We’re all running from something. It’s a conversation I’ve often had over a glass of cheap wine in some strange city with a group of other international runaways.
Why do we choose to live life on the road?
Why do we force ourselves into a life where we are constantly making and breaking social connections – it’s exhausting. Mentally and emotionally draining. And yet we totally fucking love it.
Travel is less about the places you visit and more about the connections you make — I’ve said this many times before, but the flipside of the coin is something I’ve ignored. All those wonderful, beautiful connections that you make along the road must inevitably be broken. Left in the dust as you hit the road, scouting new horizons. In this way, travel is about living in constant state of heartbreak and leaving little pieces of yourself behind with a few empty booze bottles, an overflowing ashtray, and hopefully some fond memories.
But we can’t possibly live this way forever, can we?
We are all running from something, we must be, else we’d just go home. But what is it in the contemporary world that scares us so much? Some people run from failed relationships or failed careers (probably both in my case) and find solace in a nomadic world where social ties are fleeting and jobs are disposable. It’s comforting to know that nothing you do really matters because in a few weeks, you’ll be in another city or even another country.
I think a lot of travelers (myself included) are running from normality. You can sleep-walk through your whole life, doing exactly what you’re supposed to do, and then suddenly, you wake up with a university degree, a career, and the possibility of a family and you wonder how the hell you got yourself into such a far-too-typical situation. You start having nightmares about mortgages, and your shitty relationship with your mediocre wife, and your 2.4 children, and your stagnant sex life, and you can’t help but think how disappointingly average you have become.
Suddenly, those old ideas of traveling the world come flooding back.
You want to get smashed and get into a brawl with some Irish footballers.
You want to do lines of coke off the bar with a Swedish model who just wants to fuck you because you lied about your Hollywood connections.
You want to wake up in a gutter in Bangkok, and meditate with monks in Tibet, and hitchhike across the Australian Outback.
(All those things are still on my to-do list, by the way)
You’ll do anything, and everything to shatter the numbing fog of normality and failure that has somehow taken over your life.
Sounds pretty sad, I know. But don’t feel bad for me. We all live in our own little tragedies, but for the most part, I had a good life back in The States. I think more than running from normality, I’m running from responsibility. I just don’t ever want to have to do anything. So really, what it comes down to is that I’m a selfish bastard, and thats why I travel… so I can do what I want, when I want.
And I do.
And I fucking love it.
So I run from the plague of normality.
From the fear of being average.
I run from responsibility.
I’m selfish and fickle and I run.
Not only do I run, but I blog about it, which is probably the most ridiculous and egoistic thing that I do. Who could possibly want to read my ramblings about travel and blah blah blah. On the road, you’ll meet plenty of people who think they’ve seen it all and want to tell you all about it – and sometimes I feel like this blog is just another one of those annoying, one-way conversation. I never want to be one of those road-weary false-prophets who force fellow travelers to listen to their supposedly sage advice after one too many glasses of box wine. I know I’m guilty of these pontificating rambles myself, but these days I try to avoid advice altogether – taking and giving. I’d rather let my experiences just happen on their own without letting them be tainted by someone else’s ideas. And in the same way, I like to let other travelers and life-livers discover and inform their own experiences.
So don’t read this blog.
I’m a hypocrite anyway – supposedly running from responsibility, but headed back to Blenheim for another week of 9 to 5. What ever happened to being free?