The Illusion of Perfection

[trip style = any]

There is a belief in our society that traveling equates to a perfect life. I'm not sure if this goes back to humanity's nomadic nature, our thirst for wonder, or our curiosity with what's new and different, yet it seems as though the general perception of a person who travels is:

Travel = Perfect Life {Wealth + luxury of time}

As someone who has placed many pins on the map both personally and professionally, the above perception is both true and false.

In high school I was part of a group of teens who spent a few Spring Breaks in a financially destitute community in Mexico helping to build a clinic. The area did not have sufficient medical facilities, so the all-volunteer clinic was a welcome addition to the town's infrastructure. Noticing the lack of anything on the walls in the clinic's waiting room, treatment rooms or hallways, I asked the director why there was no art or photoseven something basic. "We don't want to put up art or photos of far-flung lands because it would be unfair to dangle places these people will never see in front of them," he replied. So, the idea that "everyone" can travel is a middle class/+ phenomenonone that is never lost on me. I feel incredibly grateful to do what I do {and realize it can appear "perfect"}, and if you can afford to buy a plane ticket here or there, you should too.   

Both on the road and at home life happens, reminding me that the illusion of perfection associated with frequent flying is not as it seems {both for me and for Kim Kardashian}. While traveling I don't just quit the demands of life, such as paying bills, changing diapers or washing clothes, it all has to be done whether I'm in Morocco or Mexico. Then there's the time I was almost attacked abroad, but that's another story altogether.

Aside from typical sickness you can pick up from foods in foreign lands, I can recall more than a few situations where random health boutsthe kind that happen at home, toohave come into the equation. A recent one was in Italy last summer when the day we left, which was also a National holiday in Canada {meaning I couldn't easily get meds}, I woke up with a giant red bump on my eyelid. I got on the plane reluctantly because I was NOT about to give up three weeks in Italy for something that could be solved. The second I settled in Rome, I visited a pharmacy where I showed the pharmacist my eyelid and she found cream that healed my eye.  

Right Now
Right now I'm in Mexico loving Punta Mita's beach life, and eating tacos every meal of the day. However, one thing my photos don't showbecause there's no time to snap these momentsis Pink Styler developed a minor eye infection which I noticed as we were traveling here {thankfully breast milk seems to have solved it!}, and is cutting a tooth which is making her v-e-r-y frustrated. Blue Styler had a touch of montezuma's revenge associated with new foods and life abroad, as well as a chaffed groin from swim diapers and/or sand.

So, life happens on the road and at home. It's beautiful, it's meaningful, it's messy, and it's ongoing. And so, we keep going, because all we can do is *try* to live our best life in it's imperfect perfection. 

[photo by Grandma Styler]