Around the World in Eighty Years
Recently, I was referred to as "unworldly." I wasn't sure why and Webster's definition didn't clear up the mystery behind that word in reference to myself so I began to wonder--just what it is that makes one "worldly?"
When I was young I was rather obessed with the earth. I devoured the stories of world explorers as well as fictional adventures that took place in exotic locales. Geography was one of my favorite subjects in school. And at home, I would slowly spin and study every aspect of the small globe that sat upon a cabinet in the corner of the living room. My childhood was rife with my fantasized voyages and worldwide treks. But alas, childhood must always end.
Even through I might've been seen as a bit of a gypsy during my first marriage, constantly moving from here to there and back again, my adult life has never been conducive to traveling. Before a visit to the neighbors required a passport, I did manage a couple of small jaunts up into Canada and once popped over into a Mexican border town for a couple of hours, just so I could say, "Yeah, I've been to Mexico."
I can honestly say, "Yeah, I've been in Texas, too." But that visit ranks even lower than my visit to Mexico. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, but does a mad dash across it from one concourse to another in order to catch a connecting flight amount to visiting Texas? I say, sure. Why not? I was there, almost as long as I was in Mexico!
Despite all appearances, I'm not a complete homebody. As long as you don't think globally, I've been to plenty of places. There are only three states west of the Rockies that I've not set foot in--Colorado, Hawaii, and Alaska, though I almost made it to Alaska--twice. But I guess somebody upstairs always had other plans for me because both of those trips fell through. And looking eastward--well I've never been to Spain, but I've been to Oklahoma. (My sincere apologies to Three Dog Night for that play on their lyrics.)
Seeing the world through my own eye has never been in my destiny no matter what my heart may dream of. I must, therefore, depend upon others. I thoroughly enjoy it when my friends, family, and internet associates share their travel adventures through their pictures and stories. Vicariously, I travel with them. It may not quite be the same, and it may not make me "worldly," but I always borrow a bit of the experience to keep deep down inside and call my own. To cherish. To revisit. To imagine myself in that world.
Barring that, I can always depend upon a plethora of authors to willingly transport me into faraway lands for a fraction of the cost. These books are like a drug I got hooked on early in life and I will gladly continue to feed my addiction until I die. In regards to the title of this piece--God willing--I still have over twenty years of vicarious traveling to do--and I intend
to take full advantage of it.
Safe travels to all of you who can and do! And thank you for sharing those worldly experiences with the rest of us. Without that, my world would be missing some vital fragments through which I mold my imagination. And what a shallow and colorless life that would leave to me. Leaving me wholly "unworldly."
photo taken from under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco,
by L.F. Falconer 2012