Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This is How I Do Things

Back when I considered myself a traveler, or a wanderer or fucking whatever because I thought it sounded romantic and Kerouacian, I idolized people who could travel freely and extensively and I flat out looked down upon those who seemingly had the part of their soul that longs for sojourn surgically removed.

I would have conversations where I would say things like, "Why would someone want to stay in one place?  Why don't they want to go out and experience the world?"

And the individuals I spoke with would agree with me, and say yes, of course, why wouldn't they?

The assumption that there are people who have an ideal world that opposes my own is inherent to my personality.  I grew up idolizing personalities that had a direct enemy.  Finding out I have no one to fight is...uncomfortable. Is this a generational thing?  thanks to eighties movies, we grew up believing the protagonist was always an underdog, and we're learning that is really never the case and as a result we feel unimportant.

Or is this just me?

I've always assumed there were people out there who had a desire to stay put and experience nothing new, that there were people whose goals never reached beyond remain, consume, endure.  In a way, I made them my hypothetical enemies.

But I've never actually met any people like that.  

For reference, here is a list of other people I have never personally met, but hypothetically frown upon because I assume they exist:

1.  someone who has never felt like an outsider
2.  someone who believes pit bulls are inherently vicious
3.  someone who super enjoys a good office cubicle
4.  someone who never questions authority
5.  someone who hates Disneyland

Sure, I've met people who cannot afford the luxury of travel.  I've met people that grow out of their insecurities.  I've met people who are afraid of dogs.  I've met people who enjoy their job at the office.  I've met people who follow the rules, and I've me people who don't give a crap about amusement parks.

But that's living in a shade of gray, and it's undesirable to fight gray.

You know, it's not that I want to go out and "experience the world."  It's that I like wandering into new places, and having a beer and talking to people.  That's what I like to do.  And I want to do that in as many places as possible.

And when MoLinder, Katsisch and I got to Munich, what did we do?  Well, we hugged Gyna like hell, because she lives there and she's amazing.  We rode Falkor (oh, that's right), said howdy to ze Germans, then immediately got a beer and shared stories.  We went to Salzburg and we wandered around and then sat down and had a beer and told stories.  We went to Copenhagen and we wandered around and had a beer and told stories.  Sometimes we were talking to strangers (natives and fellow travelers), sometimes we were talking to each other.  But it never got tedious, it never got pressing.  Not to me. Unless I had to pee really, really bad or something.

To me that is doing something.  That is experiencing the world. Because I'm taking what I love and I'm making it work within other places and cultures, I'm learning about other people's lives and how they relate to my own, I'm learning about my sister, I'm learning about my best friends, I'm learning how we fit together and I fucking dig that.

I got some criticism because we went to five cities in ten days.  But it was never stressful, really, since our goal wasn't to tour.  It was to wander, enjoy people's company, share memories and stories and have beers.  I loved it so, so much.

And that, I think, makes us awesome. 

What would I do if the world was ending tomorrow?  I would invite everyone I liked to wander aimlessly around with me, get drunk, yell at people and share stories.  That is what I would want to do.

So.  Seeing as I am not Dave Attell or Anthony Bourdain, how do I turn this into a job?



daisyfae said...

i have met people who never question authority. people who physically cringe when they see me do it. they are usually engineers or phsysicsts. and they generally aren't very good engineers or physicists, because you need to poke at the rules and regs if you want to do something new, fix something that doesn't work, or invent a self-slicing bread molecule.

if you find that job? sign me up to work for you. i'd like to be your minion for awhile...

Jane said...

This is pretty much exactly how I approach travelling. Goal: get to a place, walk around a lot, find a pub, make friends. Those are usually my only goals for travelling, ever. I'm not a big fan of itineraries. Unless it includes planned live music/concert attendance - but then again, that usually takes place in a bar, where you make friends.

Also, I hate Disneyland. I went once, when I was 17, and I hope I never, ever have to go back. Seriously. (Technically, I've never been to Disneyland, but I hate Disneyworld, and they're pretty much the same thing.) I apologize in advance for incurring your now-less-hypothetical frowns.

Sid said...

So that's where you were. Travelling. 5 cities in 10 days. Damn. I'm itching to pack my bags and see something new. Some place warm. Where drinks are served outta a coconut/pineapple.

nursemyra said...

Wondered where you'd been....

Kono said...

It's the only way to travel, when i came back from Paris i had people ask me about the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and i laughed and said i saw them from a distance, what did you do they asked? wandered the streets and got drunk in pubs and bars, they'd look perplexed and i'd just smile.

savvy said...

i feel like you could do that, and write about it, and publish it. be, you know, kerouacian. i'd pay to read it. :)

MoLinder said...

our trip rocked and i don't care if people question the 5 cities in 10 days thing because if we just stuck to 1 or 2 cities, we would have never gone to sweden and ended up at that castle (which still blows my mind. i try to tell my friends about it but words really don't do it justice. it needs to be SEEN and experienced)
also, this trip was amazing in the fact that we had no itinerary and were just there to BE. i love trips like that - no stress, no disappointment if we missed something.

Here In Franklin said...

So I just got back from Paris and one of the very best days was meeting with Ellie from Daily Smoke. We wandered, we drank wine. We wandered and ate. We wandered and drank beer.It was amazing.In fact, I just posted about it. I did some touristy things too, and that's fine. No Louvre though. I fucking hate the Louvre.

Rassles said...

Daisy: Seriously, I thought the whole point of being a physicist was to trailblaze?

Jane: (1) Disneyland and Disneyworld are DEFINITELY not the same thing, and (2) you have never been to Disneyland with me, and I am awesome at Disneyland. Also, shut up, hater.

Sid: It is very hard to drink out of pineapples.

Nurse: I'm back now, though...

Kono: I did see the Louvre, and I fell asleep on a chair.

Savvy: I would never make you pay for it.

MoLinder: Word.

Franklin: See comment to Kono above.