Sunday, December 09, 2007

Under the Colombian Sun

After my little rant yesterday about my professional malaise, I decided it was time to travel. Certainly not "quit your job and travel the world," as I have yet to put my first million in the bank, but time to plan a purely personal trip. Not to a beach or skiing or anything like that. It was time to travel, by myself, and have my Diane Lane moment.

I had planned on going to Italy, and not just because of that cheesy movie, or Eat, Love, Pray, for that matter. Both of which I enjoyed without any shame. No, I want to go to Italy because it is one of the countries to which I have never been, and exactly the kind of place I want to go by myself. I want two weeks in Italy, free to go wherever I want and on no one's schedule and agenda but my own.

As an aside, isn't it crazy how positively extravagant a two week vacation sounds? I don't even know how much vacation time I get a year, as I generally have used my vacation days as add-ons for weekend trips or extended business jaunts. No one has taken issue at the office, but my mental health is beginning to register some complaints and, as a resolution for next year, I am going to take at least one two- week trip.

So I started researching and realized that I have much to learn about where I want to go and stay, and that two weeks may not cover what I want to see and do in Italy. I know that if I am in Europe, the temptation to go to other countries will be overwhelming and again, I will cram too much into two weeks and the whole thing will be a blur. Maybe. I may need three weeks in Europe, and three weeks is two more than I have ever taken at once. Baby steps.

I started thinking about places I have been but would like to revisit now - as an adult. As an independent, self-sufficient, single woman. Ideally, it would probably be Saudi, but practically speaking, that isn't possible.* I loved Indonesia as well, but it doesn't have the same feeling of home, that, say, Colombia does. I went to high school in Colombia, although I spent the better part of it wishing I was in the United States, being a regular teenager. That kind of horrifies me now and I would love to go back and revisit the haunts of my youth while also seeing the city through a new prism.

I read this article today, and lo and behold, Bogota checks in at 21. It was a sign. Yes, this feels right. I am going to go to Colombia this spring and see what it feels like to go home. Or, at least, one of my homes. I am going to spend a good deal of time in Bogota, but am also going to hit Medellin, Cartagena and Santa Marta, the latter of which is a place of one of my fondest high school memories. I am so excited to plan this trip and to once again travel.

Traveling was something that B and I never did, aside from trips to California, Vegas, New York and Texas, and international travel was something he really wasn't even curious about. Of course, that meant that my desire to travel fell by the wayside, despite growing up overseas, and right now, that just seems utterly pathetic. There are many silver linings to divorce, not the least of which is rediscovering what pushes your buttons and inspires you to be just be fucking happy and satisfied with yourself.

Of course, if traveling to Colombia doesn't relight those fires, well, there's always all the blow.

*Well, HOLY SHIT!! We can go back! My sister just sent me this. I am not going to shitcan the Colombia trip, but damn if I might just make proper use of vacation leave next year.

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