I know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf, stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.- Chris Mccandless
The great thing about using WordPress to power this blog is that I can schedule a post for future publishing. By the time this posts auto-publishes I’ll be halfway across the country making my way into the wild, with the largest possible smile on my face. Right now, I’m not taking your phone calls. I’m not checking your emails. I’m not participating in your meetings. I’m not caring about your problems. (Coincidentally I’m not caring about mine either.) I’m in a conscious, traveling euphoria and for the next three weeks a reoccurring phrase guides me: I. Don’t. Care.
The skylight at the top of my tent opens to a cloudless, star-filled night. For the first time in a long time, the sound of crickets, not cars, is the only thing I hear. The factories and subways gave way to farms and tractors. Complicated cloverleaf interchanges transformed into single stoplight towns that eventually gave way to only stop signs and a view that continued for miles. I adjusted my sun visor and pushed forward, into the wild.
The less evidence of human life, the more alive I begin to feel. In a small town, an old man looks up from his front porch as I drive by. He doesn’t recognize my Jeep but musters the effort to give a friendly wave to a stranger because that’s how life works out here. I hope to myself that the attitude of the city I left behind never spreads to this place. I recognize that I’m probably witnessing a dying generation of humanity. One that wasn’t so technology dependent and one that would give you the shirt off of their back if they could help you out. A generation from a time where the words “camaraderie” and “humanity” meant something more than watching a group of people you didn’t know try and win money on a reality show. Stowing that thought, I push forward, into the wild.
Crossing through Kansas, my mind begins to wander. Thoughts of what this road looked like 200 years ago sweep over me and provide reassurance that this trip was well worth it. A small wild animal, barely even noticeable, darts across the road in front of me and I slow down and refocus on my driving. The morning sun is catching up with me now and I push forward, into the wild.
This is how the start of my journey begins, at least today, in my mind. At the time I drafted this post, none of this has happened yet. And who knows, perhaps none of it will. But right now, my experiences are unfolding as you’re reading this and I am likely in the heartland, heading toward Colorado, pushing forward….
…into the wild.