It Comes In All Shapes and Sizes

Asha and I are heading to Europe for a few weeks. I've finished up my internship this summer and have a long stretch of time before classes begin again in late September. Asha doesn't start her new job until October, so now is the perfect time to grab our bags and get out of town for a while.

I've never been to Europe before; neither has Asha. We'll be roaming around Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. I suspect that we've packed things a little too tightly with our schedule, but we've counterbalanced a full itinerary with light backpacks. Packing light never gets old: I love it when people ask, "That's it?" Yes, I say, this is it, but there's so much more out there.

Things have been a little crazy getting ready for this trip. Asha moved across the country to San Francisco and we found a place in the city close to my family. Between wrapping up the internship, doing a few interviews for next summer, apartment hunting, and trying to nail down some logistics for the trip, I haven't really had a chance to really think about traveling in the first place.

Things were different with my trip to South America. I had a lot of time to dream about the mythos of the traveler and envision what it would be like to venture alone through the varied landscapes. However, I only had a plane ticket to Lima, Peru and no fixed plan or point of return. I hopped from one place to another on more or less a whim.

Now, it's only a hot second before I hop on the plane that I'm starting to imagine what the stories of tomorrow look like, but I have the vessels for all those stories laid out for me: a timeline for cities and travel, AirBnBs booked, transportation arranged.

Granting that not everyone can travel and that it's not some panacea for the soul, if you do travel, it's worth exploring the different ways you can bottle the experience. I'm curious to see how this upcoming trip will interact with its constraints. I suppose that's all you can really ask for at the beginning: raw, open-minded curiosity.