I’m taking one year off to travel. Or at least that’s what I’m telling everyone. One year is arbitrary, I could be gone for months or years. I want it to be a lifetime, leaving behind the old life and embarking on something new.
I did some research on backpacks and found some really great travel backpacks. In particular the Deuter Quantum and the Eberlestock Halftrack were fantastic. In my over-analytic style I decided against a backpack and will stick to my simple 50L duffel bag. This is ideal for airport travel, train hopping, but not for extended periods of hiking with heavy gear. I also have a small backpack just big enough to carry my laptop, wacom tablet, and art supplies.
Truthfully, I haven’t taken much time to think about what I’m doing, I’m just sort of doing it. I quit my job. Now I’m selling or giving away everything I own. This, along with some savings, raises sufficient money to travel. What I’ll have left is exactly what I want to take with me.
I cannot possibly prepare for all of the places I will go. And I’m not even trying, I’ll do my best as I travel and see where life takes me. Since I am in no hurry, I’ll take the time to acclimate (as much as possible) with not only the local culture, but to the contemporary artistic culture of every destination.
I have no itinerary, it’d be much too complex. Instead I have a vague sense of direction, a general westbound movement around the globe. Listing all of the countries, languages, and cultures I want to visit would be too tiresome, so I’ll let the itinerary unfold as I travel.
Why I’m doing this I do not know. Perhaps it is a simple pull of fate. Something I have always wanted to do…
If I thought about it deeper, I realize that as I look to the churches, to the state houses, to the corporate towers, and the academic halls; in all there is an emptiness. Where we used to find meaning and purpose, we find only limits. Creative and intellectual limits. I imprint to the norms and social mores in each environment, and in all there is an artificial world best described as empty. To the executive it is life, to the politician it is life, to the academic it is life — each of them with their own perceptions that amount to nothing more than constraints to help guide our animal instinct.
And if I think about my life, I realize that no matter where I have been, from the most dense urban sprawls to the far remote wilderness, in every place I travel I can find that rapture of existence. If we take the time to see, we see that we are one with the world around us, sharing and cooperating in the joyous sorrow of life. In those moments I find something real, this is where our perceptions are cleansed, and it is these moments that we affirm our existence– where life is imbued with meaning.
More than ever, I am convinced that this world is not one of boundaries, in-groups, and aliens; but a tiny spec in an endless abyss of space. An oasis in a sea of nothing. We share our world in our mutual struggle for existence. And everyday, everyone of us attempts to make sense of the beautiful sorrow of our daily life.
Ironic that the thing we are looking for is all around us, all the time. I guess I’m traveling to go beyond the boundaries and the in-groups; and live the life that I want to live. I’m just not sure what that means yet.