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Sometimes it’s Really Hard to Get Away

While this blog is all about my adventures, I’ve never written (and I suppose I should) about all the years of preparation that took place before I could responsibly hit the road.


There was the climbing out of debt, the two jobs, the counseling and treatment for both mind and body, the collecting frequent-flyer miles, the sacrificing of comforts, and the difficult extraction of the numerous tentacles of life that grow like a monster into deep crevices and keep us stuck.  Really stuck. And by stuck, I mean not free.  It’s really hard to get away.


It's hard to get away.

Sometimes don’t we all wish we could walk off into the sunset and never come back?  Or is that just me?


Not many women my age (45) have made the choices I’ve made.  Most people my age have children.  With children the responsibilities grow a thousand-fold and so do expenses (yes, yes and joys too!).  And children require a home which typically means a mortgage and a mortgage requires work and so on and so on.  Tentacles everywhere.  I realize that my vantage point is unusual in its simplicity.  But my point is the same.  And I’m getting to it.  Promise.


It took me a good six months before I left in early 2013 to actively work on extracting these tentacles: so many relationships, so many commitments to wrap up, preparing for all eventualities one can prepare for, and getting rid of almost all the possessions that I had collected since beginning adulthood.


And when I got on that first plane, every bow was tied, every loop was closed. I metaphorically washed my hands of all of it.  I had made it.  I was free.  That was the greatest feeling.  And perhaps the deepest sigh I ever took.


And now I sit on this mountaintop in Mariposa, having been here nearly ten months due to the terrible condition of love, and there is a lamp on my desk and a closet full of clothes, and shoes I never wear, and file boxes full of paper, and hair dryers, and candleholders and books and art supplies and sleeping bags and pillows and a car outside and how did I get here?!  Again.


It’s amazing how quickly STUFF comes rushing in to fill the void.  It takes active attention to keep it away.


Two months ago, after many painful bouts of wanderlust, I booked tickets to Colombia.  And several of you know what happened next.  My cherished passport was nowhere to be found.  With not enough time to acquire another, I had to cancel the tickets. I was devastated.


Naturally, I applied for another passport, and the same day the government cashed my hefty check, I found my old passport.  Because life just likes to sucker punch me sometimes.  And probably you too.


In any case, I was happy to find the cherished old passport and acquired a new one just for fun evidently.  And so now I’ve booked tickets to Greece, leaving May 17th for five weeks. I’ve been over the moon except for the problem of tentacles; the largest and most sweet one being my 100-year-old friend.


Bear offered to help fill my place and introductions were made.  Today, I had a lovely woman scheduled to meet my friend and also help.  But this morning bad news came that my friend had fallen at home and was going to the hospital.  And today I spent hours and hours at his side.  Without close family, he is understandably leaning on me hard and is not one to hold back the guilt trips.  “I hope I’m here when you come back.”  God help me.  Tears.  I wish I could be more horrible sometimes.  It would really help in these situations.


And then there are the responsibilities here with the animals and the house.  Nobody can love the cats like I do.  Or feed the dogs like I do.  Or make sure the chickens are properly watered or fed.  Or clean!  Of course, they can.  But my ego tells me I am terribly needed.  What will they do without me?  Life will go on.


And then, as stated above, there is all this stuff.


Dreams don’t tend to come easy.  And unless you were raised on the Mongolian plains, it’s not easy to get away.  But if it’s your dream, there is a way.  And it is worth it.  Sometimes we have to fight hard for it.


I’m in the ring at the moment.


  1. I’m only 36 myself, but can relate to a lot of what is being said here. About to get married next year, but would still love to be able to travel more as I get older. Trying my best to live within my means while also earning my maximum potential at work. Your life story is an inspiration to me! If you can make this lifestyle work, then why can’t I?!?

    • If my story inspires you, that’s awesome. That’s why I write. Thank you. If you are fortunate enough to be born in a first world country you already have the golden ticket available to you. If travel is what you want, you can have it. Please consider me a resource for your travel questions.

  2. Oh Laura, it is strange to see you wrestling with reasons to stay for a change. Everything is going to be fine. It will be especially fine if you take a ferry to Rhodes between 3 June and 10 June and come and see me…

    May your travels be blessed and worry free.

  3. Ah Laura – a beautiful post and a concept very close to my heart.

    The options, the paradoxes, the push vs. pull; the want-to vs. should-do vs. have-to; the selflessness vs. the ‘self-ness’.

    It’s very complex this thing we call life. And it seems that the more we try to be true to ourselves, the more demands life puts upon us to challenge our importance in our own lives.

    Thank you for expressing it so exquisitely.

    • Thank you Cecelia for letting me know I’m not alone in the struggle!

  4. You are such an admirable person. Beautiful heart. Soak in your travels. When you get back we should meet up for a drink.

    • Thanks Delana. Sounds great to me. See you in July!

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