Sunday, December 9, 2012

Road Trip Benefits

I want to wrap up the experience of the last road trip in a practical way. What's in for you?

First, your job may have you trap in a vicious circle. The cycle takes your time and gives you money. With that money you buy things that consume the rest of your day and, sometimes, they demand even more money. A road trip not only cuts that process but also shows you that:
  • The world is big.
  • There is thousands of ways to make money, some of them more profitable and less stressful than the path you have chosen.
  • People are really happy with very little IF their social capital is big enough.
  • None of the adversities you have encountered compares with the misfortunes of the people that founded the cities you will see.
  • You will feel the obligation to match the beauty and the majesty of the landscape.
  • You will fall in love again… several times.
  • You’ll feel the urge of handwriting.
  • You'll lose weight, especially in cold weather.
  • For some reason you never get sick.
  • You’ll not want to be anybody else on Earth.
  • You'll feel (not just understand) that life can be lived in many ways other than the half dozen you ever considered. 
  • You'll realize how useless pictures are to grasp experience.   
  • You'll feel the distance.
  • You'll feel the silence.
  • You won't feel time.
"Feeling" is the missed piece of this Google generation. It’s not enough to see the numbers and say wow!

I circled the whole country, and the distance I covered was less than the one I used to drive from home to the office in one year. So I was already making the mileage but in an uneventful path.

Ok, yes, I’m single. But having a family makes the trip even more enduring. Remember this: a relationship is a collection of shared experiences. So don’t use your family as a pretext for inaction, use it on behalf of the action.

If you are happy, ignore me. You are there. But most of the people I have met know deep inside that there is something else in life. They are just afraid to lose the little piece of bread they have if they go to the oven. If you are in that state I have good news for your heart and bad news for your guts: you are wrong. Yes, life is a miracle, one that is worth to be repeated and propagated.

You know that you are really happy when you don't want to have sex, you want to impregnate. It’s an urge for giving. Is this assurance that the source of your happiness can never be exhausted because it falls all over like rain.

Cities are not another choice for living. They are the wrong choice. They generate humans alienated from their own nature, cynic as Scrooge, sarcastic as teenagers, indifferent as portraits, and bitter as bus drivers. 

We can confidently demolish all the existing cities and start from scratch. There is so much arid space that it’s unnecessary to knock down a single tree. A healthy city should expose the inhabitants to light, water, plants and animals. Public transportation should not be crowded by losers. Affordable facilities should be the reward for good character, not lame performance.

So, if you suffer from chronic depression, you may be reflecting the mood of the city. You can’t attain health from an unhealthy baseline.

But you don’t need to wait for the creation of the perfect town. You can give yourself a healthy dose of city life at some point and then move to a different environment. That requires a disposition for change that is rare in city rats. Road trips are just a mild exercise to build that state; to remind you over and over again that your world is not THE world.

You don’t have to wait until sixty-five to retire. You can retire from your past life and start a new one every 7 years or so. Don’t commit the sin of getting stuck in the same routine. That would be like living in Paris and having lunch every day at McDonald's. Don’t pass on the stimulating adventure of being in this world.

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