Tales of a 21st Century Gypsy
April 8, 2004. On Traveling.
Iím trying to figure out what traveling is about. I have been on the road for sixteen days now. Mostly staying with people I know (or know now), hardly camping at all so far. I get antsy staying with people, get to feeling like Iím still not on my own. But when Iím on my own and donít have to be someplace at some particular time, I donít quite know what to do. Why should I do one things or another? Why should I go to one place or another?
Itís going to take a while to sort this out. When I began this venture, and thought about how Iíd spend my time, I thought Iíd like four hours a day biking or hiking or paddling or some other physical activity. Four hours a day working on one project or another Ė writing this blog, writing the other book Iím planning, researching the project I want to do soon. Four hours a day getting to know places, visiting, meeting people, talking to them. And four hours a day goofing off Ė reading my huge pile of old New Yorkers, reading silly novels, watching movies on my laptop, whatever. I guess thatís more hours than there are in the day Ė maybe thatís one of my problems.
When Iím not out moving and Iím not writing I feel aimless. When Iím changing places all the time, too. When Iím visiting people instead of finding the world that I donít know yet. At the beginning I was simply excited to be on the road and out of Arlington. When I left Savannah I was excited to be on my own and camping. Now Iíve been out for more than two weeks, and itís time to think again about where I am and why and what Iím doing.
I am on the road for several reasons:
The aimlessness comes when I donít feel Iím accomplishing anything. Some people say just relax, you donít have to do anything. But this isnít a vacation, where I could Ė indeed should - just hang out and not worry about wasting time. It's real life, not a departure from real life, and for me that's not about being aimless. It does have some purpose, even though in part I have to figure out what that is, because I don't entirely know yet.
Itís going to take a while.