I've had this question a lot lately. I have a really good job, I believe I am well liked and am involved in things above and beyond the 9-5 cubicle.
So two questions then
1. Why are you doing this?
2. Why Canada and the USA?
Without making ths too long and winded, I will attempt to answer them here. I'm changing the order though
2, Why Canada and the USA?
This was going to be a separate post...maybe I will change it up in the future and make it one.
I wanted to name this blog "Once around the block". The reality is this land is so big, so many things to see and before I run off around the globe spending my hard earned money (not really...I'm not a proponent of hard work if you can avoid it) somewhere that I don't consider to be home...I'm going t spend it somewhere that will have some relevant benefit to "me". Me in a greater sense being the things I am involved in and in contact with. Planning on visiting mom and pop shops along the way means that I am stimulus on a scale that may be unrecordable...but stimulating more than giving money to a bank or an insurance company.
Travelling to other countries overseas is an exhilarating thought. To just pick up and head to south Asia or south America or...anywhere...would be amazing. To see the temples in Thailand, to be subject to the almond eyes of curious Vietnamese ladies, to shake the warm had of a someone in Sudan, to feel the warmth of Croatian hospitality, intoxicating foods and wondrous sites, it makes my head spin ...these are all things that I would love to do...but I have wanted to do this for longer.
Ever since I can remember we were always setting out on a road trip somewhere. Whether it was camping on the weekend or driving to Theodore Roosevelt National park, Radium Hot Springs, Hoover damn or Edmonton when my dad used to race cars...anywhere anytime it is a memory that will always stick with me. The 1978 brown dodge van...rolling, rocking and laughing away. It's honeycomb pattern seats securing the threee of us and our friends on the way out...somewhere. Singing along to oldies, fighting and creating a memory that keeps on giving.
I've driven an Austin Mini from Calgary to Prince George, picked up the craziest hitchiker along the way who was on the run for fraud. He had been going into lesser educated places in the US and paying for items with a 100franc AMERICAN EXPRESS travellers cheque. All that people would read was the 100 American and cash it...that is only worth about $3. I drove to Kulane National Park with a group of 5 in a Yukon...it was an amazing trip, the weather turned from fall to winter over night and we woke up with our tents almost collapsed on us due to snowfall.....and I want more (not more winter...enough winter already!)!
|JP giving us a size perspective on this snow machine|
|Never even knew this existed...travel is old new for some, I'm going back with a sign|
|glaciers...yep still here|
|You know you're in the Yukon when...|
|The last day...snowed hard, we left some stuff and hit the road, winter sucks|
So rolling into toadsuck, arkansas has more meaning to it now than seeing the skyline of singapore. BUT this is the start of a new tomorrow...and perhaps this first step will create a mental shift that has me travelling until my shoes wear out time and time again before I end up finding a place or a time in space that I want to call permanence to. (that sounds good to say)
1. Why am I doing this?
Well for one reason really...because I can. I know that the question runs deeper than that. It runs into why am I going to give up a job that most people would love to have, what do I hope to find and those sorts of thoughts. I want to keep it simple though. It's not an easy decision. It's easier without kids and without a significant other...but in a way that is more of an unknown anchor than I expected it to be. How can that be? Because I've lived my whole life around building for those exact things. So turning the mental corner and giving myself the freedom and allowance to drop the "routine" and just go get on with living is a bit of a bear in the cage and the 10 steps forward 10 steps back philosophy that I have to get over.
I can't say I always have and always do like what I do. Like all jobs based around social service it has it's wins and losses. One win is getting to meet and help so many people, the other is listening to the financial situations of all those same people and understanding, in my own way, the deeper pain of our society. Is that a win? I think so, I'm not fooled into thinking that it's anything but bad out there for the majority of people. Please do not counter by talking about buying goods, buying a car, taking sunshine resort vacations etc. If you have saved your 3 months worth of backup money, have liquid cash savings in the bank and carry no debt...then you can talk all you want. Anything else you are just surviving poor decision making. I did not mention owning a home...obviously I realize the benefits of ownership but I also see the issues with it. If you buy a home it will make you money...provided you wait long enough. My only advice on buying a house is to try to buy something that is less than 75% of what the bank qualified you on...spending as much as you can is the worst modern money habit we have.
I'm also doing it because I am fascinated by society. I'm not rolling around to check out six flags parks and architecture (stifle your snicker...they do have some nice architecture in america) ;). I want to go and see what is happening down there in the small communities, what is happening in real america. Not jersey shore america, not the america given to us through CNN or the words of a politician. Might I find the same thing I am shown and told...doubtful but possible.
Parking the van on the beach side of the Louisiana Gulf Coast will only be satisfying (in my mind right now) if it's followed by a blog about the local citizens, what they think about the lies, the bullshit and the theft of their health, livelihood and what they are doing to recover with or without the help of Uncle Sam.
And...eating!! Remember I'm going to be checking out the most delicious bacon producers in the nation (that I can find) and trying to find micro brewery rootbeer!
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? How would you get there and would you, could you stay somewhere like that for a long time or is it a visit?