Thursday, April 7, 2011

BEDA 7: Something I Love

If I hate thank you notes, here's something I love: packing. Because packing means you're going somewhere, usually somewhere new. Packing means travels. It usually means adventure. And I love adventure.

There's an old quote I've always liked that says "Adventure is not outside man, it is within." But sometimes that's hard to remember when you're stuck in the same place for a long while. There are people who like that. I met a girl once in college who had never even left the state and was perfectly happy with her life. But I get something that I referred to in a poem once as "the itch and the tug and the ache and the call." It says: GO.

Sometimes it's not necessarily the destination, but just the process of getting there. I've found the more I walk that some of my best ideas come to me when I'm in motion. Walking, in the car (though usually if someone else is driving, because otherwise most of my mind is focused on the road), in buses, trains, airplanes. Maybe it's just new scenery, new things for your mind to latch onto. Maybe it's something else, something bigger. I don't know.

All I know is that if I lived like that girl I met in college, I'd feel like a goldfish stuck in a bowl. I've always hated fish as pets, not just because they're not cuddly, but also because they look so bored there in their little bowl. They can only swim so far. And what do they do? Sleep, swim this way, swim that way. That's about it. Seems like such a small, sad life.

That's not to say that girl had a small, sad life. Humans are more complicated than goldfish. They have depths of emotion and intellect, inner worlds that I assume goldfish don't. (Hard to say for certain having never conversed properly with a goldfish, but the facts seem to suggest their brains don't hold the capacity for such things...) The true richness of your life is determined I think by the people you love, the beliefs you hold, and the pursuits you engage in, not necessarily by the places you've been.

But I still like packing. I still like going. Because when you go it's always a gamble. You never know what's going to happen next, or what you'll end up bringing back with you, or if you'll even come back at all.

Okay, so that last bit sounded dire. But it's true. I think part of why I love travel is also because it reminds me that much in this life is a mystery. I can do my research and make my plans, but what I actually find and experience when I get there won't match up to the picture in my head. You have to live it to discover it, and that's cool.

So, yes... I'm going to stop rambling and go pack for Savannah.

Love love love!

No comments: