This morning, I watched NASA and SpaceX launch the first US-manned mission to space in a decade from within the walls of my apartment, a place I’ve spent way too much alone time over the past three months of quarantine. It was beautiful, and awe-inspiring, seeing decades of hard work culminate in a glorious and fiery ascension from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. Hearing, “We are go for lift off” gave me chills.
I was at book club last night with a group of girls I’ve known for the past 15 years.
We’ve gone through everything together.
In 2004, we were the new kids in San Diego, having moved here fresh out of college to escape the winters in northwestern states.
We met playing on an intramural kickball team, and instantly bonded over our shared Midwestern values and a competitive drive that fueled our championship titles three years running.
I was bitten by the travel bug early, thanks to a father who incessantly read Rick Steves guides while waxing poetic over perfumed grapevines in Chianti and the azure blue of Chileno Bay.
And I longed for adventure…pined for it really.
To hop on the back of a vespa in Chang Mai, or sip ouzo at an outdoor cafe in Santorini, seemed so foreign and fantastical to a kid living in suburban America.
There was this whole, huge, technicolor world out there, one that seemed about as far from my small adolescent existence as possible. And I wanted a ticket.