I am a traveler, my life is remarkably consistent. It is the landscape that changes before me — like different movies being projected before a theater — but the semantics of my days are remarkable routine.
I sit back and watch the world move before me. Traveling has become as normal as white rice. Staying put for four months in a comfortable, perfect, home in Bangor, Maine, with a good bunch of people and working my days away on a farm, now that was difficult.
I am back on the gravy train now. I travel from place to place, work different jobs regularly, and have a variety of places to choose from to make my transitory homes.
Anybody from the USA can travel the world if they really want to. Being a traveler is nothing special: it is the default position of tramps with nothing better to do. Anybody can do what I do, anybody can travel the world for over 10 years through 45+ countries, The Musings of the Wanderlust.
The art of simply moving from one place to another forever and ever and ever is not much of a feather to stick in your hat.
But traveling while raise a family would earn me my traveler stripes. To raise a child on the Road would prove that this lifestyle is sustainable, that it is valuable, that the benefits of traveling run deeper than the surface: that journeys are more than connecting dots on a map, that traveling has little to do with seeing the sights.
If I can gainfully pass my traveling knowledge down into a subsequent generation it would prove its validity, its substance, its importance. It would show traveling to be a true way of life that can extend beyond borders, boundaries, generations.
I know that I have learned far more traveling — both about myself and the world I live in — than I ever did in the rubber stamp mills of public education. Next to traveling the world for ten years, the scraps of knowledge that I took out of grade school are laughably pale and weak.
I learned how to dominate or be dominated in grade school, a lesson that I hope my daughter never needs to learn. Anyone who wants to can learn how to read, anyone who wants to can learn anything when they choose to learn it. Public schooling has little to do with education.
True knowledge can only be experienced and not taught, and I believe that a life spent in travel is the most expedient and consistent way of getting struck by the sharp point of knowledge.
If you want to know what people are saying, you learn to speak their language.
If you want to know how something is made, you walk up and ask the person making it.
If you are curious about how people of a culture interact with each other, pull up a seat in a sidewalk cafe and watch them.
If you want to make friends, just start talking to someone.
Traveling knowledge is direct.
I look at my little daughter, as malleable as a pile of puddy, ever taking on the form of whatever situation she finds herself in, not yet knowing the bounds of routine and just feeling out the realms of normalcy. She is just beginning her journey of filling her mind, and, as Chatwin once wrote, “Travel makes the mind.”
I can think of no better way for a curious child to live than in travel. A new journey has now commenced: this travelogue is no longer just about the constant formation and reformation of “Wade the Vagabond,” but has grown to include the initial building of Petra’s ever revolving world as she grows up into a life where a kaleidoscope of landscapes, people, and places will hopefully blend themselves into a sense of consistency.
As they have for me.