The Travel Itch

Why did I think it would be easy?

Sometimes an idea grabs hold of you and won’t let go. My partner and I have been kicking around the idea of changing our life trajectories and trying something different. And by different I mean bicycling across Canada for three months and seeing where that takes us. It’s an idea alright. But what then?

While discussing the idea of bicycling across the country, I think we both felt a certain amount of excitement bubbling up. Then the thief struck in the night and stole our bicycles. It’s hard not to take it personally. I mean, Universe, is that you telling us we’re crazy or something?

At least we have extras. I have a Masi Randonneur and my partner a Cannondale she rebuilt. It’s got a flat tire and the wheels aren’t true but it’s better than nothing. Whether it would get her across the country is another story. And whether my knee will get me there is, well, uncertain too. I’ve been getting these sharp pains shooting up from behind my kneecap. When it strikes, it’s a quick flash of pain and then it dissipates again.

I thought maybe it was because my seat was too low but I lifted it and the pain still happens. It even occurs when I’m walking, sometimes. Maybe it’s just one of those mysterious things that happens when you get older.

Truth is, my job is stressful. So much so that sometimes I wake up at night and can feel my heart beating way too fast to be healthy. I’m lucky, in that I get paid to write and edit but it’s hard when you’re working towards crazy deadlines and you’re dependent on the input of other people and what you’re writing isn’t something that’s yours but is a sales document for a corporation. I imagine it’s a little like what it feels like to be a reporter. You constantly need to pump out the stories to feed the machine. Except that I also have to design the documents and print and bind them. Oh and arrange the courier. Sometimes it gets to be too much.

And when it comes right down to it, there’s not much room for me to grow. I mean, I can get better at what I do, but I can’t see myself moving into sales or marketing in any other capacity. I’m too much of an anti-consumer. I hate having too much stuff and am almost religious about my disinterest in sales. And my people skills are not exactly stellar.

The fact is, it will take many a year for me to make enough money to buy a house. I just don’t have the savings and, with my partner in school, we’re not working with a lot. So, what are my options — keep pressing on, stressed out of my mind? Or change something.

The idea is this – become a travel writer, give up our apartment, become nomads wandering different countries. A fun, romantic idea maybe but not so very practical. You can’t build a life on a move like that, surely. How would we save up for retirement? How could we ever have children?

Then again, the typical path hasn’t done either of us much good. We are both disillusioned with our respective work places. We both have needs that aren’t getting met. And I’m getting that itch I get – a restlessness that means that it’s time for a change.


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