I travel because I want to try out different lives. Could I remember the names of all the trees and remedies to become a shaman? Would throwing my slop into the streets of medieval Rouen be too much for me? Could I ease into a laid-back work ethic as a resident of Rome? Would I flee a New York City walkup, coal heating, and windowless rooms for a farm in New Jersey? Could I possibly have the courage to emigrate, to navigate an entire country and culture?
I wonder about the homebodies, the ones reticent to get on a plane, those who have absolutely no interest in making their way to Europe. How can they not be more curious?
Of course, they might just be more content, more pleased with the way things are. They don’t desire the aggravation of it all, the hassle of visas, or foreign currencies, or strange foods.
But I am always trying to determine whether someone, somewhere, has found a way to live better. Some have; so some days I am a Russian princess, or a painter during the Renaissance, a nature guide in the rain forest, a monk in the Middle Ages. I could always stay a little longer, but—so far—I have come back.
I don’t want just one life; I live many.