“The landscape looked whole in a way it never had before; I could see how it fit together. My parents had lied. They’d taught me we lived in the best place in the world, but I could see now that the world was really one place and that comparing its parts did not make sense or gain our town any advantage over others.” – Up in the Air, Walter Kirn
My favorite bench in the world is in Pacific Grove, California. My favorite tree is not too far up Highway One, in Marina. In my opinion, the best ice cream in the world is on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. A few months before you were born, I was stuck in a trailer off the Canadian coast of Lake Huron in the most intense lightning storm I’ll probably ever witness.
I’m not saying this to show off, Sylas. I’m not the kind of guy that boasts about his worldliness to a baby. A baby with a passport at that. You’ve already traveled to another country and experienced your first earthquake, so you’re on the right track.
I’ve actually seen very little of the world, for all my traveling. I’ve only spent 10 hours in Europe, most of that at Heathrow airport and being confused. I haven’t found myself in a country where I don’t speak the language, and I desperately want to.
I believe all people are born with wanderlust, with a desire to see the world, to experience new things and places and people and food. But what happens to a lot of them is that, as they grow, they learn to be afraid of or anxious about or uninterested in elsewhere. They are taught that they live in the best part of the world, so why go anywhere else?
What I’m trying to get at here, Sylas, is that I hope you hang onto your wanderlust. That you won’t lose that impulse that makes you crawl all over the living room floor, over whatever may stand in your path. That you will continue to explore the world around you, always on the lookout for a new favorite bench, or a new favorite tree, or a new favorite ice cream.