'I feel like I need to get away,' she wrote in that email, 'so I can figure out what I am…' If you strip away all the support, the family, the friends, the brown-eyed lover who brings you apple cider on Sunday afternoons, then you will be left with just yourself for once. What’s that like? Get to know that for a while. Figure that out. Come home a long time from now with more strength, better posture, great understanding.


So you want to go away. I do, too, unendingly, ferociously — let’s talk about it. I want to see and do spectacular things in my life. Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, traveling the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, kissing at the top of the Eiffel Tower… I want to string experiences together like souvenir key chains, so I jangle with adventure when I walk. I want to hear other people’s stories. I want to learn new languages. I want to get into, then out of, my own head.

We want, we want, we want. At home, in the air, on the move, I want without sense or satisfaction. And after becoming an expert in wanting, I have no experience in resolution — so if we’re having a conversation here, then you tell me what to do next. I know how to be home and, now, how to go away. But how do you do both? How do you board planes, see volcanoes, immerse yourself in foreign worlds yet keep the people you love and your place among them? Can you travel trailing relationships behind you and trust they won’t get damaged? Can you go away without deserting what you left behind?

Living With Your Wanderlust by Julia Phillips