A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~Lao Tzu
Sometimes all I want to do is turn off my brain, put on The Rolling Stones, get on a train (going somewhere, anywhere) and get lost. The unknown doesn’t scare me because it always seems to work out.
Leaving for me and getting away when I am most comfortable somewhere is something that I do very well, almost skillfully. I will be sitting there, maybe on my bed or at a desk or in my oversized marbled white bathtub and this thing (a thought, an apparition disguised as discontent, maybe just a longing for adventure) washes over me & I sink into it almost drowning in it & it whispers in my ear “go”. The message slips and slides all over me & even if I say “no, but I am happy here right now,” or “no, but I am too lazy to make any plans” or “no, but I am content,” that something, that small but strong wild messenger does not hear what I say and pulls me away and the next thing I know it I am on a train somewhere & am in motion.
In the state of perpetual motion is where I feel most comfortable. Sitting or standing or being still always leaves me feeling a bit sad and even when I am falling asleep I have to continuously move my legs until I am pulled deep under the curtains of my heavy dreams.
When I was young, maybe from the ages of 10 − 15 I travelled almost every month with my mom in a van full of tiny dachshunds up and down and across America from Texas to Minnesota and from Louisiana to Missouri and back again. The open road made my heart beat a little faster & I loved the long trips we took where there was no one else on the highway expect for us. Miles and miles of open country road as far as the eye could see. And no Internet, no Twitter, no Facebook, no bullshit, only a few books and some disposable cameras that I would buy every few trips at Wallgreens or any old grocery store that we would come across that belonged to the little ghost towns with names like Denton, Faber, Mill City, Black Duck, Moorpark…that dotted the long expansive road to nowhere that we would drive up and down on the way to our next destination.
It made me feel so free being on the road so young, so often. I became addicted to it. Hooked on the feeling on “getting gone.”
I am reading Sylvia Plaths journal entries from when she was aged 17-30 (when she committed suicide) and I stopped when I read this because it struck me hard with truth:
“Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing, singing, laughing, learning.”
Motion. It just makes sense to me. When I talk to people about my desire to move, get away or change constantly, they are either horrified or mesmerized. They either get it or they don’t and to me, that is just fine. Change is my lover. Motion is my friend. Freedom means everything to me. So I go & I stay in motion or I might as well be dead if only metaphorically.