I just bought a plane ticket to Paris. I’ll be there for 2 months and, out of those 2 months, I have 2 weeks planned. The rest of the time I’ll just wander about Europe and see where things take me. I made a joke about marrying a Spaniard and moving up to the village on the hill to have his babies, but then I realized this is entirely possible. Anything is possible.
People tell me they are jealous of my life and of all the things I get to do. I suppose this sentiment is understandable, but what most people don’t realize is my life still comes with countless sacrifices.
Choose your sacrifice. I have no stability, no security, no savings account, no idea where I’ll be living in a few months. I’ve tried dating, but I usually move away in a few months so nothing ever works out. My heart is constantly missing someone; I am never around everyone I love at any given time and I never will be. They are far too many and they are far too scattered around the world.
Choose your sacrifice.
I won’t lie, sometimes I see the lives of friends who are settled and stable; people I grew up with who already have families and normal lives and have a coffee table to put coffee table books on. I bet all the plates in their cupboard match too. At times, I desire these things. I like baking and decorating and wearing fashionable aprons.
Yet, I recognize that there is a part of me that will never be satisfied with all of that, at least not right now. Most of the time I would rather be anywhere than where I am at. There is something indescribably wonderful about being anonymous in a strange place. There is something magical about meeting people who’s lives are nothing like yours yet you can find so many things in common.There is something life-changing about having diarrhea for weeks because you drank the water or ate roast mystery meat from that street vendor.
The joy I find in all of these unknown things outweighs the sacrifices I have made to be there. I have come to accept my sacrifices (which is never an easy thing to do), but I am happy. This is the life I have chosen (or is it the life that has chosen me?).
I suppose I just want people to realize that it’s not so easy to be so free. Everything comes with sacrifice, everything comes with pain. The pain is great, but the joy is greater still. I feel deeply, but I also live deeply.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
By Kate Gazaway | “Where to next, little gypsy?” That’s what my father always greets me with at the airport upon my return from one place or another. I am a photographer, a teacher, and a baker when I’m stressed out. My passion is teaching photography to kids in “not-so-great” situations to help them realize their purpose for themselves, their families, and their communities. I’m still figuring out how to do that and pay rent. And, oh yeah, I love photography and the art of telling story.