When I first met my boss, he told me I was probably the type of person who dots their i’s with a heart. I reeled back. Whoa whoa WHOA. Anyone who knows me even a little bit wouldn’t assume that. The truth is, I’m often quite the asshole. BUT I’ve been consistently told by people who barely know me, that I’m really sweet. That’s how I know that they don’t know me at all. They can think I’m a good person to know, I certainly enjoy extending mutual support either professionally or through intelligent acquaintanceship, BUT I’m not actually a “sweet” person. There are plenty of people who will back me up on this. Including my beloved husband Andrew.
A mild example of this: if I’m just not feeling it, I’ll simply walk away from the person that’s attempting to talk to me. When Andrew first saw me demonstrate this characteristic, he was shocked that he had fallen for a woman who could be such a jerk. (I had breezed by a friendly approaching perfume salesperson with nary a word nor a nod.) So, it’s not like I’m tripping people or anything. I’m just ignoring them. Which is perhaps worse, because my behaviour demonstrates a lack of care and attention.
This is ironic. I’m writing a blog! Don’t bloggers want attention? Or why am I doing this anyway? And why blog about travel?
Well… I’m not going to do a makeup tutorial because I’m kind of an idiot about that kind of thing. I’m not going to blog about my love of sewing because I actually kind of hate it. And I most certainly am not going to blog about fitness because while I’m super-interested in comfortably flying economy, all I really do is show up at aerobics and obey the chiseled instructor. I guess my method of travel is along this same vein. I’m not an expert. I don’t do this full-time, and I don’t aspire to. Andrew makes the plans, and I’m his companion.
So what, what, WHAT could I possibly offer the travel blogging world?
Beats the hell out of me. Nothing, probably.
But maybe I’m not doing this to offer anything to anyone.
So why am I even doing this?
Do I hope to find a new revenue stream? NO.
Do I want a tonne of attention? NO.
Do I love writing? YES.
Do I think I’m any good at writing? Um maybe sure… so I’ve been told by some people I really respect. I tentatively believe them, somewhat. But I also understand that it’s considerably more difficult to tell someone, in person, that you think their writing really sucks.
Do I want to get better at writing? YES.
Being public with my writing puts me out there. Now I’m subject to criticism. This is a big step for me. I want to become bolder with seeking criticism.
But why blog about travel, when I’m not giving practical advice?
I think I just want to find someone to relate my experiences to. Most people around here (where I live) couldn’t really care less about the places we’ve visited. But you know what? It’s a big deal to me. Traveling has made me really, really uncomfortable. It’s brought out the worst in me, and has made me confront myself in new ways. It’s caused Andrew and I to get to better know ourselves and each other.
Eons ago, when we were engaged, we were encouraged to have pre-martial counselling. The idea behind this is to identify potential problems and address them before heading down the aisle. This all went smoothly for us, no problems seemed to arise. Many times we have felt like we’re the same person or something, we’re so ridiculously well-matched. Someone once suggested to me that if everything was so easygoing for us, we didn’t have a real relationship — one of us must be faking it. While I think that person’s full of shit — not every relationship is going to be filled with spectacular arguments — I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. Did our lack of arguments and disagreements indicate that our relationship was a fraud?
WELL! Enter travel. Thrown off schedule, jet-lagged, lost, hungry, and feeling really gross in general, and we did begin to find things to fight about. And it’s been fantastic. I highly recommend travel for couples to either grow closer or decide to break up. I hope for your sake it draws you closer to your significant other, by the way.
That was a rabbit trail, my friends (or rather, friend — hi Lauren!). I’m prone to rabbit trails. Especially when I’m trying to figure myself out — which is exactly what this post is all about.
I’ve written about my hometown before. I kept it mostly nice. I will continue to do so, probably for always, because I feel like if you hate where you live, then you’re a tremendous idiot. If you think it sucks so much, then get the heck out of there. Jeepers. *eye roll* But I think I did convey the fact this place is kind of small, and kind of religious. And with those two factors comes another fact — most people in small religious towns, if they’re happily married, will either 1) have a bunch of kids, or 2) not be able to have a bunch of kids and be understandably sad about it. Therefore Andrew and I are automatically weirdos here because while we’re married and we’re really happy about that, we’re also enjoying being child-free. Around here, that’s kind of… unique. At least as far as we can tell in our experience.
Side-note: I love my nieces and nephews, which also includes my friends’ amazing children, I feel like they enrich my life and are little magical pixies which leave me dazzled and stunned and exhausted and reeling. (Much like travel..?) So I’m not a child-hater, though I’m also not one of those people that ignores the adults and prefers the company of children. Although I do see how it makes sense to pay more attention to the children in order to avoid awkward conversations with other adults.
My point is, Andrew and I love each other, we love our town, but we’re weirdos in this town. I think we’re kind of weird anyway, and we match each other in our weirdness (I believe in that meme that states that you find your mate when you find the one whose weirdness matches yours. I’m so lucky to have found mine.) Most weirdos leave this place. We’re mild weirdos, and a tad introverted, we’re content, and so we stay. We don’t need an entire town to understand us. We’re good. 🙂
But this fact remains: the people here vacation almost exclusively at resorts. This is not a 100% blanket statement. But this is what I hear when I reveal our upcoming travel plans to non-resort locations:
“Oh, are you going there on missions?”
I’m self-centred and not at all evangelistic. This digs into theology, which I’ll leave to Andrew. But I myself, no… I’m not an evangelist, nor have I ever understood that kind of thing. Not even when I was a kid and theoretically part of a church with “evangelical” in the name. I haven’t abandoned my faith, but things have changed, or rather, I have come to know myself better. Also, I’ve always known that I’m not here to convince anyone to follow anything. If anything, I like to try to understand people and then reflect them back to themselves. That’s it. If anything.
When I was in third grade, I had this desire to connect with just one reader, someday far into the future — just one reader who would understand me. This was before the advent of the internet, so my idea was to write a letter just about my life and thoughts, and leave it in a bottle somewhere outside, and maybe someday some other little girl would find my letter and read it and understand me a very little bit.
I never did write that letter. But I remember having that idea, that thought, that desire. I think this may have sparked the beginning of me wanting to write; just to put it out there.
Fast forward to adult me today. With this blog. It’s like my letter in a bottle to one person, just one person who will stumble across it and read it and understand me.
If you’re reading this… well, then this is for you. You’re that person.