Day 25 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, from BootsnAll
Prompt #25: FAMILY
“Family shapes who we are, but sometimes the family we create plays a bigger role in our lives than the one we were born into. Tell a story about how either of your “families” have impacted your life and your travels.”
Expect to be disappointed
“Maybe that’ll work out, but sometimes things don’t always work out the way you think,” she said. “Sometimes in life you just have to expect to be disappointed.”
I was 21, and had just graduated college. Spending one last summer in my native Virginia, I was planning to move to Oregon after taking some time to travel the UK on a work visa.
And a dear relative had just told me it might not work out at all.
Was her goal a resigned compassion? Then I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much, and instead be better prepared to deal with the sometimes disappointments of this world. Or was it a keenly strategic comment? She knew my stubborn, driven personality well: a sure way to make sure I did what I set out to do, was to tell me that I wouldn’t.
To this day, I don’t know what motivated her to say that.
All I know is I did indeed use that comment to springboard me. No, it might not work out exactly as I thought—but it would work out. I would live in Scotland. I’d see what happened from there. And I would—I bloody well shagging would—move to Oregon and make my way in life there.
Many years and passport stamps later, I feel very lucky that my family and I understand each other better, and they respect my travels and decision to live across the country. It’s not always easy, and we miss each other, especially around the holidays. But they know how happy I am, to live here, to occasionally set out for a different part of the world.
And I know how happy I am too. From my family of blood and marriage, to my various families of friendship and informal “adoption”, I’ve learned that things indeed don’t always work out the way I might have originally wanted and envisioned.
More importantly, I’ve learned how wonderful that can be. I don’t need life, travel or anything to work out as I originally wanted, because I cannot possibly see the whole of what might happen. Things rarely go as thought or planned. Whatever motivation drove that long-ago comment, I can’t say I’ve been disappointed. I’ve just tried to live well, not expect too much, roll with what comes—and if anything, life and travel have been all the better.
More like this: Urban Fantasy and Travel Stories from Rucksack Press »
What is the 30 days of indie travel?
Every day in November, the BootsnAll Travel Network is inviting bloggers from around the world to a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year (or whenever) have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as we like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on our own blogs. More information: Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project »