I was thinking about last year’s trip to LA and what it felt like to drive up the hill in Laurel Canyon, to finally be in Laurel Canyon - what it felt like to walk around the house, run my fingers across the Mexican tile in the kitchen, have my morning coffee on the balcony overlooking Hollywood. I was thinking about how I lay in that comfortable bed with its white down comforter, hoping the earth didn’t quake in the middle of the night, listening to the call of the coyote.
My heart had longed for California for as long as I could remember and I was there. I was there.
A week wasn’t nearly long enough, nor was it long enough for this year’s trip.
I was thinking about that perfect afternoon in Venice, drinking matcha with the girls. Our first day there, a Sunday, was perhaps my favorite day of my life so far. The air was crystal blue, the sun warm and golden. I went to a beautiful church service then we had lunch at Barney’s Beanery. I bought handmade crystal sun catchers at Melrose Trading Post that hang in my kitchen windows now to remind me. I was in a place I love with people I love.
I am lucky to have been born in a family that values travel, and I have visited many wonderful and beautiful places - Edinburgh, Oxford, Glastonbury, London. I have showered outdoors beneath the singing trees in Wales. I have shopped the endless aisles of Wall Drugs and attended a wedding deep in the woods of Vermont. I have escaped NYC by train to browse the antique stores in Cold Spring, New York. I have lived a humid summer in Boston and felt the wind blow across Lake Michigan in Chicago. My feet have walked the floors that Elvis walked in his Memphis home. I have paid my respects to Edgar Cayce at his burial site and fled a forest fire in the Smoky Mountains. I have had dinner with my family at a beer garden in Munich, Germany, and prayed in the chapel where Novice Maria von Trapp once knelt in prayer.
Travel is expansive and I have a taste for it. It renews me and opens my heart. It assuages my fears and unlocks hidden rooms within me.
I think that looking at the places that call to us, naming these places, and examining why we want to visit them, is illuminating.
Travel tells us a story about our desire, our soul.
And about our oneness.
So, I keep a running list of places I want to visit.
I don’t now if I’ll have the time or finances or opportunity to see these places in my life, but I hope I do. I dream these places, and when I think of these trips, my chakras light up.
That tells me something.
In no particular order, here are the top ten places on my want-to-visit list:
Woodstock, New York I feel like I could do some really good hiking and really good shopping.
Big Sur Just to speak Big Sur makes my mouth water.
Yellow Springs, Ohio It’s only a couple of hours from me and looks like such a cool town.
San Francisco Because would I really be me if I lived my whole life and never stood on the corner of Ashbury and Haight? No, I would not.
Portland/Eugene, Oregon We have family in Eugene and when I ask Tracy where he wants to go, this is always the first trip he mentions.
Of course, I want to continue to visit the the Los Angeles/Southern California area as often as possible and have a list of places there I want to experience, but haven’t yet:
Rose Cafe, Venice
Inn of the Seventh Ray, Topanga
Mosaic Tile House, Venice
There are other places that call to me, like Lourdes, France, and Santa Cruz and Berkeley. Fairy Stone State Park. San Antonio. Niagra Falls. Yellowstone National Park. Roswell. Yes, Roswell.
And of course, there are the places I don’t know I want to visit until I find myself there. I look forward to those discoveries, too.
What about you?
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
Where do you want to go?