I suppose I’m not a good traveler. Maybe I’m defective that way. But I like where I live.
I love where I live.
I just got home tonight from a road trip. Back in the day I thought nothing of hitchhiking across the country. Now driving from New Mexico to the east coast and back is an exercise of endurance. Aside from the fact that my body is not what it was half a century and more ago, my emotional comfort is more important to me now than it was then.
Back then I just wanted to do things. Everything.
One time back then, back when I lived in Boston, my roommate’s boyfriend who had visited her over the spring break announced he had to get back to college in southern California and that he was going to hitchhike. Understand, back then we did those kind of things and it was no big deal. It was also no big deal that I decided I’d go with him.
It didn’t occur to me that I had only met the young man a few days before, and to go on such an adventure might be ill-advised. It didn’t occur to me that I needed more than the few dollars I had to travel so far. Or to tell my family I was going. Or to have a destination to go to.
I just went.
It was an adventure, you see. I was up for adventures at at the drop of a hat. The story of that trip — which was accomplished fairly easily with only getting busted once in Buffalo and which ended up with my meeting the man who was to be my first husband at the other side of the country — is for another time. My point here is that it was an adventure.
It wasn’t all fun and games, of course. Spending the night in a police station right off the bat was a drag. Standing in crappy weather with Robin’s boyfriend (sorry, man, I’ve forgotten your name) for hours on end waiting for a ride was a drag. Some of the rides were a bummer but there was good stuff, too. The semi-trucker apologized for the bumpy/jerky ride (shocks problem? I forget now) but let us take turns crashing in his sleeper. I missed the midwest – too stoned because the people in the VW bus insisted we share their smoke. True, I froze in Colorado, but then there was that guy who treated us to lunch in Utah because he was so entertained by our account of our trip so far.
And when it was over, it was just one more cool thing I had done and I looked forward to the next adventure.
Nowadays it’s harder to drum up that feeling of excitement about adventures. Then I was free of responsibilities, now I have many anchors, all of which I love and want to keep.
I live in a beautiful place. An enchanted land. My soul soars and my heart sings, and my creative self is fed by my home — and by home I don’t mean my house, I mean the critters, the house, the valley, the county, the state. The magic of this place.
And that makes it hard to leave here. But that’s not all. Back then I was about gathering experience. Now I’m about using my experience to flesh out my writing. Back then I was all about the outside. Now I’m all about the inside.
Even so. I’m greedy. I want to have it all. I want to go and stay. I want to be out there and dwell in here at the same time. I want to live forever so I can savor deeply and slowly, and I want to plunge into the unknown and flail about
How is it that I could be this old and feel like an adolescent?