Here We Go Again

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

And so it continues. I’m finally back on the road. The road is life. I think it’s safe to say transience is more than a habit of mine, it’s a lifestyle. Globetrotter, vagabond, wanderer of the earth – this is who I am. 

What strikes me, as I await takeoff from Ft. Lauderdale, is how completely at ease I am. No anxiety, no fear, no second thoughts. My heart rate is below normal. To be free is to be at peace. 

The poetic nature of this beginning is not lost on me. Six months ago, I sat in this very terminal writing the first of many blog posts. Just a day after burying my aunt, my own mortality weighed heavily on my mind. In word and in my heart, I made a pact to live my life with intention, with a sharp awareness that it could all end prematurely. While much healing has occurred, and spirits are much higher, in no way have I given up ground on that promise. 

I return to Bogota, where my last adventure began. The similarities only serve to point out the differences. Instead of heading south, I point my arrow north this time. Instead of running away – from death, from heartbreak, from monotony – I now feel I’m running toward, though toward what exactly I don’t know yet. Instead of finding myself, I’m being myself. 

Most notably different, I have a companion this time. Though my natural tendency has become to travel alone – an experience every fledgling backpacker should have – traveling with a friend has a slew of advantages. So often on my last trip, I would experience something special and think, ‘This is perfect; if only I had someone to share it with.’ A partner grants security, from danger and from boredom. A partner is a testament that these adventures have meaning.

And despite the few worries I could cook up, I honestly can’t think of a friend I’d rather travel with than Joshua. What he lacks in experience as a vagabond, Josh makes up for in a much more important ingredient: spirit. It’s that spirit – the spirit to move beyond what is comfortable, to experience what is new, to see what lies beyond the next hill – that forms the foundation of any good traveler, and any good human worth spending your time with for that matter. The boy speaks pretty good Spanish to boot. 

Such endless exposure to each other will test our friendship, and grow it tenfold. As an extension of our dynamic back home, Josh and I compliment each other, make up for what the other lacks. Though I have a few more miles under my belt, I have just as much to learn from him as he has from me. 

Why Central America?, you may ask. As if we needed a better reason, it is somewhere new, somewhere we’ve yet to explore. (Also, India is hot and wet this time of year.) Thanks to good fortune and some wisdom, we are as free as we may ever be in life. No girlfriends, no pets, no student loans, no mortgage or car payments, no nine-to-five jobs. We’re young and stupid enough to live cheaply, willing to sacrifice comfort for adventure. We don’t take this ideal state of liberty for granted. With some money in the bank, a pair of one-way tickets, and nothing calling us home, our freedom is nearly absolute.

As I hope has become evident from my previous travels, this is not a vacation but an adventure. My goals are many and my fate is a blank canvas. I will continue writing and picture-taking, but I am not content to leave it at that. I vow on making this lifestyle at least semi-permanent, but it’s going to take resilience and patience to get there. Thanks to savings and the hard work I put in over the past few months, I have a sizable chuck of change to keep me on the road while I try to make some sort of career out of my passion. With so many possibilities, I haven’t a clue where I will be a few months from now. That uncertainty, that endless possibility for the future, is precisely what excites me about the present. 

Eyes forward. Not looking back. Here I we go again.

–April 3, 2014–


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