Friday, September 23, 2016

Old tricks for a new dog: Can traveling be learned?

“The moon and sun are travelers through eternity. Even the years wander on. Whether drifting through life on a boat or climbing toward old age leading a horse, each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” 
― Matsuo Bashō

I am desperately timid. Fifteen years chained to my desk and computer, browsing the world from the comfort of my armchair, this has drained me of a certain pizaz. Long ago i'd simply decide to go somewhere and be off with nary a thought. Has the world become more dangerous? Or am i into saving my own skin, even at the price of depression and boredom?

Greece, Italy, England, i remember days when they worked. Travel mainly a desire for awareness: new smells, bird-sounds, insect-bites, it all awakens my senses. the eyes see more clearly and fear of missing a bus puts energy into the legs. exercise, that's what it's partly about. walking ten hours a day, carrying a backpack, sleeping in odd beds, jumping at the sight of a tarantula in the jungle, all of it brings the body back on board.

of course, the older person can overdo it and never quite recover. sleeping in the back of a bus across canada would probably not  be a good idea. i'm sure this time i'd turn into a preztel. in fact, i have no idea how i did it before. I keep telling myself: don't bite off more than you can chew. Be more focused. Realize you have to be able to swim fast to escape sharks in the great barrier reef.

So far i've merely been shopping: a pack with wheels, a sewing kit, earbuds, a stretchable close-line, small and cheap stuff. I've a year of travel insurance. They promise to send my body back! And i've applied for an austalian visa. Actually, i didn't enjoy sydney thirty years ago. Instant coffee! The shame of it. I read now the place has become a caffeine heaven. Up in the blue mountains, not to far away, i heard the strangest birds.

Must be those birds calling me back. I like trains ever since my father took me to watch them in montana when i was six. And passes took me all over europe, i lived to ride. Australia has some good deals. At the moment i'd like landscape more than culture. The latter a strain, ie. Tickets, cars, hustle and bustle. Last time in florence the banging of the motor-scooters echoed off the buldings and left me half deaf.

My dream: swinging on a hammock in the bush, the temperature perfect (74 degrees), a koala for a pillow, and kangaroos playing badmitten for my pleasure. Other times i body surf in sea, ignoring the hole in the ozone. Maybe i'll take up the digiridoo and blow my heart out. You see why i didn't leave home for fifteen years! All this easier to manage in a california cottage.