Day 337 - Life on the Road

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Oli's Place

Flag of Switzerland  , Zürich,
Sunday, October 9, 2011

People often ask me what it's like traveling for so long. How do I deal with constantly being on the move these past eleven months and if it ever gets tiresome or draining.  It gives me pause to really think about this question.  My immediate response is an emphatic no.  Even though I’ve been on the road for nearly a year, I’ve become so accustomed to this way of living and this spontaneous intuitive approach towards life, that the longer I’m gone, the more open I am towards other people, customs and circumstances, and in turn, the more I learn about myself in the process.  Whatever my gut instinct tells me though, I can’t help but feel like this question deserves a little deeper thinking.  I did, after all, leave behind my career, my life as I knew it and my family, friends and loved ones to travel half a world away - sleeping on cold concrete bus station floors, never knowing where my next destination is, constantly being united and separated from new friends and relationships I’ve built along the way.  Of all the hardships I’ve had to deal with, it’s that last one that cuts the deepest.  I can deal with the uncertainty, the random twists of fate and taxing toll that perpetual vagabonding has on the body and soul, but it’s the incredible people you meet along the way and the very real and lasting relationships that grow out of mutual trust and friendship that are the hardest things to leave behind.  It seems lately, perhaps through my newfound peace and comfort with myself, I’ve been attracting more and more quality people into my life.  People that change you for the better, challenge you and inspire you, support you and love you unconditionally, and without hesitation.  It’s these individuals that come into my life for the briefest of moments, and then vanish from the window of a train or a sliding subway door, that have the deepest affect on me during my travels.  They simultaneously embody the joys and beauty of travel with the loss and longing of being a lone soul out on the big empty road.  As I strolled through the streets of Zurich, wandering amidst massive granite banks in the financial district, the quaint ageless charm of Old Town, and along the sail flecked waters of Lake Zurich with the bustle of life swarming its sun soaked shores, I couldn’t help but have a small tinge of longing for that future life.  Swiss families and couples hand in hand, people walking their dogs and pushing strollers through the park, a gathering of friends sprawled out on a checkered blanket, the heat from the grill next to them blowing tufts of smoke into the air - all of this gave me a moment to consider that next phase of my life as I walked in solitude and silence through the songs of chatter and lighthearted voice.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  Traveling the world has truly opened my eyes to who I really am and what my purpose on this Earth should be, and I can see myself living the life of a wandering soul for some time to come, but eventually my heart knows what it wants and my head can’t deny it.  Family, friends, the comforts of a home, a life firmly planted in one place where I can watch the trees grow around me and be a part of something beautiful and lasting for all my years to come.  I smile at the thought of that future, not knowing where or how it will come to be, but just knowing that someday it will is enough for me.  The laughter of children ringing in my ears and dogs barking as they chase squirrels up trees fades in the distance as my steps draw me away from the scene.    The scent of Fall - of change - is in the air and I can feel it gently pulling me downstream.
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