She felt a sense of earnest restlessness, of needing to get up and escape at the drop of her oversized straw hat. To feel the crisp morning air of the mountains, to breathe in the heady salt of the sea, to feel the heavy humidity of the rainforest press against her sunburnt skin. Each place was just another notch in her belt, each foreign stamp in her passport a reminder of the places she felt most alive.
She carefully digested each new country, new province, new city or town with a hunger that could not be satiated. She learned each new language with an inquisitive ear and careful tongue, adapted to the cultures with a dignified grace. The colourful people she met, the rich foods she tasted, and unforgettable places she saw were all just photographs ever-developing in the album of her mind’s eye, a scrapbook of what she had done and what she longed to do again. Each vibrantly coloured image served as a reminder of why she did what she did. Why she thrived. Why she felt the energy of life like a shock through her veins, why she experienced a synergy with the earth beneath her feet.
Each airplane ticket was the key to a rush, the take off setting into motion a euphoria unequal to any stimulant.
I’m free, she whispered to herself each time. Again, I am free.