likes to cook, bake and sew—sometimes all at once.  I would love to have the time and money to travel to Europe, or even just the west coast, but until those happen, I’m content to spend my time in my apartment, curled up on the couch with a magazine and my cat.  Seeing the sights and learning new street names are fun and exciting, but home is exactly where I want to be.

1 comment:

  1. My side of the family doesn't really travel, either . . . never have. The lifestyles of our parents and other family members make a big impact, I think, on how we view travel.