Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will Travel

This weekend I took a long road trip to Southern California, probably the first long distance trip I've taken by myself in about 3 years. Spurred on by reading Lewis Trondheim's Little Nothings, especially Prisoner's Syndrome, the seedling for this trip grew hungrily in my brain. I've been wanting to visit friends there for a good while, and it just seemed like the right time to get away, share myself with a world I am no longer intimately acquainted with anymore. But things have a way of meandering, I've learned over and over again.

Before I go into all that though, I figured it's best to allude to the origins of things. When I was an infant, my parents loaded up their kids into a station wagon and drove across the country. A lot like this cool Vintage Road Trip, but with kids and serious, real life consequences. As the years went on, my family made a lot of long distance road trips, and I carried on the tradition when I became of driving age, culminating with my own cross country trip a mere 4 years ago.

So travel, if not in my blood, is definitely fixed in my psyche. These days I can't even think clearly for any great length of time without pacing, or taking a long walk. It behooves me to also mention that I spent a lot of my youth walking. So there is definitely something hard-coded into my behavioral psychology that points to traveling, moving, struggling through a journey, which I did this past weekend.

Uploaded by on Jul 11, 2011

Things started off exciting as is always expected. The open road, the sun, the wind in your hair. But soon the road was congested, the sun was unrelenting, and the wind, well, the air conditioning was just more preferable. I got into Riverside Friday night in time to meet my best friend's 9 month old, and have dinner with the proud Mom and Dad. It wasn't so much as us catching back up as it was getting back into our mutual rhythm and punctuating our conversations with details. I've known these people for years, I know their families, at one point I was a lot like an adopted family member. Now I am more like a lost family member. The night was good, sleep pleasant, and the morning sweet. From there I left for San Diego, my original destination.

I couldn't really say the overcast was ominous, but it sure did amplify my uncertainty with being here virtually unannounced. I had breakfast and texted some friends. Went back and forth for a while with a good friend, before communication ceased . . . for nearly 12 hours!

I did fill up my downtime with my own accustomed exploration, finally seeing the Mission Bay Drive strip up from Pacific Beach to Bird Rock all the way up to downtown La Jolla and Torrey Pines. I made my way to Balboa Park/San Diego Zoo, Harbor Drive, Hotel Circle, Vacation Island, Crown Point, and Point Loma. It's exciting to be able to pass easily between so many neighborhoods with such different atmospheres. However, being strapped to a seat, with suitcases, bags, and personals shifting around, constantly at the mercy of stop lights, traffic, and the inability to properly stretch out, becomes an exercise in fortitude.

Uploaded by on Feb 24, 2011

Needless to say, the novelty of travel wears with time, and one such as myself begins to long for the comfort and solitude of home. And not to say that home can't also be an abstraction, a way of feeling comfortable in one's own skin and surroundings. With no one to talk to for hours, no place to settle in and kick up my feet, I felt very much away from home. But even back "home" I often feel away from home, one of the factors in my deciding to make this trip to the city that had been my home for a number of years. But what do you do when your old home feels abandoned? The party has ended and the dance floor is empty. So now who's gonna dance with me?

Uploaded by on Mar 12, 2011

One of my main concerns in penning this post is to get at the notion of two of my conflicting desires: the imperative desire to set out on a new path, and the fervent need to be close to something familiar, structured, and comforting. I dread and have always feared being stuck. I have that innate desire to move free, to break the shackles of conformity before prisoner's syndrome sets in, and yet it can get pretty lonely when you're out there running on your own. But then again, the reward is great for pushing yourself. And I guess that's as close to home as I'll get.

Uploaded by on Jun 8, 2009

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