The women in my family suffer from an irrefutable wanderlust felt like a physical itch if not given a steady diet of road trips, random turns down old rutted roads and joyful exploration for the sake of discovering the biggest blueberry, the most glittery sand, the loudest birds or the weirdest thing people fry along roadside food stands.
We’re pretty sure it started with my grandmother, who grew up in the 1920’s at a time when not a lot of women went to college or moved far from home on their own. She did both. She finally settled down in California, and raised my mother with the same wanderlust. Growing up, I used to ask my mom why we drove around and hiked so much. She replied that we were half gypsy, of course, and it was our tradition to always wonder what was up and over that next hill. Which hill? Oh, any hill, whichever your eye settles on as you scan the horizon and start to get that itch.
When I discovered our ancestors didn’t actually roam Europe in covered wagons, gaze forever to the horizon, I was crushed. I had built up a skewed fantasy in my head involving the romance of a nomadic lifestyle, sleeping under the stars and seeing the world. My mother explained that we were gypsies in spirit, and it was still our duty to fling our arms wide to greet the ocean, welcome sunrises from mountaintops and turn over fern leaves to look for fairies.
So here I am, a gypsy at heart, and I still love to travel with my gypsy mama. We’ve spent many hours in the car or on the trail together, and now I have my own children to scan the horizon and ask what’s up and over that next hill. When my daughter first asked why we take so many road trips, I replied, “Why, we’re half gypsy, baby.” And she smiled.
I hope you visit The Gypsy Mamas frequently on the hunt for your own adventures. I’ll provide directions, pictures, descriptions of our mishaps and victories, and hopefully introduce you to some wonderful new places. Drop me a line or a picture if you enjoyed one of our hikes, and I always get inordinately excited to hear about new places to go, so send me your own favorites too if you can.
Get out and explore, my fellow gypsy souls!