It’s been sometime since I’ve thrown caution to the wind and abandoned reason- even responsibility. Some may believe I did just that when I took a month away from work last year to travel the East Coast of Australia. And maybe they’re right. At a job that offers no vacation pay, and bills that still had to be taken care of, I suppose it wasn’t the smartest financial decision I’ve ever made. And while I did happily dip into my savings, damn the experience was worth it. Full. On.
And now here I am again, just a few months later – ready to roll, ready to move along to the next. This time, though, I feel a larger restlessness, and I’m eager to leave my job, get rid of most of my life and hit the road to…nowhere, somewhere, everywhere… In other words, I have no freaking clue what I’m doing. I should be terrified of that little/massive fact, but for some crazy reason I’m not, and a ball of excitement has replaced the anxiety that sat in my gut as I made this decision. Damn, I would’ve made a bitchin’ hippie.
So I’m off and running, working toward a life on the road with my four-month-old kitty Trixie. I’m downsizing and packing up my life, as I’ve done once or twice before. And I won’t lie: It’s cathartic AF. And it’s also, as a friend pointed out, an all-out privilege- a powerful truth. Choosing to let go of possessions can be a curious double-edged sword. While doing so in the past has caused me to feel lighter in my life and less attached to things, I also recognize minimalism was nor is not forced upon me- I’m not crying over items I value being ripped from me. And in that sits my big fat privilege.
The truth is, I am not off on some trip with a bunch of money stuffed in my pockets – far from it, in fact- and people are not shy about asking, either. This isn’t a funded trip, this isn’t something I saved up for months, this isn’t a paid sabbatical. This is just me, at 50, fed up with living the same in and out and over and under and up and down, realizing I am young enough to do something I’ve wanted to do for most of my life: hippy up and hit the road. And while I won’t have much money while I’m out there, I am so grateful that my very worst case would not render me destitute – I would never end up on the streets, I would always have someone, somewhere. And again with my privilege.
I have about a month to figure out my journey/destination as I thin out my life. Thinking I’m headed toward the sun, keeping the faith that Trix & I will find ourselves some fun and new experiences in the near future. Maybe I’ll stop for awhile somewhere, find work and set up a home- whether temporary or permanent. Life is in flux and we’re on an adventure!
Jack Kerouac famously wrote in On The Road, “There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” The first half of that sentiment is tattooed on my right shoulder, with the famous Muppet Studabaker ready to run. The second half? It calls to me, as it often does, egging me out into the unknown, tugging at my curiosity and sense of adventure. And with that, it’s time to roll on under the stars again.