Oh hello procrastination. I see you’ve come to visit again.
So there is something I just cannot get out of my head. I have some of the worst wanderlust, and I feel so limited in ways to get it out of my system. I’ve always had wanderlust as long ago as I can remember. For a while there, it was scared out of me, thanks to my parents’ paranoia. You know, the usual “someone will inevitability kidnap you, rape you, and then kill you” if you go too far from home. But I got over that by the time I got out of high school. I had a hard time believing it when there were so many other people that were traveling unharmed.
Our department had a foreign exchange student from Australia who I became close friends with over the semester she was here. She truly inspired me to follow my wanderlust. She had been all over the world, and mostly by herself. She has all kinds of stories, all positive, and can only recount two sketchy instances in traveling. Her entire life she’s traveled, and she’s just fine.
After field camp this summer, I went on a road trip from Nevada, to Utah, to Colorado, to Wyoming, and back home again. All by myself. It was incredibly liberating, and self-encouraging in a way. The only planning I made before hand was to just do it. For the entire two week trip, I was only ever by myself once. It was incredible how many friends are willing to open up their homes to you and ask nothing in return. I did a lot of camping, which I enjoyed the most. I went on this trip to meet up with my Aussie friend in Yellowstone before she left back to Australia. I did it to tell her that she inspired me to just do it, and she was incredibly proud, and I was incredibly happy. It was the kind of happy I’ll never experience until I’m traveling again, I’m almost certain.
The more I think about why I truly want to travel, I remember my grandpa. My grandpa was the one true love of my life. I looked up to him in every way. He taught me how to do just about everything I know how to do because he was one of the few people in my family who didn’t think I was limited just because I was a girl. I remember, specifically, the one instance that tears me apart. I was living with him and my grandma at the time, partly because they lived so close to the high school, and partly because I wasn’t getting along with my parents. I loved living there, I never hated it, we never argued, and I had so much respect for my grandpa. He was the coolest person ever. He had tattoos. He lied about his age to join the Navy at 15 years old. He was open about his trouble making past, and how fun it was, and how he was most definitely not a felon *wink wink*. He was a hard man. My mom and aunt tell me how jealous they were for how he was with me. They tell me he was mean when they were growing up and how good I had it with him, and yet he would threaten my dad’s life for trying to spank me! I love my grandpa dearly. And now I am distracted with my favorite memories…but to the one that gets to me.
After my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer, which he knew he had but refused to go to the doctor over it because he was not weak (his words). He got pretty depressed there for a while, and of course I wanted to do everything I could to make it better. He told me he wanted to travel the world, and was there a way he could do that on the computer. Google Earth had just come out, and I was excited to let him see the world. The problem was, he had never used a computer before, and I had never taught anyone how to use to one. I tried to teach him, but we both lost patience with each other. He was aggravated that he couldn’t figure it out, and I was aggravated that he was learning too slow.This was the first time he ever snapped at me, and I know that he made a conscious decision then and there to never touch a computer again, all because he snapped at me, and all because I did not have the patience.
This isn’t something I realized at the time, only until later after his death – that I still cannot accept. I have so much guilt, I feel that I robbed him of an experience that he more than deserved to have. Ever since I realized my feelings about this, I have been promising myself to go see things, because I don’t want to be an 80 year old lady who can’t do more than look at the world from my computer screen. And who knows, maybe it’ll be from a contraption that I won’t understand, and I’ll get aggravated and say “if only I just did it back when I was able…”
I miss my grandpa dearly. Even though he is gone, he is still somehow my rock. He is my reference for what I need to do when I am not sure. One of my true regrets is not telling him that he meant so much to me. I’m sure he knew, but I don’t know that he knew I loved him so much, or exactly what he meant to me.
When I see him again, I don’t want it to be empty handed.
Sorry for the sad story.