Traveling is in my blood. "I've been so many places in my life and time." That's not my line, that's Leon Russell's in A Song For You. Is he fantastic or what?
My father was a wandering Jew. The eldest of four children, he was born in Antwerp, because his parents just happened to be there for business at the time, while his two sisters and brother could claim Amsterdam as their place of birth. He went to sea after his father died of the Spanish Flu, and visited many places in the world I didn't even find out he did until decades after his death.
My mother traveled for her job in advertising. The summer after my father died, she signed me up to hike from the southern tip of the Netherlands to Luxembourg. At sixteen I took the train to Skopje, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and hitchhiked the rest of the way to Athens, Greece with a 21-year-old girlfriend.
"No one will ever take away the memories you collect on your travels," she said.
In Palma, de Majorca one Spring, in my early twenties, I promised myself I'd have a profession that would take me places, and working as a designer and artist did just that. I vowed I would not move from my present home before I finish a few books in the making. And then? Then I'll work the Writers' Conferences circuit, giving lectures and readings, teaching workshops. That's how I envision I'll get around.
Chris Guillebeau is the author of The Art of Non-Conformity.
This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.