John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley: “In long-range planning for a trip, I think there is a private conviction that it won’t happen.”
My private fear is that I will “chicken out,” as I have these thoughts every day about the wisdom and sensibility of such an epic journey. What am I thinking? Me and a year-old dog traveling around the entire country? Alone?
Then I remember how many times I’ve wanted to do just that – to just take off and go. I really want to see this country from the small towns and back roads.
Fifteen years ago, I was newly unemployed, single and not in a relationship, and raring to cross the country. My thought then was to visit homeless shelters, interview people staying in them, and write about it. My fears – or the “wise advise” or others – got the better of me, and I didn’t do it. I still regret it…
So, honoring that regret, and heeding my inner gypsy, I am plunging forward. I’ll still have doubts and fears. They’re part of the human condition. But if I don’t go because of them, I am the lesser person for it. When I close the door on January 1st, turn the key in the ignition, and head off my island I will be driving into the unknown.
What will I know when I return?