To be a part of the club,

10 December 2009 § 3 Comments

Do travelers ever know anything? They know what they’ve experienced, what they’ve learned, they like to share stories, apparently, but now that I’ve been amongst them, I have to wonder if it’s a culture with a cover charge – is it something I really wanted to be part of? For so long, it seemed so cool, to be in places I’d never been or thought I’d be, or likely to ever be again, to look for things there – who knows what – solitude, local beer, pot, sanity – But everyone is looking for that too, maybe.

How long must one travel, how many countries must they visit to be considered a traveler? Who is the considerer? Is there a certain number of languages one must know how to say ‘thank you, where is the toilet?’ in to be a part of this club of uncertainty? Everyone is all for saving money, staying in hostels, sharing rides, hitching, but I’m seeing it be spent everywhere – where is it coming from? How much must one have to travel, because right now I haven’t enough for a month’s rent in any apartment at home, wherever that is, let alone for some ‘emergency’ plane ticket home when I might need it most, which everyone seems to have, ready to mention their open-ended fare at any moment.

Do I have the creativity, the resourcefulness to make do anyway? I don’t know. I have a tent. I have a sleeping bag and hiking boots. Clothes and the will to survive – is that enough? Will my pen and notebook help? No, this isn’t just a journal, you idiot. What is help? What is the goal, and what I am trying to accomplish? What am I trying to prove, and to whom?

I’m tired of depending on others, I’m tired of being homeless, but at the same time I don’t have the patience for one either, only tolerance, and that is a historical recipe for my demise, a self-medicating disaster in which I am the tragic hero and the EMT – but this is not that kind of disaster, this is not the depression kind, or even the ‘your best friend just died’ kind, but something more sinister and cruel, the slowly devastating sort that I wouldn’t recognize until I was forty, lazy, unaccomplished, working at a hardware store and looking most forward to watching football games all day Sunday on TV.

That is a suicidal thought if I’ve ever had one, and I could swear I knew it from somewhere.

So I’m here, forever trying to be part of something, on my own, not needing but secretly really wanting others around, an array of imperfections but never burdening when I want to walk by myself, or walk away entirely. Imperfection that understands. I’m such a cliché.

Maybe those around me are equally unsure, looking for the unknown until one day they are called out for being exactly what they wanted so bad for so long to become, and they feel insulted. Hurt for being what they apparently are, but it never occurred to them that somewhere along the way, their dreams came true without their ever knowing it, and what happens now?


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§ 3 Responses to To be a part of the club,

  • interesting thought here
    (could you try to use a bigger font? – not so easy to read that one)

    no one decide who is a traveller. but when you are one. you do know you are one. now, i think there are the tourist, normal going people. and there are those who travel now. and there are travellers. one friend have once told me, he have few categories.
    those who fly and those who have a bus, those that hitch and those that walk. those who sleep in hotel and those who can afford motel. some carrying tents, and sleeping bags and some a tarp. some have nothing of these. i guess mostly people don’t just fit one of these categories.
    but more important is the whys and goals. i have some travelling for 40 years for fun or joy or to escape. some, a bit like me, got infected with this rhythm (i am must say i am trying a rest now, putting roots and being normal), some have some idea why they go and others search.
    it is you. no? after all!

    • (I thought the font looked a little small. Thanks.)

      I have just started traveling about, and I’ve never felt better than when everything in my world is uncertain, to simply explore and be a part of whatever the air is doing that day, to wander. Discovering a place to sleep when the sun is on the horizon is coincidental and fortunate – the back porch of a newly constructed house, it’s nice to not have to put up the tent, catch a ride in the morning – these brambles on the side of the road are irritable, and take it out on me. In the rain. Categories or not, maybe they’re necessary, maybe they’re not, but I know the difference between myself and the plaster artists, the social lights and walking the city the only night I’ll exist there, that is peace, and tomorrow I’ll find another. But l know only what fate has brought me, and what I have seen and heard, and I’m increasingly okay with this. It’s irresponsible, it’s careless, it’s tieless and selfish and all the things you’re told not to be growing up, but there is freedom there too, which we all claim to be after, and I can say I’ve found my version of it, incrementally.

      The whys I have wondered about and they have been simplified to basic form and are then not quite so accurate – I do not travel to ‘go look at some mountains’ but to be among them, to explore and to be enveloped by that Vast only seen in photographs and from roadside pulloffs (for the specially fortunate), and there is no singular goal for it but to exist, to do it well, and that is how I determine wealth, prosperity. This may all change, evolve, and I’m okay with that, but for now there many worlds in this one to find, and like I’ve been told a thousand times, there is no better time than now.

      • welcome aboard, sailor of life.
        yes, each and his own motivation, his own whys, and his own pulls and findings. the road is what matter. yes, it is freedom – for me – the ability to decide – tomorrow, what do i say – today i go. i can change or i can choose to stick around and see what will happen. today i am here, tomorrow who knows.
        and freedom his, being small and acceptable, then magic comes. then there is now reason to think ‘ho, what shall i do tomorrow’ ‘what will i eat’ when you are not full of yourself there is a place to go to come, to rest in. then magic appear.
        so i believe this could be lived also from one spot, though for now i struggle with it.
        what i miss the most is the intensity. each day feels like weeks, month, a year or sometimes life time. downs and ups. hitch-hiking have been to me, the greatest of all spiritual experiences. not only talking, not only hearing of but actually feeling and understanding it. watching myself – i could finally stand behind these words i used to utter. that is what i miss.


        (it looks better now)

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