~ The Call Of The Wild ~
“You’ve felt it sometimes in your heart. You’ve heard it whisper your name in the wind. Every time you stare into space, sitting behind that desk and dreaming of something distant and out of reach. There is something calling you away into the wilderness. Out there a world of adventure and exploration waits to welcome your journey. Mountain pathways wait to be tread; foreign airs wait to be breathed; the eyes of strangers wait to be stared into. You know it won’t be plain sailing. You know your path will be a little turbulent and your skin a little scarred, but there is something out there you know you can’t obtain in the realm of everyday life. That everyday life has given you comfort and security, but deep down you know the limits of such a safe and secure existence. The human spirit soars best when in the realm of the unknown. And now that unknown calls as your toes twitch for a little walk in the woods, a little run through the fields, a little dance with the wilderness. Don’t wait any longer. Answer the call. Jump the fence. Go forth into that wild with thunder in your heart. It’s time for the normal to end and the adventure to begin.”
~ A Familiar Feeling ~
“I had been back almost a year, living the normal life. At times I thought I had gotten rid of the itch; that my life might finally begin to settle down into some sort of steady routine. Maybe it was tiredness but a part of me even wanted that at times. But no matter what happened, it was always there in my heart, like a ghost that would never grant me peace. The desire for the open road. It called my name back into the unknown. It left me staring up at ceilings in the middle of the night. I knew it would never go away: that need to throw my things into a backpack and go get lost on a new journey. It was a feeling that left me looking out at the world around me: the comfort, the security, the familiarity. It was an easy life and a safe life. It was a life many people around the world would have killed for, but I just couldn’t be happy with it. No matter how much I tried to follow the script and settle in, at all times a great force possessed me to abandon it all for the thrill of adventure. Gradually I realised that there was no way around it. Some of us just can’t be permanently adjusted to systems and societies. We cannot fit into forms or fashions. We are wild at heart, explorative in spirit. We have those eyes that look to the horizon, those feet that itch for adventure, that heart that aches for freedom. And no matter where we go or what we do, there will always be a piece of us longing to go to a place where we do not know what will happen but the rising and setting of the sun. That wilderness is our home, and it is the home that will make us wanderers until the end of our days.”
~ The Greatest Adventure of All ~
“I knew from a young age that I was a born explorer. I wanted to explore everything, but in this life the act of growing up is something that asks you to quell that state of being. You become static in one place, stuck in a routine. You sink into a sofa and close your curtains to the world. I didn’t see how it would be possible for me to adjust to it at all, at least without killing a large part of myself. At all times my heart was longing to run free into an open wilderness; to venture into the unknown and see something new and wonderful. I looked at the script of society and was confused with what was asked of me to fit in. Forty-eight weeks of work a year, jobs that didn’t allow gaps, pieces of paper that cemented you down to one spot. The adult game was a strange one and one that I was not afraid to say I was fearful of. Everything good in my life had come from doing the opposite of what their culture and conventions asked. I had found greater riches within myself than any of their advertised products could offer me. I knew that the existence expected of me would slowly kill whatever was real inside of me. So what was I to do? I thought of how I could make it work on both ends – to adjust myself in some way – but in truth there was always only one thing ever to do for a natural born explorer. It was to reject. To reject their systems and reject their styles. To follow your values. To be brave enough to turn your back on a way of life that does not offer you any fulfilment whatsoever. Yes, there will be prices to pay, but the thrill of living a life full of adventure and exploration will make it seem small in comparison. You may not be considered successful in a traditional sense, but you will have a wealth that so many people will never know: the wealth of waking up every day and knowing that you are living a life that is totally true to yourself. And in a world where so few have dared venture into such territory, perhaps that – in itself – is the greatest adventure of all.”
~ To Live ~
“To jump the fences. To run with the wild horses. To dance beneath the stars. To walk wide-eyed through the wilderness. To stare into the sunset skies. To stoke the fire in your heart; to shine the light of your soul. To hunt the horizons of foreign lands. To awaken to new sights and new sounds and new smells. To be so immersed in life that your eyes glisten with magic. To forget everything you’ve been taught and begin anew. To take the trip. To roll the dice. To sail into the unknown. Is to live.”
“It’s the stray-dog soul madness. It’s that itch you can’t scratch. It’s that feeling that leaves you staring up at ceilings in the middle of the night. You may settle down occasionally, sink into that sofa of comfort and routine, but even in those periods you will consistently look out around you for certain things. You will look out for the foreign travellers in your own town. You will look out for the birds taking flight from telephone cables. You will look out for the leaves being swept down the street in the wind. And when you see those things some part of you will just desire more than anything to join them and get lost once more out in the unknown. A part of you perpetually longs to be wandering down the cobbled lanes of some old European town, or hiking through a mountain wilderness, or sitting on a foreign beach staring out into a sunset sky. And no matter how much time passes, the madness shall never truly leave you. The years of wandering shall carry on and on; the infection in your heart will remain in some way. Even on your deathbed your heavy eyes will still lift to the horizon once more – ready for the next trip, ready for the next adventure – ready to sail back to the starry ocean of infinity where your stray-dog soul truly belongs.”
~ Stepping off the Conveyor Belt ~
“Whenever I started a new trip, I always delighted in grabbing my backpack from the airport conveyor belt. It was a standard act everyone went through when you flew to a new place, but I felt like it symbolised so much about what it was to travel. All throughout our lives we are continually placed on conveyor belts; from the mechanical process of education, to the roundabout of the 9-5, to the circular nature of riding back and forth down the same highway everyday – perpetually we rotate around and around in a repetitive and predictable fashion. To travel to a new place with no plans was to finally step off from the carousel of routine; whether for a week or a year, it was a journey away from the robotic process of normal life which required you to do the same things every day. Whenever I looked around at the people collecting their bags, I rarely saw the defeated faces that were found in those Monday morning traffic jams. Instead I saw hyper kids and hyper adults; I saw burning eyes and wide smiles; I saw the wild faces of those who knew a great adventure awaited them. And the more I collected that backpack, the more it became clear to me that we all loved to collect those bags. The reason we love it is because we know a new journey awaits us. The reason we love it is because we know the world is rich with possibility. The reason we love it is because – if only for a short and bittersweet period – we know that we are finally free.”
~ The Art of Getting Lost ~
“I always remember the first time I got lost. It was on a Saturday in the market downtown, and I was about five years old. I had momentarily wandered off from my mother and suddenly found myself sailing alone within a sea of busy shoppers. Amid the bustling stalls and scary strangers, I remember looking around and realising how utterly alone I was. As my stomach sank and I felt the fear, somebody came up to me and took me to a room where they announced over a speaker for my mother to come and collect me. Consequently, I was saved from that intimidating wilderness, but I never forgot the feeling – the feeling of being totally and helplessly lost.
As my life went on, I got lost a few more times until I suddenly found myself doing it willingly. One day I found myself travelling alone to Africa; one day I found myself somewhere in a foreign country without a map and a plan; one day I found myself again becoming that young child in the market, engulfed in the immensity of a big and scary world. And the more I got lost, the more I realised that it isn’t such a terrifying thing after all. In fact, it may well be the truest sensation there is – the thing that is rooted to the core of our very being.
When you thought about, we got lost all the time. We got lost in the movies we watched; we got lost in the books we read. Perhaps, most commonly, we got lost in our relationships with each other. Whenever people fell in love, they essentially threw themselves into the wilderness of another human-being. To go down the rabbit hole is a beautiful thing; it is something which takes us away from an old and safe familiarity, and into the wonderland of our magical universe.
So, don’t always see the act of getting lost in a negative way. Sometimes see it as an opportunity. Sometimes, within reason, leave the map and the plan at home, take the road less travelled, wander away from the crowd, fall in love with a stranger – explore what’s beyond the horizon with a child-like curiosity. As many people young and old will testify, you just never quite know upon what treasure you will stumble.”