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I've lived in this town my whole life, and most of the time that's fine by me. But in late fall when the sky fills with birds migrating south for the winter, traveling thousands of miles, I get homesick for places I've never been.
Places like California and its beautiful beaches. The smell of salt and seafood finding its way into my lungs. I'm not much of a seafood fan but the smell doesn't bother me. Then there's the freezing water and warm sun. The seagulls singing high above me. And the taste of pizza, fries, and hot-dogs on the boardwalk. Again, I wouldn't eat seafood if it was the remaining food on Earth. But maybe not California. Maybe New York City. The concrete jungle. The city that never sleeps. High skyscrapers and hustling streets. I'd love to to think of myself as a city kinda guy. Or maybe the opposite of the Big Apple. Maybe a place like Washington or Oregon. Surrounded by pine trees. The feeling of rain. Not necessarily raining on me but just knowing it's raining around me would bring me joy. Whether I'm in a coffee shop, enjoying a good book, and hot espresso. Or tucked in bed, slowly drifting to sleep. Falling deeper and deeper as the rain creates a rhythm on my window.
I'm merely from a small town in Tennessee. Unknown to the world. The most excitement we get are fleeting music festivals. And even then, there's never a fair crowd. Our town is mostly older people now. All the younger families moved away to cities but I remain here with my grandparents. I'm only sixteen. Therefore I can't really make any decisions for myself yet. Like leaving this rusty and soon to be forgotten town. My grandma Margaret and grandpa Owen are my legal guardians. They were born here and would never leave. My parents were born here too. But they were world travelers. At least they were before I was born. And even after that they would go away on short trips while my grandparents would babysit me. I was almost eight years old when I lost them.
My parents were on their way to Montreal, Canada. Hoping to catch a figure skating competition. But on their way to the airport they were hit by a semi on one of the highways. I was depressed for sometime but came around as my grandma made me focus on my education. She wants me to be a doctor because our town's doctor is probably over one hundred years old and will fall over and die from a light breeze. That's not my dream of course, but I do it for my grandparents.
I want to explore. I want to travel and discover strange and exciting places for myself. I want to go to Arizona in drown in the sunsets. The many shades of pink and orange and purple and yellow. I want to go to the New England states and experience the seventeenth century. These are just places within the United States. There are many more gorgeous locations I want to travel to like the gloomy but feel right at home country of Great Britain. Other places like ancient China. And its beautiful history, culture, tress and people. Also the great civilization of Egypt. The pyramids always fascinated me. Plus the marvelous kings and pharaohs and I have something in common... a love for cats. I would even want to go to Antarctica. I know I would probably freeze to death if not properly equipped. It would be worth it though. Just seeing a wild polar bear or penguin or watching the sky light up with glimmering blues and greens is the adventure of a lifetime. I dream of traveling to all these places. The wonderful worlds of Rome and Greece. Colorful India. I've read endless stories and articles about all these countries.
I'm in love with our world. Our people. A simple country high school student. One day I'll escape this town. I'll escape Tennessee. I'll make it to the west coast. The British Isles. The deep jungles and tundras in our world. Only when I've been to every place my parents have been to will I be content with my existence without them. That's when I'll finally be whole and happy again.