You know that travel itch you get when you are in one place for more than a month at time; when you suddenly feel the need for metaphorical wanderlusting speed; when your heart starts racing upon spotting an email from TravelZoo.com containing this week’s top 10 travel specials?
Well, ladies and gents, I certainly do. And all I want to do is scratch the itch. Scratch the way I would an absurdly large pimple I haven’t the patience to wait to pop. A type of acne-inspired scratching that leads to initial bleeding, but then eventually results in a concealer-led cathartic release– when suddenly my face is fresh and clean and pimple-less once more.
For the last 22 years, if I experienced said itch, I would simply jump online and book a flight to wherever– London, Lisbon, Louisville. Only now that I am a working woman with limited vacation time and even more limited funding, I must be content living with the itch for longer than I’d like.
And unfortunately, unlike a pimple which eventually resides, the travel itch remains, lingers, and continues to be a source of genuine frustration for me. I know, this sounds like one of those posts to be tagged #firstworldproblems. And perhaps it is deserving of such a label, but nonetheless I believe it is worthy of attention.
Much of my life has centered on my ability to travel– to move where I went, when I want– and yes, with the financial backing of my biggest sponsor, my mother. Upon graduating college, this has all drastically changed. Making barely above minimum wage and working every babysitting job this city has to offer, I barely have enough to support my caffeine addiction (I sense a #whitegirlproblems tag in the making).
And while New York is far from the worst place to be stranded for any period of time, I am ready to explore someplace new; to meet new people; and to climb the next academic/professional/socio-cultural mountain.
So what do you do if you’re me– a constant traveler without the financial capacity to satiate her wanderlust? You book a ticket on frequent flyer miles to Russellville, Kentucky to stay with your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s grandparents for the Annual Tobacco and Heritage Festival.
Yes, it’s a three day festival celebrating the autumn tobacco crop. There’s a grandiose pancake-filled dinner, a reenactment of Jesse James robbing his first bank, and a tractor racing contest. And the best part– with free lodging and airfare– I can enjoy Kentucky on the cheap.
Like any Wellesley biddie, I am currently brushing up on Kentucky history, geography, and music… and I’ve happened upon a lovely little Elvis Presley diddy, “Kentucky Rain,” which I will share with you below so that you my live vicariously through my Southern experience-in-the-making: