Thursday, May 10, 2007

Incurable Wanderlust

Sunset on the Nile, Aswan, Egypt, 2005

I felt it again today - that all familiar "please God, let me be anywhere but here" feeling. At precisely 6:48pm as I was walking to catch the bus home in the dim evening heat.

After 31 years, I can recognise the pattern. Every few months or so, I tend to get this incredible urge to go someplace else, or to borrow from my old friend J, be elsewhere. Living in New Zealand, it was pretty easy. Get into the car, drive to the coast or to the hills and go for a long walk. Invariably followed by chocolate. Urge satiated. Just like that.

Wadi Rum, Jordan, 2005

But what do you do when you live in an island the size of a theme park? Granted the flights outta here are frequent and plentiful. But what if you just want a spontaneous short burst away from the regular scene?

I could try to be a tourist in my own country. You know, like what G. K. Chesterton said about setting foot on one's own country as a foreign land.

But
that's just not quite enough for me. Sorry to get all quotey again but I used to have this Robert Louis Stevenson quote written in my diary in secondary school.

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

I can't help it - I just love getting into a car, plane, boat, train, sampan, cyclo, tuk tuk, anything really, and getting to the scary unknown beyond.

Maybe it's the fact that tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of our return to Singapore. And I just miss good ol space. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm just tired from a hard week at work and wish I could reclaim those carefree days in between jobs (and countries) where we traipsed all around Jordan with one of my favourite people J (gawd, look how young we look back then! gulp).

J, D, and I at The Treasury, Petra, Jordan, 2005


Thirsty traveller J being served by resident bartender D in Petra.

I don't know what's gotten into me, but I do know wise adages aren't wise for nothing, and that this too, shall pass. So to quell my wanderlust this mid-week night in a tiny, steamy island, I turn to memory, and the knowledge that I have walked some incredible paths with great people, and the road ahead is wide, open and free.

Dana Valley, Jordan, 2005

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