Mary Poppins, the Original Backpacker?

October 17, 2007

How dull is it in the foggy San Francisco suburbs today? In the words of singer Jason Mraz, “I dreamed I went to Singapore, got bored and robbed a liquor store.” Not that I advocate felonies or misdemeanors of any kind, but you know what I mean. Some days, you want to be anywhere other than where you are.

Sometimes I think that instead of taking the new job I started last month I should have just stuck with the Mary Poppins lifestyle I’ve been leading for the last five years: Land somewhere, live out of a bag, have some fun, do a little dance, make some friends, leave an impression, then pack up and go wherever the wind takes my umbrella transportation unit, ideally leaving a young muffin like Bert in my wake wishing he’d had just a few days more to soak up my enchanting presence.

It worked for the guy on Quantum Leap, and Doctor Who. And in a less fantastical way, George on Seinfeld. He had that one episode where he decided to always leave on a high note.

And although traveling alone can be, well, lonely, I reaped huge rewards from my nomadic existence. In any given week now I get email from Germany, postcards from Norway, phone calls from Japan, or text messages from Australia. I met people who introduced me to people who then scattered all over the world, going back to where they were from or traveling on further.

For the past five years I’ve kept in touch with a guy I met at a nightclub and talked to for all of about two hours. I still hear from a girl who I shared a bus ride with three years ago. It’s awesome to have friends all over the world, especially when my vacations usually involve borrowing a couch for a few days, and I’m always ready to pack my bags for somewhere new.

Where is your mind wandering off to?

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