Life On The Road: The Trip Has Ended

As I mentioned in the previous post this trip recently changed radically. I’ve come to the conclusion that trip traveling the world has ended. It is not the end of my adventures and I am not going home. But neither am I traveling. What I am doing next is perhaps a logical progression based on my interests but it is not a natural progression to travel. I’m not quite certain how to describe the life I’ve decided on. Explorer? Vagabond? Migratory Biker? Itinerant Homeless Bum? I’m not certain if there is even a word to describe it. So here is a description of what I am going to try for and why I no longer see myself as a traveler in the traditional sense. I’m not certain if all this will make sense to you, it is difficult to express. But I have to try….

People traveling the world have a few things in common: They are constantly moving around, visiting new locations, and seeking out amazing new sights. As I’ve discussed before, travel is in many ways like a job with duties, responsibilities and deadlines. Payment is in the amazing experiences. Sometimes they may stop for a week or a month or for three months. Those stops sometimes have a purpose directly related to travel and at other times are simply vacations from travel. But always travel is the focus. Moving on. Seeing the next amazing thing. I’ve seen this same pattern in people on the road for a month or for five years. Eventually the trip ends.

The fundamental shift I’ve undergone recently is that my trip has ended. I am no longer focused on travel. In a previous posting Life on the Road: Sustainable Travel I surmised that I need to determine the conditions under which I will stop traveling. Sucre has made me realize that I’ve found why I will stop, that I have met those conditions, and that I can accept them. I’ve had amazing experiences, met amazing people, fundamentally changed as a person and figured out what I want to do next with my life.

Yet what I want to do next does not involve “going home” or “settling down”. Instead of traveling through the world I want to explore places in depth. How much depth I’m not yet certain. Weeks? Months? Years? No clue. I’ve been in Sucre for about seven weeks now and feel I’ve barely scratched the surface. I would gladly stay here a lot longer except for two things drawing me away: I want to ride out on the Salar de Uyuni before the rains come and I want to get to Argentina where I can spend some time studying Tango.

Another fundamental difference to travel is the amount of depth I’m looking for in a location. It takes time to get to know a place and the people who live there. I want to really get to know a place, not just see what its like on the surface. This takes time and is accomplished by integrating somewhat into the location. To do this I’ll explore the area, make friends, pursue my own interests, take classes and even earn money. It sounds a lot to me like what I did before I started traveling except that one of my hobbies is doing it in a new place on a regular basis.

A key difference you may have picked out from above is money. I’ll find ways to earn more instead of just spending my savings. I can think of lots of jobs that suit the mobile lifestyle I’m looking for. Photography. Busking. Freelance software engineering. Writing books. Bartender. Life coaching. Public speaking. Lots of possibilities. I just have to find which ones interest me most as a way to make money.

All this is also why I expect Europe is my next destination. Not only are there lots of places I want to explore, the entire area is small enough I can easily travel to new places and return to favorite locations in hours or days instead of weeks or months (or expensive flights). I actually expect I will return to Latin America again so that I can explore in more depth. But I’ve at least seen those places already so I need to get some other places out of my system first before I return.

It seems a bit surreal to me that I’ve come to accept this. I have fond memories of Boulder, Colorado. It is where most of my family and friends live. Someday I may even settle down there again. But the world is too fascinating a place for that to happen any time soon.

The trip has ended. Let the adventure begin!

2 comments to Life On The Road: The Trip Has Ended

  • Elizabeth

    Wow! Congrats, Bro for figuring out who you are and what you want!

    It reminds me of the quote from Braveheart that you like. And this one that I like equally well:
    “Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives….so, Dance as if no one was watching, sing as if no one was listening, and live each day as if it was your last!”

    So Dance, Sing, and Live!

    That is a great perspective to take on the world and what it brings you! Thanks for the insight into the changes. And I agree completely, Let the adventure begin!

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