Lately, I've been consumed with an overwhelming desire to travel.
2011 was the first year in a long time that I did not board a plane.
So, when my Sunday New York Times arrived this morning and the front page of the magazine was a special issue entitled, "Voyages" with a homage to pilgrimages around the world...I was in love.
The first narrative juxtaposed to the gorgeous photo on the front cover is "My Debt to Ireland," a magical piece that takes you back to James Joyce and makes you long for sheep wool and a Guinness.
Another one on the ensuing art world in Istanbul made me nostalgic for my travels to Turkey in undergrad.
The essay on a tree in the urban concrete jungles of New York City encouraged me to reach out to a friend out east to see if I could cop a squat on their couch...I still can't believe that I've never been to Central Park.
But most powerfully, and probably because of my love of all things literary, was the piece written about an animated tour done in England reenacting the time period of Charles Dickens right down to the smell of rotten cabbage.
I'm convinced that travel is good for the soul. It jolts you out of your comfort zone and engages you with a fresh set of eyes, ears and of course builds lasting memories.
I am still resolute that my money and energies will be spent trying to get to Italy first...but in the interim, and especially on a cold winter's day in Omaha, Nebraska, I'll be dreaming of packing my suitcase.