Imagine running away for a year.
For a fleeting moment, I had a crazy notion to look in to that after reading about American journalist Elizabeth Gilbert’s year where she ran away to find herself.
It was made in to a film, Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts and after I watched it, I thought, wow, is that the answer to everything - escape to find the real me.
Though, this writer did have a $200,000 advance on her book to fund her travels.
Ah, there’s always a snag.
For the last few days since I read about her journey, it has been in the back of my mind.
Though, I always remember Russell Brand saying he travelled all the way to Tibet to forget his problems and realised quickly upon his arrival that you take them with you.
I also started thinking about the places around the world I have visited – Paris, New York, Berlin, Washington DC, Virginia, Boston, Milwaukee, Barcelona, Copenhagen but I can honestly say I have visited these places but never spent any time there.
It’s always been a flying visit to see a Pearl Jam concert. That made me kick myself that I hadn’t taken time to see more of places.
I do smile though as I did all the tourist sites in Paris in less than six hours - the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, the L’Ouvre but it was all such a blur, I can’t say I really soaked it all up.
So, the idea of going somewhere and spending time embracing another culture seems very appealing.
Get to know the real people, experience the food. Imagine eating a real pizza in Italy? This is something on my travel wishlist.
In saying that, I don’t take for granted that I was able to go to all these places and if it hadn’t been for Pearl Jam, I wouldn’t have a Passport full of stamps from around the world.
And I did get the chance to spend a month working in the States but again, I was travelling round Virginia, working at different newspapers, it all happened so fast that I was home before I knew it.
I have to say that while I admire Elizabeth Gilbert for disappearing to find herself, I would miss so much of what I have here.
Loved ones, my cat, my Sky Plus box, daily life in the Herald, I would be lost.
You take things in your everyday life for granted, it’s so easy to do.
I sometimes think if people did go away they would quickly realise what and who they were missing, perhaps that is what makes life changing.
But then, if I was to be very honest, as Dorothy would say in The Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home.
So I think I will stay put.