I have travel on the brain.

Not just any travel, but serious travel. Travel planned out for the next nine years. Travel based on lists I’ve made before, travel that’s based on pictures in my mind of places that I know exist. Travel that I won’t really be able to do much about anytime soon because I don’t have vacation saved up just yet, but that’s fine. More time to save some dinero, I suppose.

Many of you know I have a bit of a Christmas obsession. If I could leave the tree up year-round, I would. Fortunately for my neighbors, I do not. But to get my ultimate Christmas fix, I thought it would be fantastic to visit London during the holiday season. Cottages decked out in Christmas décor, maybe some, the wonder of the season – I can’t wait. That’ll be at the end of 2013.

In 2014, a week (maybe more?) at the Grand Hotel in Michigan.

In 2015, Canada for a week.

2016 will bring Italy, and the year after I’m shooting for a week at a posh Arizona resort.

2018 is for Greece, 2019 is for Vermont, 2020 is for Ireland and 2021 is up in the air.

Speaking of Vermont, this fall was when I was hoping to do a four or five-day bicycling tour, but – alas – no dice. (In this case, dice = vacation, once again.) Perhaps a weekend here and weekend there along the coast or spent near a vineyard will help ease the pain of being Vermont-less and having a Christmas in London be further off than I’d like. Or maybe a weekend in Seattle, or a trip to San Francisco is in the cards.

All this travel talk and discussion about saving up and making sure I have vacation time, in the grand scheme of things, is pretty minor. It’s not lost on me how many people will never travel, will never have the resources or opportunity to do so. It’s not lost on me how safe it is to travel in many countries, and how unsafe it is in others.

Travel. It seems almost frivolous, but then I think about the rewards my spirit will get.

It seems low on the priority list of life, but then I think about how my list isn’t anyone else’s, nor is their list mine. Mine is mine.

Travel is one of those things that keeps us going because we have it to look forward to. And once on the journey – once traveling, once experiencing and once meeting – we savor each moment and can’t wait to do it again. In a way, it does more than merely keep us going. It fuels us.

Today I am thankful for the ability to travel, for the many places I have to look forward to, and for the blank pages I know will be filled with wonderful, yet-to-be-made memories.

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