I felt very much cooped up this weekend. There was so much going on around Pittsburgh this weekend- so much- and I enjoyed every minute of the events I went to. Still, I can’t help but be wishing that I should be elsewhere, doing something more with my time. It’s a wanderlust that I can’t seem to shake.
Let me preface this by saying that I hate when I feel this way. I’m doing good work here, and I enjoy doing science and I know that a “nomadic” life is not conducive to also doing research. Rationally, in order to have a career in science, I know that I need to be settled in one place and take vacations/trips from there. But then I see people whose entire lives revolve around traveling all over the world, and can’t help but wonder how I could be doing that too.
The truth is that in scientific research, I can’t. Not for a very very long time, at least, and not unless I become an extremely prolific and famous scientist and get invited to speak at universities throughout the world. It’s quite a long-shot.
I like experiencing things. I like exploring. And as much as there is to do in Pittsburgh- and there is a lot!- I know that there are millions of other places in this world that I have yet to see, and that is what pains me. Every minute I am here is a minute that I am not somewhere else- and how many minutes have I spent in Pittsburgh, in New Jersey, and not…somewhere different? So I wonder, continuously, how I can create a well-rounded life for myself, one that incorporates all the things I want out of it. And I haven’t yet figured that out.
I talked to my father the other day. We were both watching the Tour de France. He said that he loves watching the Tour because it feels to him like a mini vacation to France every year. My reply was that I have the exact opposite feeling. It makes me upset because I am not there; while the sights are beautiful, I know that I am actually sitting on my couch in front of a television, and not really in France.
Every once in a while, it’s things like that- seeing a country I want to visit featured on TV, or hearing of a friend or acquaintance who is traveling abroad- that trigger my wanderlust and get me thinking “What if…”