It’s Time To Temporarily Get the Hell Out of Dodge

After typing the title, I thought to myself, where does that phrase even come from? Why do I use a phrase in which I have no origin reference? I understand it means to leave somewhere in a hurry, but why?

Turns out, it’s in reference to Dodge City, Kansas. Apparently a favorite location for many western/cowboy movies, the phrase was solidified as a pop culture reference from the television show, Gun Smoke. The Marshal liked to tell the bad guys to, “Get the hell out of Dodge”. Now I know… and knowing is half the battle (ahhhh… G.I. Joe).

Moving along, an opportunity has presented itself for me to take a trip. Where to, you ask? Who even cares! The point is, woo-hoo! I’m getting a small break from where I currently am. For almost two weeks, I will be somewhere other than the place in which I’m currently faltering. This excites me to no end.

Is this who I’ve become though? Someone who can no longer settle into one place? Someone who is excited by the prospect of living out of a backpack? Has my wanderlust taken over my desire to have a, “home”? I suppose at this point, it’s still too early to decide. Just because I haven't found a place (in this town) where I belong yet, doesn't mean I won’t. In the mean time, I’m truly elated to be traveling soon.

As I think back to some of my previous trips, I recognize how much I enjoy exploring, adventuring and also, late night cities. During one of my recent trips to New York, I ventured out to a midnight showing of a foreign movie in Times Square. The movie was amazing and something I never would have been able to watch otherwise. The experience still makes me happy, despite the hiccup of mentioning plans to my mother ahead of time. lol

Her concern for my safety (and slight guilt trip for going out that late) required me to text her (in a different state and time zone) the moment I returned to the hotel. The hotel staff laughed and stated my mother watched too many movies. My location in New York was perfectly safe; I mean, we were near a 24 hour Gray’s Papaya. Anyway, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that as soon as my foot (literally) stepped into the lobby, she was already texting me. Silly moms. :)

The movie, the late night adventure and my mother’s (deep rooted) concern for the choices I make, all tie together to make a wonderful memory for me. I honestly had wanted to go to Gray’s after the movie but god forbid I push my mom that much further.

My favorite memory from a week long trip in San Fransisco was eating at Hang Ah’s dim sum restaurant. It wasn’t fancy or touristy as many places in Chinatown are. It was a hole in the wall, located next to the, Willie “woo woo” Wong Playground which required you to turn into an alley and venture down some steps before finding the front door. After my friend and I gorged ourselves on an obscene variety of dim sum, I then ducked into an asian mom and pop shop. While there, I bought a huge bag of dried squid and several flavored Vitasoy milk drinks. I remember thinking to myself, “I’m so fucking happy right now!”

My desire for exploration and adventure isn’t limited to vacations either. I distinctly remember the day when I was walking around Nişantaşı, in Istanbul, Turkey. I could walk in any direction and know where I was. I knew how to navigate the metro and also my Turkish was good enough that people would comment how well I could speak English. Living in a different country taught me that I’m not a person who longs for the same environment. I love to discover new things even if it’s already been discovered by someone else. Those experiences and adventures help me better understand who I am and who I want to be.

However, I realize I’m also a fan of stability. So maybe when I come back from my trip, I’ll make a point to explore and adventure where I live. Fresh eyes and fresh perspective might just help me find a place where I belong in this town while still allowing me the excitement of exploration. Watch out Oregon, when I return, I’m coming for you.

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