It has always been my desire to travel. I have no friends I am more envious of than those spending a couple of months abroad. Of course, Iím sure most of you know how it is. You never have the time, or the money, or any of a dozen other excuses not to do this thing. Well, Iíve finally said ĎFuck it,í made preparations to get rid of my apartment, job, etc and do the deed, no matter the cost. Being suddenly and unceremoniously tossed aside by my fiancee made this decision, if not more enjoyable, then definitely more feasible.
The reasons for this are beyond measure, but I can sum up a few. First of all, letís face it, Iím the classic stereotype, a loud mouthed, opinionated American who actually knows dick all about anything outside of my own limited, polite, comfortable frame of reference.
Another good reason is that I want to write. Now, realistically, I should have, in 29 years of living, amassed enough information and experience to have plenty to write about, and Iíd say that I have. However, writing is much more than story lines or clever ideas. For me, I hope to be able to relate my stories to people. When others read what I write, I want them to be able to empathize with the characters they read about. I want the situations to mean something to them. I also want to make the experiences more accurate, more realistic (at least when realism of any sort is my goal). Simply put, the more I know, the more I experience, the more potential I will have as a writer. The richness and fullness of my text will, I feel confident, improve.
Of course, a good portion is just my desire to explore. I am, at times, an incredibly lazy person, but inside thereís always an adventurer trying to escape. Normally, they can compromise, and I can find adventure wandering around abandoned buildings and roof tops drunk on weekend nights, but occasionally the adventurer stages a coup, takes over the whole operation and thereís nothing for the lazy part of me to do but sulk on the couch of my inner psyche and wait until Iíve had enough and want to return to the world of rich foods and mindless entertainment that requires a screen of some sort.
And imagine the experiences Iíll take away from this. It canít help to be an adventure (especially on my budget.) My intent is to spend at least a month (ideally two) in every continent sporting indigenous human life (not including North America, where Iíve already spent close to 30 years). My current loose route involves heading down to Mexico, then trying to work my way, one way or the other, down to Peru. Bop around South America for a time, then over to Africa. From Africa, Iíll touch off the Middle East, then back up, crossing across through the Mediterranean, into Europe. From Europe, itís straight into mother Russia, from there I may or may not touch off in India, then on to China. If all goes well, I might enjoy exploring a little bit of Southeast Asia, but thereís an equal chance I might just head down to Australia. After a spell there, itíll finally be time to come back to the states.
Of course, this is all contingent on a variety of bad things not happening, like me being mugged, killed, infected with a serious disease, running out of all financial means, getting caught up in a military campaign of some sort, getting kidnapped, arrested, etc etc. It also involves a variety of good things not happening to me, such as finding a cool place in Greece where I suddenly find high paying work, finding something akin to true love, being swept up in a glorious revolution of some sort, being given the right to train under some ancient Chinese martial arts master, achieving spiritual enlightenment, and so on. Plenty of things could, given the worst or best situations, halt my trip prematurely, or delay it for long periods of time.
So now you know. The plan becomes clear to you. Tentative departure occurs sometime in October, and remember, if you should happen to meet vs. Spy on the road, for chrissakes, give him a sandwich, because heís probably hungry.