“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe, that’s enlightenment enough—to know there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, such as it is, for me means realizing how small I am. And unwise. And how far I have left to go.”
— Anthony Bourdain, Chef/Writer/World Traveler
I share in Mr. Bourdain's musings on the world, and our place in it. It's a blessing and a curse. It's a mindset that offers limitless interest in continuing to explore and learn and live and laugh, but it also sets in a place an insatiable desire to keep it going. It's a problem I foresee for myself looking into the future. But it's a lifestyle I've craved since I started giving a damn about what I did with my life. So, the question becomes: How do I ever find balance? A desire never to settle but a hope that I'll one day have stability, security and a family. A conscience that tells me to save, plan and play it safe; a devil on my shoulder that says travel, eat and be merry.
This internal dilemma is also a compelling element of my chosen career as a journalist. The constant unpredictability of it all. Never know who I'll meet, where I'll be going, what new idea I'll stumble upon and what effect it'll have on me. I like that. I thrive on it. It's what keeps me motivated to make it all work. It's why I was willing to pick up and hop across the country for a year of school that doesn't guarantee anything, but in a way offers everything. It's a whole new world. Of course there are those people and places that I miss, but it's hard to dwell when your mind is constantly stimulated by what's new and shiny.
I doubt I'll ever have the limitless travel budget that Mr. Bourdain enjoys, but I intend to get back out there, wherever it may be. Peru. South Africa. Denmark. All the travel and cultural exposure changes you. It doesn't happen until you learn to and begin to notice the little things: Cobblestone streets. Ornate cathedrals windows. A perfectly thatched palm frond roof. Waves washing on the shore. Farmers markets. A homemade meal. A town shutting down for a midday nap.
I haven't had my moment of "smug clarity," but I have come to learn that I'm compulsively unsatisfied with predictability. So I'll keep searching and hope that I find the answers along the way.