I believe that the desire for change, to hit the road, to see things and not be held by the mundane rules goes back for us generations. I think we dream, strive, want and often read those travel websites claiming a place in the sun at the 10 cheapest destinations where life can be fantastic. I happened to read a blog which I follow on WordPress by Jasmine Eclipse this morning about her upcoming adventures on the road. A few kindred thoughts were sparked by her desire to see and do. I’ve read others too many to link to in the WordPress reader of people old and young hitting the road to find a thing, lose a thing, or become something different. I’m sorry I cannot link to you all but there is a common thread I want to call out here:
People think by having it all you have it all. This is patently untrue. A nice car, a good neighborhood, fantastic job, decent commute, wonderful relationships, stability, a person to share your life with. All are good things. Each has a place in the fabric of searching for a thing and perhaps each has a place. We often believe we could never leave all those behind for a life on the road yet others I read and correspond a bit with do this like Roger and Amy at Lets Vagabond. Both of them have an interesting life story as well.
But the interesting thing is the desire to get away, to change, to find a new way of relating to things. The underlying thing I believe here is Change with a big C. We need change in our lives. The mundane, the regular, the expected only go so far. For some perhaps that Change is a new career and job profile on LinkedIn. But for others they see through the chimera of the job and profile. There is a more fundamental thing that lurks under there and you can read the fabric of it on the two websites I’ve linked to. Its not only Change but the concept of something New. Perhaps something New and Unexpected. A thing to do which stretches the boundaries and lets you see something without the rose tints on of the expected.
For me too. I had dreamt this dream since probably 2014. A time when I could walk the cities I wanted, not have the mundane around me or the expected. Live a life of glorious exploration but done slowly. My own desire was to travel slowly but only a portion of this wide and wonderful world for now. I can only think a country ahead of Vietnam and then it gets fuzzy. Cambodia comes to me in September but its reality must wait.
So I applaud and think when people reach the end of the life support system they carefully built they know beyond it is Change. And we need that change as surely as Jasmine will drive each state in the United States or my friends at Lets Vagabond leave for places and adventures unknown or I more slowly travel my way through Vietnam.
Maybe, just maybe, this is not your idea of the next thing. My friend Free could not see how I would want to do these things while he still lived. He divorced and moved to Oregon and found the thing of his dreams. A thing he had waited on for years. Sometimes while the Change is rapid, getting there takes a long walk. It was Robert Frost who told us,
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
We all know that we have a road less traveled by. Sometimes it takes challenges and panic and unhappiness to find it. It may be completely different than the life of a vagabond on the road. I do think we turn to the life of the traveler when the Change we have tried does not really reach the mark. Then we search the road less traveled.