“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
I read John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie when I was in my teens. I found it fascinating, although at that time probably did not understand half of the very American references in the book. Upon re-reading it couple of years it struck me how valid many of his points still are.
And of course the paragraph about excitement of travel just hit home. This is exactly how I feel. I may complain about the stress of travels and time away from home, but in my heart of hearts, this is what I truly love to do.
I am writing this from a Starbucks along the I-10, as I drive East this Friday morning. I am teaching an online class, but I will have internet in the mornings and evenings, and I warned my students I won’t answer their emails within 5 minutes as I often do. My files reside in my Mac and in the cloud, accessible through a variety of ways.
What I am trying to say is, with the internet and the ease to stay connected, it is so much easier to travel these days. Even if teaching.
“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself….A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Time to hit the road!