I should have started this blog a few months ago, but it takes time to find purpose and meaning in what was ultimately, a rash decision. I am writing from the road after putting all of my belongings in storage and leaving on an extended U.S./world-tour (*rockstar*) with an indeterminate ending. I feel like some modern incarnation of Kerouac and Blanche Dubois, two characters I don’t particularly admire, but each infinitely more compelling than Elizabeth Gilbert.
Years ago, I had planned to take a road trip around the U.S living out of my car and collecting stories from folks around the country. There would be no political agenda, theme, or directed questions. I just wanted to talk. I like to talk. People like to talk. That summer I was inspired after meeting a cattle rancher in a small town near the Badlands. Over bottled beers and whiskey, I listened to his stories about the roving herds, a son he had lost in a farming accident, and examined the scars on his hands. In that moment, our regionalism was faint, our politics, irrelevant, and our humanness incensed. In our exchange, it felt, we were, not so far away.
Back then, I was about to start law school and any kind of road trip or extended travel seemed impossibly expensive and untenable. A pipe dream. Also, I was scared. Scared of leaving the comforts of my life, however tenously manufactured. Relationships, jobs, degrees, a closet full of clothes and shoes, the stability of my family all seemed to hauntingly cry, “You cannot be without.” I was scared of running out of money, becoming lonely, or, in the worst case, realizing I would have been better to just stay home. Rhetoric is palpable and it moves us.
Sometimes it takes a life-shakedown to get where we want to be. No one died. I do not have cancer. I did hit a turning point (or was it a wall?), when I realized that choices do matter. More importantly, I have them. The answer was finally, “What the hell?”
This is not my rendition of Eat, Pray, Love or The Beach. I am not writing a travel narrative or a travel blog. You will not find stories about charming hostels, presumputous accounts of culture, or tourist insight. I will never use the word “amazing” to describe my experiences. There will be no photographs of me in front of iconic structures. I will not bore you with the details of transportation or advise you where to find the “best” local food and drink. I probably won’t even mention local food culture unless I get poisoned or roofied and I think it is funny. I will, however, be singing karaoke in as many cities and countries as possible.
I am writing people, not place. So…if these stories are any good, you should forget that I am moving at all.
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