“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac
I don't have a lot of money. I don't have any money, actually. In fact, I lost my job today. It's a long story, and one that, if all goes as planned, won't have a tragic ending. It does, however, make things like "leave the state once a month" and "leave the country once a year" a little tricky. And to the average responsible reader, I should by all accounts be hunkering down and saving my pennies; but, as it turns out, I'm 22. And I've been thinking a lot lately about the possibility that I may not be 22 for long, maybe ever again.
Mark Jenkins said of traveling- “adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”
I think we're all born with the desire to travel and to adventure. We're programmed with wanderlust in our veins and the need to experience things outside of our purview. Unfortunately, those that realize this deep longing are few; those that realize and actually act on it are even less so. I feel like an obligation has been placed on my shoulders- that I must go and smell, taste and experience life outside of this square state I was born into. I have realized this illusive part of human nature and must therefore consider it a responsibility to make it a part of my life.
But like I said, I'm broke. I have to start small, so I shall do just that. I have a list compiled of all of the towns, unknown and known, in Colorado that I'll be frequenting this Summer. Also, I have excursions planned for the next three months to realize my goal of leaving the state. First up: Seattle in June to see a very lovely friend who has graciously offered me her couch. July will find me on a boat on Lake Michigan, celebrating another friend's exodus from higher education. And August may very well lead me to the charming state of Iowa for my second round with their State Fair. All trips center around very dear people to me and I'm sure will never feel long enough. And with that knowledge, I'll be seeing, tasting and experiencing as much as my five senses can take in. And you can be sure I'll be reporting back on it.
But there's one last bit to the goal: leave the country once a year. Tricky. I put a deadline on myself for this one. I said I'd be contacting Heartline in May to see if they'd have me to stay in December. If my calculations are correct, today is May 3. *Gulp.* Hopefully I'll have some good news on this front in a few weeks.
If I don't make it back to Haiti I must know that something else lies before me, grand on the horizon. There is much more to be had and I plan to have it all. It is true what Jack said up there: my way is long, and it probably won't be easy. But this road is my life, and I certainly plan to tread the hell out of it.
Here's a song that reminds me of the type of life I'd like to live.