I’ve been blogging and walking my way across a few places in Vietnam. Have walked and photographed Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Veng Tau, and now Da Lat. I toured also around many temples, burial sites, and took a boat on the fabulous Halong Bay. I was thinking today about how fortunate I am to be able to do this. I have less than 60 days left here so each day seems kinda special.
I’ve also answered questions on Quora a few times about how I did this, what it means to me to be doing it, how age is really no factor in fulfilling your dreams. Sometimes it just takes longer to realize the dream and then while you look at it, it all changes. After all, that’s how dreams are. A friend of mine, Mikka Luster, has started a blog post that is a prelude to his Camino pilgrimage. This is not just a hike from what I see. Its a finding of the way, of losing and gaining oneself in the process. You walk your allotted miles in a day and perhaps end at a hostel with others on the voyage. There is perhaps a sharing of ideas and ideals.
To me, its interesting because its not just a walk or even a vagabond from the city to the park or to the lake. I have never done the Camino and I doubt I will but my view of it is that people do this to find a thing, lose a thing, gain insight, lose for a moment or two the corporate vision. In other words, reboot and recycle. We all need this.
For some of us its the pilgrimage of the Camino and its Way. For others perhaps like me its the daily rambling and the feeling of the legs being tired, the camera battery low, the SD card with images I found along the way. The goal with all this is not to find a thing. Its not to reach some goal. Its the pilgrimage of the Camino and for folks like me its the walk in the city. Come rain, hail, wind we can all still put one foot in front of the other.
What It All Really Means (if anything)…
What it all means is that it has no meaning. I don’t do this to find meaning. I am convinced that if I did this only for meaning, I would have quit by now. Maybe there is truth beyond meaning. Maybe there is blogging because you love how words look next to each other. Perhaps you do photography not to become the next big image master but to explore and record the passages of a day with those steps. Its why I don’t shoot RAW and why come good or bad the images are mine. I also don’t edit photographs that are in RAW format. I want to get better but I want what the camera offers and its effects and limitations.
Kinda like my limitations and effects I guess. I’ve met a few people that are on the road for different reasons. Some of us do this because its the answer to a question never asked but always silently there; poking us in the ribs. Perhaps sullenly demanding we acknowledge its there. Others do this for other reasons. Perhaps financial or work or they have a travel pattern that works for them. Bravo! I say.
Remember as you put your feet in front of one another that others have walked the Camino and found their Way. Its a religious and spiritual thing as much as a physical one I believe. Perhaps you will hit the road and decide that there are things beyond your ken that silently demand you learn of them. Maybe you won’t.
I’ve become convinced that the life of the solo traveler is not lonely nor is it just being alone. I read once the difference between loneliness and solitude,
loneliness is being along and hating it. Solitude is being alone and loving it.
Perhaps you are not a solitary traveler. And that is okay. Maybe you are not a traveler at all and that is okay too. But when, at the end of the day, you ask this,
was today worth it?
There is an answer. It can be No.