I read a blog post this morning about this family's plans to spend a whole school year traveling the world. Ambitious, right? This family has lived abroad before, has moved all over the world. My first thought when reading that wasn't Oo, that would be fun! or I'd really like to do that with my family! Rather it was something like I would never want to do that.
That compulsion to travel doesn't live in my bones. In all honesty, is that anti-desire to see the world up close a character flaw? Because sometimes I feel that it is. I read the conviction this mother has in her determination to expose her children to other cultures and to give them a comprehensive worldview, and I wonder, Is something in me lacking because I don't want that life? I hope not.
What is it that separates the travelers from the non-travelers like me? This blogger and I both value home, family, and learning. But maybe we just go about it differently. My physical home is my haven, and I'd never want to leave it for a year-long globe trot. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to globe trot. I just don't want it for me.
Is it a virtue or a vice that I find contentment where I am, in constancy? I'd like to think it a virtue. Obviously. I believe that my worldview is informed not through geography or cultural diversity, but in other ways, through relationships, storytelling, literature. My perspective is uniquely mine, but I can't imagine that means that a worldview informed by world travel is inherently superior to one fed by roots.
When I really thought about this I decided that I care more for learning about people than I do about cultures. When I ponder on this I come to the belief that people, whether in the Pacific Northwest or the slums of India, have much in common. And I certainly don't mean to say that this writer doesn't care about people, because she does--truly and deeply. I guess our end-games are similar with our road maps different. And that's OK.
I believe that I can incite positive change in the world around me right here in Portland, Oregon. I believe that this home is where I'm meant to be and live and grow and become. My soul doesn't need exposure to all the world cultures to thrive, but perhaps other souls do. Me and my soul require home, roots. I think it's grand that we are all created so different, that our souls all need different things to grow. It makes this world--abroad and at home--beautiful.
Do you travel? If so, why is it important to you? Do you value roots? Do you think that not wanting to travel is some kind of character flaw? Is there something that as a non-traveler I don't understand? I'm legitimately asking here, so if you have input I'd love to hear it. What does your soul need to thrive?