As I start talking to more and more people about my impending adventures, I’ve begun meeting and noticing adventurers. Some are old acquaintances or friends whose lives have taken them in more rugged directions. Some are folks I meet along the way in my preparations who are eager to share thoughts, ideas and feelings about their own adventures. I am eager to learn so that I may prepare – brace? – for my uncertain future. There are lots of tidbits of logistical information we share – where to go (go east, young man), how to travel (hitchhiking), where to stay (hostels, couchsurfing).
I met a woman on Saturday who had ventured to many places. She had gone by bicycle shipped on airplane. She had found herself and changed through the course of her travels. The conversation started from the wheres, whats, whens and hows – where are you going, what will you be doing, when will you leave, how will you do this – and we eventually ended up at the whys. Why are you doing this?
“I don’t know” was my answer.
From there, I let my words lead ahead of my thoughts. Sentences strung themselves together, weaving meaning as they left my mouth. I realized that one of the whys of the trip will be to discover (rediscover?) what it means to have a why – purpose, meaning or satisfaction beyond grinding through life’s distractions and earning the means by which to purchase and effect more distractions.
Our conversation was brief. I was on my way out – I spoke to her with my winter gear on. I rode off into the snowy Minnesotan night.