By Belinda Marsh My deep need to travel is an unknown animal that prowls the edges of my mind. I can feel her there; patient, calm, sensuous. When I dream of a trip to Europe, the animal growls with desire and fury, and I have to quell the beast, and my tears of frustration, with my abject reality: a lack of money.
In two weeks I will be 43 years old. I have never been out of Australia. Recently (finally!), I got my first ever passport. The crisp pages excited me, and the animal was guttural as the tart scent of the paper tickled our nostrils and tantalised our imaginations. My UK passport is next on the list.
The plan is to fly next year with my lovely friend, The Frenchman, to France, other parts of Europe, and the UK. I am now one semester in to my Bachelor of Languages degree at UNE, majoring in (you guessed it) French. The savings do not match the time-frame at this point, but occasionally the animal urges me to throw caution to the wind, buy a one-way ticket with the little I have saved, and somehow find a way. The Frenchman, and my sensible Cancerian nature, remind me of my other need: security. So instead I ease the beast again, telling her to wait until we can afford it. The frustration is evident in my dream-world, and I clutch at my mind-pictures, sharing them with the animal, and discussing our coming adventures in whispered, hushed tones.
The animal’s eyes turn green at times, the envy flaring fierce and fevered, when we hear stories of those who have travelled. Listening intently, bittersweet emotions wash over me. She paces on my peripherals, eager and vexatious. I quell her again, knowing our time will come, and instead I immerse myself in the stories, letting my imagination wander.
Prowling, envious, carefree, patient yet impatient; the animal waits in the shadows to be free. And I wait with her. As the hunger grows ever-so-urgent, we wait to be fed. Who knows what will happen if we reach starvation point?
This will be a pilgrimage for me, a spiritual journey that feeds my soul. For my soul is the beast, and I need this nourishment to survive, to continue, to be.
This post was inspired by Alain de Botton (www.philosophersmail.com/perspective/where-to-go-on-holiday-and-why/) and my friend and fabulous photographer, Goba O’Brien (www.gobadirt.com/photo-gallery/random/item/13-paris)
Belinda likes to think she’s a writer, but honestly, she just likes to put on her rangry pants and have a good old rant. You can read her shenanigans at rangry.wordpress.com; she is also a regular contributor at thebigsmoke.com.au and theaimn.com.