23 November 2010

Travelogue of the Seeker

I wonder if I could live my life as a traveler, if a living could be made from roving from place to place and writing whatever came into my head.  Picture that: a life illuminated by random throws of darts at a map, to go where the sharp end takes me.

That sounds vaguely like the life of a travel writer, doesn't it?  I'm not so sure I could do it.  Still, the idea of it appeals to me.  More so because the chance to get away, than for the opportunity to write a "review".  Wait, reviews would mean 'travel guide' writer, not so much just travel writer.  Maybe that's what I mean.  I could be a travel writer, if that entailed me traveling, then writing about the aspects that interest me, not critiquing things or experiences for others.

There are days where I want to do it.  Sell all my stuff, by an RV and drive around observing, watching, listening.  I'd want to know more about how life is conducted in places outside my own.  How people earn their daily bread (or how they make their daily bread), the terrain of their surroundings (urban, rural or in between), and what they like to eat (and where they get it).  The flesh and bones of this world enchant me.

Then, I could retreat to my room in a local bed & breakfast, or hotel, and calmly, deliberately, parse out the evidence of my senses on the page or the monitor.  Would that not be grand, to lay eyes on a different body of water, fill the lungs with different air, anoint the ears with the sound of a different voice?  Then, have the luxury of writing it out?  Yes, yes it would.  To travel far, and see the moon from a different angle, and shape it with words: that would be contentment.

The waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Nantucket Sound are a shared ocean, but the waves in each are separate voices.  I want to listen to them all, write their biographies.  That way, when I return home, as I always do, I'll have some company at the fireside.  We'll raise a toast, and dream of our next adventure.

Where do you want to wake up next, what voices do you want to hear?


  1. I want to hear my voice, for the first time in so many years, i want to wake up happy

  2. I want to travel everywhere, and wake up in as many new places as possible. I, too, dream of shedding all my possessions and taking off in my car (I could sleep in it if need be). I'd write, take photos, eat food, hang out in coffee dives and talk to the locals. I've got friends all over the U.S. and I could make quite a time of it, couch surfing if they'd have me. That'd be cool.

  3. My favourite travel writer is anthropologist Wade Davis- a proper explorer who tells engaging stories about the places he's been. I would like to wake up in the highlands. Or, once it gets very cold, an island in Greece. It's all about the food. Sometimes you can get that sense of "otherness" in your own area, just by seeking out people who have a different kind of life. You could find a WWOOF farm and work there over a weekend. Imagine being a beekeeper for a day or building a greenhouse. Being a traveller without really travelling!

    By the way, love your labels on this post. :)

  4. Oh, what a lovely way to live. I will do this one day, and see how far it gets me. Been planning to do it for a while now, and it's nice to see others understand this too.
    I want to wake up in so many places, and see so many things. Right now, though, it's Paris. (:

  5. I want to roll over to Johnny Depp's voice asking.."pancakes?" :)

  6. Italy: the wind through the leaves of the lemon tree outside my window.

  7. I want to wake up on my boat in a far off place and hear the voice of the water as it plays along the hull.

  8. Rene's got it right here.

    No interest in not having a home base. I understand simplifying, and traveling, but I know after enough traveling in my own life that it's nice to have a familiar place to land. Even if it's something small, it's nice to have something constant. And for me, living out of a car and various hotels is not something I'd want long term. I like coming home and seeing the same thrift store painting of the dancer that I got at a thrift store when I was 17 :)

    I'll be waking up in the UK in 36 hours :)

  9. The problem with being a travel writer is that you have to read all the travel writers who got there before you, because if you don't, when you get there, you end up eating at all the wrong places, and you miss that handy little unmarked exit on the turnpike that bypasses all the truck routes. (I would have loved to have been first in line when NatGeo was corralling writers.)

  10. Let's see... if I'm dreaming, this would do just fine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdm16bnx1uA

    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdqF-wuboFk

    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBs4r-uf3bw


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...