I have felt a shift within me the past couple of months. A move away from the desire to run away and explore the world replaced with a longing to find a place of my own in the world that I can mold into my personal sanctuary. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to flee the predictable and travel to far away locations. When I was in high school a friend and I created travel collage jars. We snipped pictures of sites we longed to vist from magazines and brouchures, glueing them to the jar as reminders of our dreams. In the jars we saved all our loose change and saved for our dream of backpacking through Western Europe. As I grew up my travel dreams shifted but always my head was churning with thoughts of my next big trip.
But now as I am closing the door on one semester and preparing to start the final leg of my masters journey, my thoughts are no longer travelling to exotic locales but instead my daydreams are dominated with visions of walls decorated with personal mementos, shelves filled with books and a comfy armchair in which to curl up in.
The other day Chris and I attended the Rosalie Cheese Carnivale. We queued up at booths to sample gourmet varieties of cheeses, to chat with fellow cheese lovers and to purchase our favourites for later consumption with a fresh bagette. We found a shady spot and sat on the curb munching hastily concocted sandwiches and drinking wine while watching the crowds wander past enjoying the beautiful Australian winter sun. Couples walked by arms around waists. Parents pushed babies in strollers while the toddlers dawdled behind. There was even a tiny but loud and colourful parade at one point. As we nibbled our torn pieces of bagette stuffed with broken cubes of cheese I shared with Chris the stories of my trip to Paris in the spring of 2001. But rather than incite a desire to run off and have another adventure I was hit with the realization that at that moment I was enjoing a unique experience and creating new memories. In a spot only 10 minutes drive from my home.
Later that day we nestled into our warm bed with a bottle of wine, some dark chocolate and a dvd of The Holiday. I mused that this lovely day had encapsulated many of my favourite pleasures. Delicious food and wine, live latin music, time spent at a vibrant community activity, beautiful blue skies and yet another cherished day spent with the person I love most. I was hit with the realization that this memorable day hadn't required a long plane trip or a new stamp in my passport. And that thought made me happiest of all.