A Diagnosis of Itchy Feet

Itchy feet

Wichita Wildlife Refuge


As a kid, I lived in 20 different houses by the time I was 18. Saying we moved a lot was a bit of an understatement. To be fair, after our move to a farm in Oklahoma, we stopped moving.

I actually got to stay in one place for 7 years. Amazing.

With that many moves under your belt, you get used to new adventures. It’s one of the reasons I went to college out of state, away from anyone or anything I knew. I craved another big change.

After college, I bounced around, and started a career. In my late 20’s, my husband and I put down roots in a rural town, and have been there ever since.

But, here’s the thing.

I still get restless for an adventure.

So, what’s a wanderer to do? Travel. A lot.

In fact, it’s so important in our family, we budget for it every month. We drive old cars, and don’t have grown-up toys. All this so we can traipse around in search of adventure.

It’s worked pretty well.

But the kids are getting older, and they’re figuring me out.

The other day my sweet girl asked if we were going to move. She overheard her dad and me talking about the possibility of downsizing. So we could travel more.

That’s totally normal, right?

I told her I didn’t think so. I explained we were just talking.

Then she dropped a bombshell on me.

“I talked to Dad about it,” came her matter-of-fact statement.

“He told me you moved a lot when you were a kid. So, it’s hard for you to stay in one place.”

“He said you have itchy feet. It’s okay. I understand.”

After I stopped laughing, I hugged her. As funny as her “itchy feet” explanation was, I realized she spoke the truth.

All of these years later, I finally have a diagnosis for what has plagued me as long as I can remember.

It’s itchy feet.

It’s the reason I start planning vacations as soon as we get home from our last. It’s why the AT and PCT are both on my bucket list. I crave exploration, discovery, and unscheduled time surrounded by my tribe.

This world is full of terrible, beautiful, horrific, and holy things. I want to see them all. I want to meet the people who live there. Learn about their stories. Write down bits of their words, so that time will not fade their memory.

I only need a pen, some paper, and of course, comfortable shoes.

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