I have the itch. The urge. The fever. The bug. To go somewhere. To travel. To take a vacation.

You see, it’s going on a year since I’ve taken a trip. And now it’s the dead of winter in Minnesota. Everywhere I look, someone I know has just returned from or is about to leave for some exotic locale such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Ireland, or dare I say, Wisconsin. And here I sit with my expired passport and pasty skin, while trips are being planned around me, and students who were 10 years old 10 years ago are now walking the same streets I walked in Spain. I know, boo hoo. Woe is me. Nothing’s stopping me from vacationing I suppose. Except for the expired passport. And the bank account I haven’t contributed to in months. Oh yeah, and the cutest 8-1/2 month old who I haven’t been able to be away from for even a night. But really, there’s nothing stopping me.

I try not to think about my lack of travel plans, but it has proven difficult. Every Sunday, the newspaper’s Travel section mocks me. The travel guidebooks in the bookstore call me over to their aisle, and then laugh in my face. Friends offer to stuff me into their checked luggage on the way to the Caribbean. Shutterfly screws up my picture order, and I end up with pictures of SOMEONE ELSE’S exotic vacation to Rancho Margot: A Self-Sufficient Organic Dude Ranch. The dude ranch looks really fun, I must admit. A zipline tour of the rainforest. Some sort of yummy looking tropical concoction being drunk out of a pineapple. Really great shots of whitewater rafting.

Okay, yeah, I’m jealous. But keep telling me your travel stories, I like to live vicariously. And to the young, adventuresome, dude ranch-traveling folks…I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures of my cute little man as much as I’ve enjoyed yours.