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    Unknown Variables

    June 17, 2016

    In three-days... 

     

    I will be living in my mobile tiny house: a motorcycle, a backpack, and a tent... 

     

    I will be relying on mother nature, friends, strangers, and public spaces... 

     

    I will be existing in the unknown.  

    Today, the unknown is palpable.  

     

    In hindsight, I have been planning a trip like this for years: making life-style choices to raise sufficient capital, letting go of material objects to simplify my life, and sharing this dream with others to keep my word.  

     

    Yet, what does it mean to take a trip?  

    My friend, Jenn, knows!  

     

    She has reminded me -- in a lovingly beautiful way -- 

    of what should be accomplished every time I hop on my bike. 

     

    John Steinbeck argues that "we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."  

     

    His words have stuck with me since making the decision to embark on this journey, for despite having a generic map planned out, all may change based on a singular weather pattern (along with other countless, unforeseen events).  

     

    Therein lies the unknown.  

    Why must we have reasons for venturing out into the unknown?

     

    Can we not have an adventure based on its own merit?  

     

    Steinbeck's journey (with his French poodle):  Travels with Charley includes a very interesting component -- the latter part of his title -- In Search of America.

     

    He sought something specific.

     

    What did he find?  

     

    (Spoiler alert.)  

     

    A mirror: a reflection of himself. "This monster of a land, this spawn of the future, turns out to be the macrocosm of microcosm me."  

     

    Steinbeck set out in search of something definitive BEFORE his trip.

     

    Must I, too, have something specific, something definitive, in mind?

     

    My friends and family hope I find whatever it is I seek; apparently, I will know it when I find it.

     

    Did I mention that it will not hurt to have a knife for when I do find it?  

     

    My Aunt Ada's significant other, Thomas Heying, created the one displayed above for my journey.  

     

    Originally from Germany, he would be able to articulate with more clarity the point of having a purposeless adventure.  

     

    Germans have a word for it: wanderlust.

     

    According to Anita Balch (my soon-to-be first couchsurfing host), the Australians call them walk abouts.    

     

    Whatever we call them:  sabbaticals, gap years, midlife transitions, and so on... let them provide a space to create.  

     

    Ultimately, that's all I want... a space to be free to create any world I wish to create.    

    How long will your trip last?  

     

    My responses vary from "until the money runs out" or "until my body gives out" or "until my motorcycle says stop."  

     

    Ultimately, this trip will last as long as it is supposed to last.  As long as it takes for me to create the world I wish to create. 

     

    I do not wish to keep track of time.  

     

    On my motorcycle, time ceases to exist.  

    As Pink Floyd knows, many of us yearn for more than "...half a page of scribbled lines...."    

     

     

     

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