I have a severe case of wanderlust. I’m always looking for the next adventure. The world is huge and I want to see every part of it. If not for my family, I would probably be a nomad.
My desire to wander started as a child. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my mother took me to The Galleria in Houston. I had never been there before because we couldn’t afford to shop at any of those stores. I was amazed by the mall’s architecture and all of the fancy shops. The glitz and glamour lured me away from my mother like a moth to a flame.
When my mother realized I was gone, she panicked. Coincidentally, a news reporter was in the mall doing a story about kids getting separated from their parents. My mother pleaded for help as the reporter interviewed her. After a mall wide search, my mother found me at the ice skating rink.
That was only one of many times that I wandered away. Things got worse when I figured out the public transportation system. I traveled to the every part of Houston before I was even a teenager. I’m sure my mom was thankful that I never made it to the Greyhound depot.
When it was time for college, I naturally applied to schools that were far from home. I finally landed in D.C. (where I met my wife). After graduation, I moved to six different states within three years. It wasn’t until I was married that I finally decided to settle down in one place. Even then, I couldn’t keep still. I’ve managed to visit 40 states and 12 countries on personal and business trips. As much as I’m seduced by the sirens of exploration, I’m more ground by the love and security of my family.
Now when I travel, I have my whole family with me and the experiences are so much richer. To my wife’s chagrin, my 9-year old son has inherited my sense of adventure. He can’t wait to visit new places and try new things. I’m sure that he will travel more extensively than I have.
Although living a nomadic life seems glamorous and exciting, it can’t compare to the comfort of a stable home. I enjoy having easy access to my parents, in-laws, and close friends. It took me a while to appreciate the slower pace and family ties, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
photo copyright Frederick J. Goodall