Originally posted on my facebook account, Reposting here because this will be the new home of my pre-travel and travel writings
I've long said that I desire travel and new experience like most people desire stability and normalcy. I've recently been thinking more and more on travel, be it local, mid-range (within the US) and long range (abroad).
This desire to travel stems from a lifetime (thus far) of constant change and flux, moving from place to place and not staying anywhere more than a couple years at most. Additionally I realized that it also comes from my pre/post graduation present to myself where I travelled to Canada and back to see a good friend. Taking that trip is/was one of the greatest experiences of my life due to the vast amount of experiences involved. I spent a grand total of 100+ hours on greyhound buses and stations, met dozens of new people that I wish I had stayed in contact with, and gained a story that not many other people have to tell.
Thinking back to swapping music with a budding businessman on the StL-Chicago leg, to the girl that started giving birth 3 seats behind me in the middle of ohio. Sharing food with the other bus-goers at the US/Canada border and having them pool together and pay for a replacement for my lost connection ticket. Watching bootleg movies with a young woman in Buffalo to playing guitar at a hot-dog vendor's stall in Toronto during layovers. Talking to a Soldier on his way to Korea and another on his way home from Afghanistan. Being questioned by border patrol and having my bags searched at EVERY SINGLE BORDER (and most of the bus stations) to having the very weird (kidding) man sitting next to me be detained for being oddly radioactive (not kidding) and then only JUST making it home in time to make it to my graduation. Good or bad, ALL of these things are fond memories of what constituted a summer after high-school. That's only the time spent in transit too. I had even more experiences once I'd reached my destination.
Now, since that time I've been pretty stagnant in my travels. There haven't been any "life changing" trips or really any trips for that matter. I've lived in the same area of the country for the longest in my life. In that time though I've held various jobs, lived in a few houses, had various room-mates, relationships, etc. I started college and tried out a year at a university, gained new friends and lost others, learned what its like to have and have-not. Overall though, I still think back to that time spent traveling The new people, places, things, ideas, experiences. They've all made a difference in my life for better or worse. I miss it those experiences and options. I miss wondering what's going to happen in the next minute, hour, day, week, month, etc. or what the next bus change will bring. Who will be sitting next to me on the next flight, will they be sociable or will I have to find ways to occupy myself.
I desire travel like most people desire new gadgets or phones or pretty much anything desirable. I began questioning myself: "what's keeping me from doing it? why haven't I gone anywhere in a LONG time?" It isn't like the trip was horrifyingly expensive, I worked on a horse farm for a bit and made money to do things. As well as some amazing generosity of my hosts, which I am forever grateful for. When I actually got down to thinking about it, I realized what was holding me back: nothing.
So I've decided to see what there is to see, what I can do on my very very limited budget. The plan in no uncertain terms is to travel next summer. No exceptions. I'm giving up getting a car or finishing my motorcycle project for the time being. I have transportation as it is. I will be getting my passport as soon as possible and will begin planning through WWOOF, backpacking, and a few other things that were suggested to me by other travelers I've met along the way.
So for better or worse, I will travel with minimal amounts of junk, within my budget, and as far as I can go while still getting back for the following school year. Life is meant to be lived.
((EDIT: Apologies for the terrible formatting of the first two posts. They were constructed through the facebook notes app as well as in word. The formatting did not transfer well.))