I want to wrap up the experience of the last road trip in a practical way. What is in for you?
First, your job may have you trap in a vicious cycle. The cycle takes your time and gives you money. With that money you buy things that consume the rest of your time and, sometimes, demand even more money. A road trip not only cuts the cycle, 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 encounter compares with the adversities of the people that made the places 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 lost weight, especially in cold weather.
- For some reason you never get sick.
- You’ll not want to be anybody else on Earth.
- You feel (not just understand) that life can be lived in many ways other than the half dozen you ever considered.
- You realize how useless pictures are to grasp experience.
- You feel the distance.
- You feel the silence.
- You 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 covering the distance, but with a boring path.
Ok, yes, I’m single. But having a family makes the trip even more enduring. Remember this: a relationship is a collection of common experiences. So don’t use your family as a supporting pretext for inaction, make it a point in 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 for 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 directly. 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 of living. They are the bad choice. They generate humans alienated of 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 must 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 mirroring the mood of the city. You can’t pretend health with an unhealthy baseline.
But you don’t need to wait for the creation of the perfect town. You can give yourself a good dose of city at some point of your life and then move to a more natural environment. That requires a disposition for change that is rare in city rats. Road trips are just a mild exercise to build that disposition; to remind you over and over again that your world is not THE world.
You don’t have to wait until 65 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 in McDonalds. Don’t pass on the stimulating resources of life.