A trip around the world should be a once in a decade adventure. Every ten years we should take a few months, or a few years to Adventure with a capital A. Modern life is continuous, contiguous and devoid of novelty. We get up, go to work, work until we can’t take another minute, then get lost at the water cooler for the next seven and a half hours. Home, dinner, mindless TV, and buy something on Amazon to quash the acidic twinge in your stomach screeching that you are living your life on repeat and without reason. How many times can you joke about how close it is to Friday before you slump into a nihilistic lump of proto-man? “Someone has a case of the Mondays!”
Long distance travel is the truest expression of the consumerless life. You gather memories, ideas, and friends but resist THINGS. Everything THING you buy you carry everywhere you go, every item you gather must be packed, protected, carried on your back. The “necessities” become a whole lot less necessary when you have to lug them over 25,000 miles. I did not buy tchotchkes. I did not have the latest iGadget and somehow I survived with a manual toothbrush without risk to life and limb.
There is so much more to the world than the sheltered cove of the United States. Did you know they have news in Thailand? Things happen in Iceland! Big, important things go on that we never hear about. People live, die, and do impossible things in languages you don’t understand. We live isolated between the Atlantic and Pacific secure in our own narcissism. And you will never know about these things unless you go and see for yourself.
I walked through a festival in Croatia… with the President of Croatia. I talked monastery politics with ex-buddist monks in Thailand, befriended a homeless artist living in the Kunsthaus Tacheles and protested to keep this 20+ year old artist commune from being razed to build another Starbucks. I danced at 7am at a servant’s ball in Munich with un-ironically dirndl clad women. I lived 1000 nine to five lives in seven months and only explored a billionth of the world.
There is always more to see, to explore, to learn, to teach, and of course, to eat.