I often imagine myself, my daughter and my love on actual adventures. You know the kind where you’re wearing a silly but practical safari hat, some form of matching khaki pants with utility pockets you really, honestly need to use and yet…you fit right in. Or perhaps we’re on an adventure that finds our trio perched on the edge of a 2,000’ cliff and feeling so ridiculously grateful that existence, any form of it and especially ours, is a thing.
I want my eyes to view the beautiful line where the horizon bleeds heaven and earth as one and everything inside simply makes sense.
This is wanderlust, or at least what it exists as such within me; daydreams and fantasies and a persistent hope that I fucking WILL live out these adventures because, as my previous blog mentioned, life is too short.
If we’re lucky enough, we get 80 good, solid, healthy years, but even that is a blink in the grand scheme of time. Truly it is, but we weren’t meant to live for more than that and so we have an obligation to get it right from the beginning.
If I may break for a moment…
Last year I read a book titled The Oldest Living Things In the World by Rachel Sussman, and therein was an adequate, fitting quote:
“Having reached maturity in just seventy-two hours, the gastrotrich starts laying eggs. And after a few more days, it becomes enfeebled and dies of old age. To squeeze a whole life into a week seems like one of nature’s more cruel tricks. But that’s only because we are accustomed to measure our lives in decades. If the ancient animals and plants featured in this book could look upon us, they might feel sorry for us as well. We humans marvel at the longest-living human on record, Jean Calment, who lived from 1875 to 1997. But for a 13,000-year-old Palmer’s oak tree, Calment’s 122 years rushed by as quickly as a summer vacation.”
Can we just—wow! Let that excerpt sink into you… Suddenly the concept of living eighty good years feels both a privilege and a cruel curse. And here’s where wanderlust really kicks into fifth; I don’t want to experience only the things within my comfort zone anymore. I don’t want to visit the Jersey Shore for family vacations or drive to a relative’s house and call it traveling.
What I do long for is this: to ingest and imbibe the entire planet—cultures, sights, sounds—everything. Metaphorically, of course. I want to go to places that I’m afraid to visit and climb mountains that I couldn’t, in my wildest dreams, even dare to summit. I want to write books about these journey’s and take no less than eight-hundred-THOUSAND photos along the way because I want you to come with me.
My desire is to be a part of the world but not the part that society asks of me. Sure there are responsibilities and bills and student loans and car insurance and etc., but there’s more. There is so much more and that’s my truth.
And yeah, I’m positive a million other people feel similarly—and by all means, if any of this describes you, please write to me about it! Surely I can’t be alone in thinking this; there are far too many human beings walking the earth for that to be fact. The numbers don’t lie, remember.
I suppose, in the end, the real question is: where would I start? How can I fulfill these desires and satiate the screaming wanderlust that’s burning my soul one non-trip at a time?
Maybe it’s all about dedication, time, and effort. I honestly believe that if one person, or every person, sets their mind to a goal, and gives it every ass-kicking, knock-out persistent punch they’ve got, it can and will happen. Even Mark Hamill says tenacity and persistence can earn you everything (paraphrasing!).
…And we all know how I feel about Mark Hamill. 😉
So… I’ll begin my planning, by mapping out roads and routes and destinations but I’ll keep it loose and leave room for the unexpected. Because I think we can all agree that that’s the fun part—the moments that you don’t plan for; and even if they turn out to be not-great moments, they help earn us a lesson badge we’ll never forget.
Here’s to the short lives and giant hearts. Here’s to old souls and brand new paths. And horribly-tacky khaki pants.