From each country they would bring me a doll dressed in a beautifully detailed traditional folk outfit. Year by year it grew into a full cabinet of elaborately colorful dressed dolls that I would see from my bed when I woke each morning, beckoning me to come see the cultures they came from.
I filled scrapbooks of pictures of places I wanted to see someday. My games of "just pretend" were always of running away to join a travelling circus or to be part of a gypsy caravan. I imagined myself to be a cross between Brigit Bardot and Jeanne Moreau in one of my favorite movies, "Viva Maria." Every book I read or song I heard that was referenced seeing the world always pulled at my soul to just go and to keep on going. One day in my high school art class all my friends were talking about where they wanted to go on their honeymoons. One of my friends said he was going to travel the world but when anyone asked he was going to tell them he just stayed home. That was it, I knew it. My desire was to travel the world because that was my home, I could skip the honeymoon.
As soon as I went to college and had complete control of my time and finances I started finding my way to get to new places. I would sell blood at the local blood bank so I could book a flight to New York. Sell my clothes to second hand stores so I could jump a train to New Orleans for Jazz fest. Each summer I would find a job in a costume shop at some summer stock theater company in order to get to spend some time in a new place. I became a theatre gypsy, travelling from one place to another to work at different theaters, then I moved into film so I could travel to work on location and make enough money to spend time backpacking somewhere new on my time off.
As I reflect back on the question, I realize that unconsciously the desire for me to "travel the world and just stay home" has guided me my entire life. I am eternally grateful that I have I got to see so many places, in so many different ways and that I am now getting to share it with the man I love who has chosen to live this lifestyle with me and my 8 year old daughter. I never see putting my backpack up for good. I never see not wanting to go down one more narrow, winding street just to find out where it leads. I am content being home.