Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't fence me in

People have asked: Why is your blog called Gypsy Roots? Being that I'm feeling particularly fenced in right now (it's been that kind of day), I thought I'd take a few moments to answer that question.

I'm a gypsy. For real. I have Roma/Traveler blood running through my veins. Home to me is wherever I am. I realize this is hard for a lot of people to understand, and it may well be why I have a very hard time with the concept of owning real estate, especially real estate that is nice enough to make me want to stay home while also making me a slave to a mortgage company.

Between the time I was born and my sixth birthday, my family moved at least once a year. When we finally "settled" in one town just before I started school, I had no idea that friends could be permanent, or that being the New Kid was anything other than normal. Settling down was hard for me then, and it still is today . . . I can't explain it except to say that I would have been a good hobo, and more than once in my life, I've thought about hopping a railroad car.

Because of this unique aspect to my personality, it has been extremely easy for me to do the job I've been doing for the last thirteen months. I'm good - no, really, I'm an expert - at living out of a suitcase. I daresay that there are few others who could have traveled at such a pace (over 100,000 flight miles, 26 countries on 5 continents) as easily as I did . . . without any major diplomatic protocol violations or international incidents. (LOL!)

Travel motivates me. It's an incentive. It makes me want to do better, to be a better person. It satisfies my curiosity . . . and a thirst I've had for as long as I can remember.

Don't get me wrong. I love my home and my family and my friends. But if I don't get my travel fix, I will find other ways to "travel." I'll get a faraway look in my eyes. My mind will drift away while thinking of a faraway place. Hearing a song may set off a memory. I may laugh, or smile, or even cry. 

I'm caught between two worlds. I'm like the child of an immigrant who is neither foreigner nor native. I can "blend into" both worlds, but I never really "fit" into either. So I have to create my own category - a sort of hybrid. 

That's what Gypsy Roots is all about. Strange as it may be. I just have to keep moving, even if only in my mind.