I never had much of an opportunity to travel.
I was 21 before I really left the island. An exotic vacation to me was a roadtrip to Prince Edward Island. I spent hours scouring for ways to get out and see the world. I dreamt about the Girl Guides’ international camp in Switzerland. I remember my classmates taking group trips to Quebec, but emptying my parents’ pockets for that kind of cash was impossible.
I’m lying a little. My first real taste of travel was a class trip to St. Pierre et Miquelon, a real touch of France just a short ferry ride off the coast of Newfoundland. I was overwhelmed. Just outside my province was a world filled with foreign language, strange coins and conflicting voltage. Mostly I remember how rich the butter was.
To everyone else, however, St. Pierre wasn’t much of a novelty. To me it was everything.
The thing is, I’ve travelled a fair bit over these past few years, but I’m still stuck. Some people don’t understand this. My debt eats about 80% of my pay cheque. I own nothing besides a new bed to cure my insomnia. I find it difficult to comprehend how people can afford these luxuries of travel. I realize I’m extremely fortunate to travel at all, but damn. It’s amazing how debt makes the final decision, for now.
Sometimes I want to shut down my computer and hide away from it. The wanderlust. The insatiable, incurable, overwhelming need to move. Travel. Leave. Explore. It’s like a punch in the gut or a slap in the face. Do you feel it too? Some days I have to stop reading the adventures of others. Like today. Because I’m 23 and I’m still young but a lot can happen in a short amount of time. And while I know I’ll get there someday, whether it’s a gap year or a random trip, it seems about as far away as paying off my student loans. A whopping six years with my maximum payments.
And on that note, I’m temporarily feeding my addiction by spending three days in Halifax this weekend. My best friend has already warned others of my arrival. I’ve effectively set up a self-celebration party with a guy I met last weekend who lives there. And damn I’m going to soak up this experience for all its worth.