Sunday, September 9, 2012

Becoming Rootless: Inevitable

Road to Monument Valley

At least I think it was inevitable that I'd become rootless. The only unknown was what form it would take. 

Sure, I've been into travel and inter-cultural stuff since I was a wee'un. But you can be rooted and also travel and get into intercultural things.

But from the start, I think probably I wasn't rooted to a place.

First, it was the books. They carried me away to different lands, different times.

When I went to high school, I walked every day. It was about a mile, most of it on the road alongside Lake Erie. As I walked to school every morning, I was rarely in a suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Nope, I was off in dreamland, in an imaginary place and era, usually the heroine in an adventure where some days I was the rescuer and on other days, the rescued. Those walks sped by.

Many years later, I made a plan to walk from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego when I reached a certain age. This didn't come to fruition, and it still gives me shivers to remember the story of a similar wandering guy who, unbeknownst to him til a passing car driver alerted him, had a mountain lion following him on the otherwise-deserted highway in the Yukon or thereabouts. Jeez. 

Subsequently, I played with the idea of selling my house, buying a small camper, and becoming an itinerant worker while traveling throughout North America.

So fast forward 12 or so years, and there I was. All of the planets were in alignment and it was time to go rootless, the details of the execution different, but the concept the same.


Some good reads about long walks:

Kent Treptow's Walking Across America.

... and a motherlode of hiking journals here. Pace yourself.

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