When I share with some of my friends that we are about to take off to travel, I am met with so many mixed reactions. They most often include:
“Oh, are you getting a motor home?”
- “Where do you want to go?” (often followed with)
- “I hear the National Parks are nice for a visit”
- “When will you be back?”
After explaining that we are selling our home and getting rid of most of our possessions to give us the freedom to travel indefinitely and will be seeing as much of the world, for as long as we can, I get some different responses:
- “Aren’t you afraid?”
- “I could never do that”
- “What are you looking for (or hoping to find)?”
- “Won’t you miss your home (or family, or friends, or work, or _____)?
- “You are living my dream”
- “I’m jealous”
- “This is so far outside of my comfort zone I don’t even know what to say!”
So why do I want to leave everything behind and travel? There is no short, easy answer, but I think this poem written by a friend I went to high school with sums it up quite nicely.
Alive:If I see something I have never eaten before I want to eat it.If I see something I have never drunk before I want to drink it.I want to learn how to cook it or mix it.If I see an interesting book, I buy it, I read it.There are many places in the worldI want to see them all. …There are many people in the worldI want to know them allButThey speak different languageshave different religions and philosophies,eat different food,sing different songs,wear different clothes.Knowing interesting people meansI have to meet some boring peopleand even some bad peoplealong the way.Going different placesmeans I have to spend moneyand take time,sometimes I am caught in the rain,or snowsuffer cold,and suffer heat,have to wait in a long line,have to ride in crowded busses.get sick. get cheated, get very tired,have to sleep in strange and sometimes dirty or loud places.ButI meet children and, play games with them.Hear their stories, calm their fears,and try to teach them about the interesting world we live inand make them happyI meet young women and young men,hear their storiesand try to teach them some of the things I have learned.I meet old women and old menhear their stories,and try to learn about things in the world I have not seen.I meet animals and try to make friends with them and understand their lifeI try to understand how all things are made,Whether it is a computer made by man orA galaxy made by whatever.I want to understand how they workAll in all the key is,do as much as you can while you can andlearn as much as you can about the world we live in.The arrow of time has left the bow.We have little time before it hits its final mark.We must not waste this time.Richard in Tennessee 2009