Sure, there are a handful of you out there that have figured out the #winning! combination that both quenches your worldly thirst and satisfies your budget. Most of us have yet to be so lucky. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, the endless dreamer, the wanderer that is constantly willing to put it all on the line to “get my kicks before the whole sh!thouse goes up in flames.”
They say it’s our last go of it, the Pisces that is. Perhaps in another life I had a fancy house and a shiny new car. Maybe I was a Wall Street executive and drove a Lincoln. In this life I’ve never put any great value in the all mighty dollar beyond its ability to take me on the next adventure. And life has been just that for this Pisces, a steady stream of adventures. For my part there is something universal that needs knowing, an understanding of humanity that is in need of constant pursuit.
I’ll take a night alone by the fire is some god forsaken dessert gazing at the stars and picking out old country songs on the guitar over all the silk in Paris. It’s just my nature. I’ve always been a firm believer that if a man (or a woman) wishes to do something truly great in this world, he or she must be willing to sacrifice everything that they have in the name of it. For the traveling folks amongst us it should be pretty clear, for the unconventionalists, the same. The security and stability of our own societies is usually the first to the guillotine.
I’ll tell you from experience it gets harder as you go on. Every time you ditch all your belongings and head back into the world with a backpack and a dream in your hand you distance yourself a little more from reconnecting with the life you once had, the stability you once had. I personally grow fond of the distance. But let’s face it – it’s not all peaches and cream.
It makes perfect sense when you have a backpack, a one way plane ticket and a stack of cash that’ll cover a year abroad. You feel so victorious as you’re chucking your belongings away to the highest bidder and shedding the materialism of the life you know. There’s something there, something driving you to the other side amidst the company of confused onlookers. A year later you’re fresh off a flight from Hong Kong standing on a New York City street corner with five bucks US, a few stray rupees and no where to hang your hat.
What did you get for your trouble? Only things that no one will ever be able to take from you, experience, ideas, an understanding of the world. But there you are standing on that street corner with the realization that this is the same old world that you left. The rules haven’t changed. It’s only you that has changed and you didn’t realize until right that very moment. You had maybe even blocked it out.
When you’re traveling you are with travelers, people with similar interests, ambitions, goals and beliefs. You don’t feel so alone in your quest to experience life in this way. After wandering for so long you come to expect these things of people. But there you are on that street corner with nothing to your name and you’re looking around. The travelers aren’t there. For the last year you would walk up to any given person and start a conversation. So, where ya from?
Everybody looks so busy now. You have to wonder what they’re doing? It’s a mad dash this way and that but to what ends you keep asking yourself. Society in this country is cheap and it costs a lot of money. I don’t mean to in any way devalue the dreams of others. I believe this world is a place where one should pursue their dreams, whatever they are and so long as they don’t impede others in doing the same. I just don’t see it though. All of the little plastic boxes on the hillside that all look just the same.
In the end one of two things happen. You miss the stability enough that the trip you were just on becomes a great story and you go back to your real life or you are set in a state of constant motion. The need to keep going, to broaden your understanding and experience the unexperienced overpowers your will to do much of anything else. Maybe you can keep it at bay for a time, but then it starts to nag at you. It calls you while you sleep. It whispers in the quietest corners of your being, yet you must rebuild before moving along. So how do you rebuild with the same wonder that you tramp?
That is this traveler’s dilemma. What’s yours?