I must say that it is nice to past through my homeland of the USA every once in a while. I get to spend a little time with my family, check up on my old friends, read my books (I have lots of books!), play with my sister’s son and my little Chinese sister, and recheck my bearings.
As far as I travel I know that I can never really leave the place that I come from: Route 104 out in the country side of Upstate NY, a few miles from Lake Ontario and an hour east of Lake Erie. Farmer’s fields, orchards, woods, creeks, and lakes- a wide open landscape if I have ever known one- is my home. This is where I learned how to ride a bike and how to dream of far distant lands. Dreaming, this was the skill that I learned best here.
“However, this is the truth, if you, not your friend dreams of something, the very fact you dream of doing it, defines you as capable of succeeding. The mind is a great machine, it generally does not accept jobs (Dreams) that it cannot accomplish.”
-Andy the Hobo Traveler.com, from the post: Getting My Second Wind for Travel
I could remember the countless hours that I would spend just kicking an old football around the backyard or scoring the game winning goal of the Stanley cup finals in my basement. Dreaming, just dreaming away the days of my childhood. Mom always kept me supplied with a hefty supply of world atlases and globes as well, and when I was not accomplishing great sporting feats, I was hacking my way through the Amazon jungle with just a machete and a real nice hat. Like most kids, I had a passion for the blank spots on the map: places like Mongolia, Central Asia, Brazil, and Patagonia. What is out there? I would think. Why, adventure of course.
Books, books, I would just sit on the back deck of my parent’s ranch house looking out at the back fields reading stories of far off lands. The other side of the world existed out there just beyond those fields- this I knew. I told myself then that I would either score goals for a living or travel the world. They both seemed like worthy ambitions to me.
I ended up trading in my skates for a trusty pair of boots.
This is how this story began.
It is funny to me how the landscape impressions of a child’s youth becomes a large part of an adult’s psyche. The terrain of my childhood has stuck with me, and I am now passionate about wide open spaces, fields, and orchards. I love the mountains, the jungles, and the deserts, but I am most comfortable in the countryside. Farms and farming people are normal to me. My first conceptions of the world were had amongst silos and big red barns.
Traveling for a long duration means that I am only able to visit my family and old friends at widely separated and fleeting intervals. It is interesting when I return and realize that things have changed. I can only know people as they were when I was with them. It is sometimes difficult to account for the fact that when I am traveling the people and places that I leave are also in constant flux. It is almost like my long standing relationships are made up of snapshots of a day here . . . a week there . . . just stark impressions of people at different stages of their lives. You watch people grow and change, but your observation points are not gradually connected. It is like a connect the dots game with the image viewable but without any of the dots connected. You understand what is in front of you but you have no idea how it got that way.
It is almost like it was while visiting distant relations when I was a child. They always seemed surprised at how much I have grown. I usually thought these people were odd, I could never observe myself growing, what was wrong with these people? I suppose I now understand their surprise. Being with people for only brief periods after being away from them for long durations brings small shocks- you are able to see the changes in them so astutely, though without any provenance. This rattles my mind; this makes me conscious of time and the fact that I am aging. I think I like they way this feels.
My family and friends are coming into their own, and I am too. I have a young nephew and a little Chinese sister named Meili. They grow fast, and when I return home I too say, “Oh, look how much you have grown,” and pinch their cheeks.
The only draw back to the traveling life is the fact that I cannot cart my family around with me.
But Little Seth and I have a mission to Africa that is already in the works.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Albion, NY, USA
January 14, 2008
Cheap Eating Traveler