Fernweh & Leonardo DiCaprio

Here is another fun fact about me for you all to add to your list. I have the tendency to fall in love with fictional characters and celebrities. I’m obsessed with Hollywood. I have endless amounts of celebrity crushes but there are a few that I love so much, they don’t even make it onto the list. One of those people is Leonardo DiCaprio. I could write a book on all of the reasons that I love him. Seriously, when he won his Oscar I felt like a proud mom. Or wife…or something else that makes me sound super creepy. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s so good at everything.  I will never be convinced that he is from this planet. I love everything he does, but the day he said this, I loved him even more. He said, “When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I used to think, “How can I die without seeing every inch of this world?”‘. It has stuck with me ever since the day I read it.

When I was little we had a big computer desk in the basement. I remember looking up at the black, leather swivel chair and thinking that I would never be big enough to fit in one of those. Through the big, brown eyes of a little girl, it was about as close to a mountain as I was ever going to get. Somehow, as all little kids do, I managed to figure out how to  climb up in that huge chair. I remember getting on Google images and staring at pictures from places all over the world. I looked at ruins, mountains, volcanoes and anything else you could imagine. I very rarely knew where these places were  but I did not care. I just wanted to see. I remember thinking just what Leonardo DiCaprio said. I wanted to know everything about these places.  I felt like I couldn’t survive if I did not know where they were, what the food was like and what the people were like. I wanted to not only know the thing, but I wanted to know the thing behind the thing. I wanted to go.

Many hours of my childhood were spent searching for places all over the world. They all felt so far away. I had this longing to go there but I never thought that I actually would. It was the feeling of missing this place that I have never even been. The  German word “fernweh” describes the feeling best. It translates to “a crave for travel. homesick for places you’ve never been”. Fernweh is the exact feeling I felt when I was younger and it is the exact feeling I have now.

I looked at too many places online to remember them all but there is one place that I will never forget. I was no more than 5 or 6 and it is burned into my memory forever. It was this huge volcano that had been solidified and was now a lake. I had no idea where this place was located but I knew that I wanted to go there. I remember printing off the picture of this place and running up the stairs, flinging the door open and telling my mom that we simply HAD to go there. I held onto that picture for a long time but as the years went by it got lost. All I had as proof of this place was my memory. It was this place that was enchanting and mysterious. After all these years I had no idea where it was. But I still had this weird desire to go.

This summer, I went to Nicaragua. It was a flight like any other. I sat like I always do. I had my headphones in, looking at the countries pass below me. I was completely lost in my thoughts. All of the sudden the flight attendant came over the speakers saying we were starting to make our descent into Managua. As she was speaking we broke out of the cloud that we had been in. And that was when I saw it. My lake that I had dreamed of since I was a kid. I cannot find the correct words to describe the feeling that followed. I sat up quickly and just stared. I was confused at first then elated. Yes, there are millions of lakes in this world, but for some reason I just knew that this was my lake. Thoughts started flooding my brain. It was the feeling of finally doing something that was a life long dream. I never thought I would see this place again since it’s location was a mystery to me. But, there it was. Right below me.

This sounds like a motivational poster, so don’t hate me. I actually kinda hate myself for saying it but here it is anyway. Parents, encourage your kid’s passions. I’m sure my mom thought this obsession with the world was something that I would grow out of. But, I didn’t. It started off with Google images and my aunt telling me stories and I am now 21 and moving to Europe. Kids, don’t give up on something that you’ve always wanted. You never know when you’re going to fly right over it.

So, here’s to many things. Here’s to you all for coming back to this page week after week. Here’s to Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicaragua, and unexpectedly fulfilling a childhood dream.

Until next time.

Cheers, friends.

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