“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where –” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“– so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Truthfully, I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing. I feel a little lost, which I suppose is not surprising given my propensity to wander.
Sometimes I think to myself, “man, I’m so cool. I wanted to do something and now I’m out there freakin’ DOIN’ it! You only live once, baby! Live for the moment!” and more self-elevating crap like that.
These moments of elation are usually followed shortly thereafter by thoughts of, “seriously, WHAT am I doing? My money is dwindling. Aren’t I supposed to be engaged and popping out spawn by now?”
And then, “but, but I don’t really want spawn…”
Followed by “Yes, yes you do!”
The mental battle is usually kind of like that.
On the road, I’m usually surrounded by travelers. What I do by traveling long-term is not that impressive, surprising, or novel. Sure, I’m trying to travel for as long as I can. Of course, I’m going to go as long as my money allows me. Naturally, I’m trying to see as much of the world as possible. We’re all in that boat. Move on, there’s nothing special to see here.
It’s when I come back home or talk to friends who are stateside, living the life that I used to, that I start to realize I’ve taken a path unlike any of theirs. I start to realize that they have direction, and I don’t. They have a routine. It involves waking up at 7am, heading to work, breaking for lunch around noon, driving home, maybe heading to the gym, making dinner, watching TV, falling asleep, rinse, repeat. I did not value this when I lived it, but it’s funny how the older I get, the less adult I feel because I don’t have this routine anymore.
Because I’m supposed to by my late 20s, right?
People in the Western world say things like, “So, you just travel all of the time? Did you win the lottery or something?”
To which I say, “No, I write about getting to second base with ladyboys, beg people to buy stuff through my affiliate links, and every now and then, I do cool things in between haggling over dollars and trying not to look like a sweaty hot mess. Do you know how hard it is to look sexy with several layers of DEET, humidity, and sunscreen on? Very hard, my friend. Very hard.”
It’s like Southeast Asia is my parallel universe where laying on the sand, or an open-air bamboo hut opens my eyes to the reality that all I really need in life is food, shelter, and good people. Then I come back home and wonder if it’s completely unrealistic to wander without establishing something more lasting.
What I keep coming back to, and what I’ve just got to know is, is it possible to ever truly be happy? The grass is always greener somewhere I’m not, and that’s why I’ve resigned myself to wandering until I find a green enough patch to rest my tired feet on for a while.
But truth be told, the grass always browns, withers and dies right before my eyes. I suppose all I have to do is water it, but I never do.
Do you ever wonder, just a little bit, what it’s all for?
I sure do.