Losing a Year

Someone asked me today if I’ve graduated (they’re talking high school, as I closely resemble an 18 year old). I promptly replied that I do indeed possess a college diploma and have possessed it for… how long? I wanted to say a year. I yearned to say a year. The year spent abroad since graduation. The year I’ve perfected in my mind. After a pause, I reluctantly admit the truth. It’s been two years.

Rationally, I know where the lost year has taken place. In my home town, living with my parents. Yes, I took two linguistic courses while I was home. Yes, I worked two jobs and bulked up my travel fund. But my gut’s saying it was a useless, couch potato-ing waste of time.

My imagination is constantly recreating different dream years I could have had- learning Spanish in Costa Rica or Teaching English abroad in the Pacific Islands. The wonderfully cancerous tan I could have acquired. The attractive Costa Ricans or Fijians I might have flirted with. And let me tell you, those imaginary Costa Ricans and Fijians were good looking.

When I tell my friends these thoughts, there are two reactions. My friends that share my passion for travel understand and can easily relate. The second reaction goes more along the lines of “oh…”. It can be awkward. Those are the friends that love living in the states. They just don’t. get. it. And truthfully, I don’t get them. I can’t pretend to understand the satisfaction they receive leading such static lives. Just thinking about it makes me itchy. As itchy as living in the states this past year has made me. But soon enough I will be boarding a plane to San Francisco, and then Mongolia. Voilà, no more itchiness!



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