“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” — Martin Buber

The past few days, my car has been in the shop… which means that I’ve been driving my momma’s tiny aqua convertible since Thursday. With a vivid imagination like mine, this has led to the delusion that I am a fabulous, elusive, mysterious French woman who flies around the French countryside listening the jazz stylings of Carla Bruni and Stacey Kent (all in French, of course), wearing big glasses and scarves in her hair, and living only the most glamorous of lifestyles — wine and escargot every night, sexy black dresses, the works.

(Fittingly, the image above is one that I took whilst visiting Nice in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France)

When I was little, I had this brilliant dream that grown-up Megan was really just going to be the next Samantha Brown from Travel Channel. Perky and bubbly and as effervescent as a gal could be, she was living the dream life — traveling the world, seeing the sights, tasting the wine, experiencing the culture — and it was her job. I couldn’t imagine a better life.

(Wish I could remember where I took this one — beautiful)

Fast forward eight years and six majors, then you have the Megan of today. She isn’t the next Samantha Brown, and she doesn’t have any plans to travel the world with her own show on Travel Channel. She does, however, have a passion for capturing all the beauty of the world on film… and that leads to a severe case of wanderlust.

(A rooftop breakfast in Avignon, France)

I’ve been really lucky to travel as many places as I have in my short life. When you look at everything the world has to offer… is it any wonder that people spend their entire lives wanting to do nothing but travel? There’s so much to unearth, to discover, to marvel at — and the thought of spending my entire life without seeing any more of it than that which is right outside my door is absolutely horrifying.

(A beach port in Barcelona, Spain — stunningly beautiful. One of my favorite shots)

Take the Coliseum, for instance. All of that history, built so many years ago and yet still standing… and that, I think, is where I got my first taste for Classical studies, and that, I think, is where my strange, unexplainable desire to learn Ancient Greek comes from. To understand the culture. To understand the people. How can you see something so ancient, so beautiful, and not long to know more?

(The Coliseum — holy hell, the COLISEUM — in Rome, Italy)

…which leads me to today. I love Knoxville. I love the people. I love the culture. I love the sights and sounds and smells and tastes and everything about it… I really do. But there comes a time when someone who hungers after adventure as much as I do starts to want more — and that is happening right now. Do you see these pictures? These sights that I have seen? The places that I have been? There is so much out there and I’m just sitting here. Good gravy.

(Poolside at the Los Suenos Resort and Spa in Herradura Bay, Costa Rica)

This isn’t my normal blog post, and I realize that… but with a case of wanderlust as hefty as this, what better place to share than here with you, readers? I look at these pictures and can’t help but to be in awe at how stunningly beautiful each place is — and then I realize how clear it is that God’s hand was working through each one. I mean, my stars above — we are not capable of making anything so breathtaking by ourselves. Though our hands might have helped to build some of them, the beauty of each spot stems purely from God… and that is mind-boggling.

(Gaudi’s Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, found in Barcelona, Spain)

And so there you have it, friends. I am experiencing rather an overwhelming case of why-can’t-I-be-traveling-the-world-like-Samantha-Brown right now… and maybe someday (someday in the far off future), I can. Saint Augustine is supposed to have said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” If you ask me, bibliophile that I am, St. Augustine was quite correct. Traveling… seeing the world — the experiences, the memories — they allow you to grow. To learn. To become more than you were before — and I want that. Grateful for what I’ve seen so far, but ready for more.

(An overview of the city of Talin, Estonia — one of the quaintest cities I’ve ever visited)

And so, if you happen to be driving through the French countryside one day in the far-off future, don’t be surprised if a woman speeds by in a tiny aqua convertible, lifts her hand, and waves… that will be me. Just don’t expect it anytime soon. 🙂

(A shot from a mountaintop restaurant near Jaco Beach, Costa Rica)

(And finally… this is why I love – LOVE – cruises)