The Four Year Itch

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

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I have always been an adventurer and a risk-taker. I make more decisions with my heart than with my head, and seem to have a continual thirst for seeing, learning and doing new things.

I am soon going to be within my ‘itchy feet’ period. This seems to happen on a four year cycle with me, as I have never really stayed in one place longer than four years in my whole life.

When I was little and growing up through my teenage years, due to my parents vocation we, as a family, moved house and location every 3 years. Round the three year mark, every year, I would expect my parents to sit me down and have a talk with me about how things were going to change and we were being moved somewhere else. By the time I was 10 years old I had lived in 7 different houses and attended four different primary schools. I was used to it and, through necessity, I had become the queen of the ‘new girl’ status. I adapted quickly to new places, a new school, making new friends in my new neighbourhood. In fact, I enjoyed it!

20140622-152050-55250383.jpgThe funny thing is, even after I had moved out of my parents home during my university years, this cycle and expectation of change seemed to stay with me. So much so that, around every three to four years, I get itchy feet and I am looking for a new adventure! Where that may take me and what I end up doing is, right now, a mystery…..but I can already feel my feet beginning to itch, my internet searches veering towards job opportunities overseas, my daydreams taking me to corners of the world I have yet to see.

Sometimes I wonder if it is due to my early experiences that I have this expectation. I know many people who don’t have even the slightest desire to keep moving, learning, experiencing……in fact, quite the opposite. They are settled down, starting families, and usually within a short distance from their family home and the place and communities they too grew up in. They live full happy lives, and want for nothing. Why should they seek out change? My younger siblings had less moves within their lifetime and have slightly different, more cautious approaches to adventure and travel. They do not seek out change in the same way I do.

We know that a child’s early experiences shape who they become as an adult. Knowing that, could it also be that my earliest experience of constant change have effectively shaped the way I am as an adult, and how I constantly seek change, adventure and experiences?

If this is true, it would affect how I would raise my children. I would want them to have the same thirst for adventure and experience that I have – if not, more so! To dream and explore as much as they possibly can.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

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