Posted on July 19, 2012 by Jennifer Wolfe
There’s nothing like travel to give a reality check on how spoiled I am.
I live in a big house with a comfy bed with more than one pillow. I don’t have to sleep twisted into some contorted position in order to stay on my side of the armrest, and my pillow doesn’t have to wrap around my neck.
I can walk to the refrigerator or pantry whenever I want to and drink clean water and eat a healthy snack. I don’t have to remember to use bottled water to brush my teeth or ring a bell when I need to eat (ok, that actually is kind of cool for a change).
I can ride my bike to work, to the grocery store, or just about any place I need to go in my hometown. If I drive, it’s usually a quick trip. I don’t have to ride in a shuttle bus through traffic that would put LA to shame, wondering how eight lanes of cars and motorbikes will fit into a space wide enough for two.
After 29 hours of travel, I’m grateful for all these things that I often take for granted. As nice as the people all are, I think 8,693 miles is enough for today.
Posted on April 15, 2012 by Jennifer Wolfe
When I was a little girl I never traveled that much. Sure, we did the traditional summer vacation camping trips to the mountains, and dutifully drove to visit the grandparents for every holiday. But REAL travel-to different states, not to mention countries-was definitely not part of my childhood experience.
I remember my big adventures taking my first plane flights to Burbank to visit my Los Angeles area grandparents. Boarding the PSA airplane felt like stepping into a magical amusement park ride-I never knew quite how I would make it there, kind of felt like I wanted to get off right when I started, and couldn’t bear to leave when it was over.
To my youthful sensibilities, it was paradise.
As I grew, so did my expectations. Road trips replaced plane travel as my most frequent mode of transportation, and despite a few college trips to Hawaii and a graduation backpacking Eurail trip to Europe to myself, life seemed to get in the way of adventure. I guess getting married, starting a career and having two children will do it to the best of us.
It actually came as a surprise to my family when in 2010 I decided to go for it and take my kids on a service trip to Nicaragua with an educational non-profit group, Seeds of Learning. It just felt like the right thing to do at the right time in life.
And boy, was I right. It was the trip of a lifetime.
I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. I learned about how I deal with intense situations, how to keep my children safe while allowing them to experience the scary, and how truly vast and stunningly beautiful our world really is.
I hold the memories of that trip close to my heart, and yearn to have another experience that tugs at my soul and provides my kids the chance to learn about life outside our little northern California university town existence.
As most things in my life happen these days, however, another opportunity presents itself to me. This experience gives me the chance to fly solo, testing my ability to stand alone in the world and trust that again, I’m doing the right thing at the right time in life.
I’m going to Jakarta, Indonesia in three months. And I’m feeling kind of uneasy.
To be continued…