I want to be a gypsy. A what? A gypsy? Yes, you read that correctly. A traveler. A nomad. A wanderer.
A carnie. A person who doesn’t settle in one place for the rest of their lives. Are you serious? Obviously. What the hell is a gypsy, anyway? Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame? No! Not her. Well, sort of like her. Physically, I don’t look like her. I don’t have the dark complexion. I normally don’t go around carrying a tambourine without shoes on. I don’t tell fortunes. Nor do I have a pet goat. (But I sure would be willing to adopt one.) But mentally, we are similar. So while seven-year-old Jamie would have chosen to be the Sleeping Beauty princess (or any of the blonde ones), the almost twenty-three (holy shit! I’m getting old) year-old Jamie wants to be Esmeralda.
I have mentioned sporadically throughout different posts about the “gypsy gene.” But what is it exactly?
The name should say it all: Someone who travels with a group of people and lives off by whatever work comes their way.
This mindset appeals to me for a myriad of reasons. I need to see the world. I don’t like the idea of settling in one place forever. Traveling is good for a person*. I need to see the world. Oh, did I already say that?
Where did I get this so-called gene? Where I get everything else, of course: my mother.
We are all cursed with certain traits that our parents have inevitably passed down to us. When I am habitually five minutes late for everything, I blame it on my mom. While all the kids were getting picked up on time from school and/or camp, I was usually the last one, crying, wondering why my mom forgot about me. When the opposite sex learns that I have never made homemade mashed potatoes, I blame it on my mom. When I have a break out on my face, I can blame it on the oily skin gene.
However, I can’t say I have been cursed with all bad traits. I have an open mind. I am independent. (Even my senior class in high school knew that.) I have a good sense of humor. (I think.) And of course, the most important one: the gypsy gene.
My mother is an immigrant from Germany. She grew up in the northeast, mainly Massachusetts. Left home as soon as she could to head out west to San Francisco. (Gee, wherever did I get the idea?!) Eventually headed to the Tampa Bay area where she has been since. She, too, needs to explore. Her means of touring the world: by boat.
But what is it like to have such a gene? A gene that makes us want to venture out into the world? It’s both a blessing and a curse.
I have been in Portland for over a month, and am already thinking where I want to go next. I’m not ready to settle. I just want to somehow pick a spot on the map, stay there for six months, and move on to the next. It almost saddens me when I think that there are places in the world that I will never get to see because a) I’m not wealthy and b) I’ll probably never have the time.
The good thing is that I have already done the hard part: move to a city across the country, alone. Mentally, I know that if I really wanted to be in England (or wherever) by next year, I could do it. The want outweighs the fear enormously. Monetarily, it could be a different story.
This is what it’s like.
But then again, it’s my fantasy. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I am simply in love with the idea of being a traveler. Realistically, I have two cats, and they’re more like kids than one would think. I would probably be miserable doing whatever work I could find. I know that I am too much of a dreamer, and I’m just romanticizing the idea of never settling down.
Besides, I’m just getting used to Portland.