The travel bug has bitten.
The little asshole (whom I love) often sneaks up, sinks its teeth in, injects its nomad venom, then scurries off again. The bugger.
I have a rare 4-day weekend coming up around July 4th. All my adult life, I have gone through cycles of self-employment, then working for others. The reason: I like working for myself, pursuing my dreams, doing what I want to do. It’s how I stay sane & passionate about the things I love. But, you see, that is a tough road to travel. At times, it is easier (on both the bank account & the pragmatic side of things) to slide into a position with a steady paycheck.
Also, I get bored when I have no challenge before me. Once I master something, I get hungry to try a new venture. I need newness. My nomad blood demands it.
A few of my passions lend themselves well to this undeniable part of me. With my art: I try new media, techniques, subject matter. With writing: new formats, a different voice, a fresh premise. With travel: an unexplored place, unique people, first-time experiences.
Until about 4 months ago, I was in the phase of my cycle where I was full-time self-employed. I created most every day & traveled at least once per month. Now, my income is predictable, my checking account is more robust, and my schedule is more methodical. Which is, of course, both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have steady cash flowing in, but it sucks to be locked in to a schedule set by another—one which hinders the thump of my nomadic heart.
So, with the freedom of a 4-day weekend: What to do? Where to go? How far can I venture in that short time frame? What is the best use of that time? How many newness-junkie experiences can I squeeze in? Should I stay closer to home so I don’t burn up all my time with travel? Or should I allow the actual journey to be the destination? Can I overcome the timesuck by hopping on a plane? Is there something on my bucket list I can check off: hang gliding, perhaps? Should I just stand by the side of the road, pop up my thumb, and see what hitch hiking adventure awaits? Should I strike out alone, invite a friend, meet up with a stranger to connect with as a travel companion? Will some random follower of my blog or Twitter extend an invitation to come out for a visit?
Priceline has been fried with my possibility-searching: a flight to Seattle to visit a friend I haven’t seen in years, a jaunt to Toronto to spend America’s Independence Day in another country, pricing for a ticket to Iceland, a trip to NYC, LA, Las Vegas, Hawaii? My couchsurfing.org account has been updated & pushed to its limits; I sent out a dozen messages to interesting folks in random places. My brain is whirring with the potential of it all. My mental gears are churning, my brain-lightning is flashing, my backpack is twitching.
I am totally open to crowd-sourcing this adventure.
I don’t have a plan yet, but have almost 3 weeks left to discover one.
Which seems like a long time, but really isn’t.
Not knowing how the road will fork from here is part of the thrill. An intersection is coming. I can see it, like a mirage, up ahead. All I know for sure is that the travel bug has bitten, the heat of the rash is spreading, and I must scratch the hell out of this nomad itch.
Seriously, I need this. The more random, serendipitous, and memorable—the better. Feel free to take part in the randomness. I’m wide-ass open.
One way I solve similar dilemmas is to wait until the last minute because I know by then my subconscious has already decided and that’s what I’ll end up doing if I don’t make concrete plans.
I’m too much of a planner for that! lol
I at least have to have the bones in place. Then the experience is free to flesh it out anyway it wishes.
As of right now [subject to change…] the plan is:
– Definitely couchsurfing
– Amtrak to Toronto. Timing coincides with the Fringe Festival.
– A pair of lengthy layovers in Buffalo, which will hopefully result in more local, couchsurfer-led exploration
Sounds like fun to me!