Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm going to Travel


From the book "Vagabonding":
There's a story that comes from the tradition of the Desert Fathers, who lived in the wastelands of Egypt about 1700 years ago. In the tale, couple of monks named Theodore and Lucius shared the acute desire to go out and see the world. Since they'd made vows of contemplation, however, this was not something they were allowed to do. So, to satiate their wanderlust, Theodore and Lucius learned to "mock their temptations" by relegating their travels to the future. When the summertime came, they said to each other, "We will leave in the winter." When the winter came, they said, "We will leave in the summer." They went on like this for over fifty years, never once leaving the monastery or breaking their vows.

Most of us, of course, have never taken such vows -- but we choose to live like monks anyway, rooting ourselves to a home or a career and using the future as a kind of phony ritual that justifies the present. In this way, we end up spending (as Thoreau put it) "the best part of life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it." We'd love to drop all and explore the world outside, we tell ourselves, but the time never seems right. Thus, given an unlimited amount of choices, we make none. Settling into our lives, we get so obsessed with holding on to our domestic certainties that we forget why we desired them in the first place.


So I'm going to travel. A few goals for my travel include:

1. Maintaining a healthy relationship with my daughter who might not ever want to travel with me.
2. Reaching out to people I may not know very well all over the United States for help.
3. Developing money saving techniques to travel and share the expense.
4. Develop a healthy traveling lifestyle.
5. Participate in activism events.
6. Thrive even in very uncomfortable situations.
7. Develop a career that I can take on the road with me that is generally interesting and fascinating.
8. Meet people I admire.

If I wait until I have the wealth I need to do all these things with comfort and style I will be waiting a very long time. I have what I need now.

Eventually I do want to expand my horizons to outside the United States but for now I am happy exploring everything there is to explore within these borders. Besides, the mess of me getting a passport without my board abroad certificate is daunting. 

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