Tuesday, April 05, 2005


i can feel it pulling me. calling to me. tempting me. urging me. teasing me with visions of places unknown and unseen. luring me with the possibilities of the people i might meet. taunting me with the possible adventures that i might have or might miss. gnawing at my spirit to break away and run for freedom and seemingly mocking my self-control.

the season pulls me. the spring weather pulls me outside to enjoy nature. each year when this happens, i realize that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, i must have been a cat or a follower of the sun-god, Ra. either way, i can't think of anything more enjoyable about spring than finding a nice big patch of sun to soak up and soothe the soul. just the joy of watching things come back to life after the dormant season makes me feel like coming back to life myself. it inspires me with the drive to LIVE life, to sit "out there," to go, to do, to have, to experience, to BE. once this devil is loose, it's very hard to get him back on a leash. it may take me weeks or months to get these reckless feelings back under control and be able to walk outside without the intruding thoughts of wandering loose. but without fail, spring time starts building the inevitable feelings of wanderlust.

the road calls to me. the sounds of traveling and going are everywhere. the lonesome car that passes my house, the "swush" of the tractor trailer truck that passes me on the highway, the sounds of the cars and trucks on the interstate near the olive garden parking lot. whistling cars and trucks pass, thumping tires on the pavement, honking horns, racing motors, squealing tires, sounds of laughter floating on the wind. when i see and hear these things, i am reminded of the building anticipation i have each time before i travel. the expectation for excitement. the knowledge that adventure is pending. the fear that time will rush by before i'm done exploring. i am mesmerized by these sights and sounds. almost hypnotized, i am tempted to just get back in my car and join the pilgrimage on the road, traveling into the future.

my schedule tempts me. spring break has just happened, and summer break is approaching very quickly -- but never quick enough. with summer comes a welcomed break in my work schedule. a full 10 weeks with only working one job. no extra responsibilities, but no extra money. the anticipation of freedom is so prevalent in my mind that i can almost taste it. hot, dusty, gritty, metallic. soon, very soon i will have the freedom to spend time outside and on the road. the luxury of time is a great thing for adventure. during the school year and working two jobs, i don't have much time to seriously be tempted to travel. with time off during the summer, i have the opportunity to imagine, to envision, to conjure, to dream.

my curiosity urges me on. pushing me to find new and fulfilling experiences and adventures. the chance to relax is only tempting for a few days, but soon i am looking for something more. something that pushes me into new experiences and pushes me out of my comfort zone. the chance to expand my mind, my attitude, my personality, my vocabulary, my awareness, my appreciation for life. the excitement of planning and executing the perfect adventure is thrilling to hold and possess. enough to keep me awake at night. the atlas laying on the floor, various guide books scattered around, a mileage calculator holding the maps open, and notebook ready to record future and possible adventures. always a fun haven for the imagination.

new places tease me to come and see for myself, to explore all they have to offer. advertisements in the mail, travel shows on television, glimpses of scenery in a movie, travelzoo emails, or conversations with other travelers. i'm bombarded from every side with ideas and suggestions for future travel. i'm intrigued with what is available but unknown to the travel authors and publishers. what might i find if i were there? what is just around that curve in the road that i can't see in the picture? is that suggestion the best thing to do in that area? is that what i would suggest if i was from there? i want to experience these places for myself. to become familiar with what they have to offer. to know what was before unknown. to have those visions embedded in my mind to look back on and remember.

interesting people lure me to invest time in society and the different cultures. people that i might not normally talk with can provide me with an amazing amount of entertainment and/or information. getting to know someone new provides me with the opportunity to learn more about myself through learning more about someone else. pondering someone else's culture and beliefs makes me analyze and understand my own culture and beliefs so much more. i like it, i don't like it, i don't understand it, it scares me -- whatever. but it does push me to think of things in a new perspective. i know it sounds generic, but most people here are the same. we're homogenous. we have the same history, the same background, the same present, and the same future. i get so tired of people who can't think out of the box and/or can't think for themselves. meeting someone from a different culture or area provides me with a new perspective, a variety of mental stimuli. fascinating!

possible adventures taunt me with their elusive dance. they twist and turn and then dart just out of reach, leading me further down the roads of adventure. when i try a new adventure and learn something new, i realize that there is so much more that i want to do, to learn, to achieve. the more i learn, the more i realize what i don't know. i have a need for knowledge, much more than just a thirst. a driving force that's pushing me to satisfy my desire for more knowledge. i want to know, as well as understand, to think, to solve. by experiencing, we learn. i want and need that for my happiness and self-satisfaction. adventures present different circumstances than we already have; therefore, they present the perfect learning opportunities. if i don't go and have these experiences, what might i be missing? that just kills me!

wanderlust is gnawing my spirit, continually pointing out what i want that i don't have. i want to wander, i desire to wander, i need to wander -- but i can't. it's like looking at what i'm holding in two different hands -- this is what i want and this is what i've got. want. got. want. got. want. want. want. need? want? need? need. need. need. pretty soon, all i can think of is how to turn my want into a reality. where can i work? what can i do? how can i afford? how can i acquire? i've got a new goal. i've set a new summit to reach. now what do i have to do to climb that hill? i plan and prepare, almost willing to move mountains to succeed, hoping to add another adventure to my growing list of memories. just another something to satisfy the unsatisfied cravings to wander, knowing that the cravings will never be totally satisfied.

wanderlust seems to be mocking my self-control. like it's standing just out of reach saying, "look. you can't catch me! can't catch me!" a challenge issued. a line drawn in the sand. it knows i want it -- want to hold it and control it. want to conquer it. but i can't. or i don't really want to bad enough to do it, but more like i want to try and fail and keep failing so i can keep chasing it. and that be my excuse for continuing to chase it -- because i'm trying to conquer it. i tell myself over and over to ignore it, that it'll go away, not to think about it. it doesn't work, though. it's still there, just waiting on me to look up and see if it's still there. then i'm sunk. i want it again and have to start all over convincing myself that i don't. sometimes it seems the harder i fight it, the harder it tempts me as if it knows that i'm about to break and crumble.

someday soon, i can just give myself up to the wanderlust and let it take control of my life. i've been thinking of this day for many years and knew that at some point i would just "up and go". i couldn't do it previously because of kids and life responsibilities, but that time is coming to an end soon. not quite yet, but soon. and it's close enough i can wrap my senses around it. i can feel the wind in my face. i can smell the springtime in the air. i can taste the excitement and the grit in my mouth. i can "see" the beautiful places racing by. i can hear the rumble of the motor. makes me feel daring, makes me want to take chances, makes me feel reckless. i want to just totally lose control, or release control, and just allow myself to do what feels good instead of what i think i have to do. i want to experience that total abandon that comes with total freedom. i want to run, and just run free. the ability to have no restraints. the ability to be totally free to roam. free to discover. just free. knowing the whole time that home awaits me when i grow tired of all of that freedom.

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