In the beginning, there was work. And it blew.
Well, not exactly. This story, for me at least, pre-dates work. Not all work, of course, just the relentless, pointless, soul-crushing kind the “real world” demands. Before that there was college and an English class studying the Romantic Era . . . Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelly, among others. Yawnsville, I know, but how can you not be moved by a great artist employing all his talents to get a girl naked (to be fair it was probably several girls) . . .
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And the same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
– Robert Herrick
I would follow in the footsteps of these great men, I thought, and “seize the day”, throwing caution to the wind while living a life of grand adventure. . . only I didn’t have any money. And didn’t many of these guys die before they hit the age of 30? And who wants to be a hippy bum anyway?
So instead I went off in pursuit of a perfectly responsible career path . . . college, work, MBA, career, paycheck. And I pursued it as far as it went. But Frost never left me, and I always wondered about the road not taken. Sometimes daily. The job was O.K., and I was good at it. But the hours sucked and the travel sucked even more. Besides, there were too many hyper-competitive people who were willing to give everything to the job, including their integrity. I was not one of them. And although I found I could still compete with the best of them while giving much less of myself, I’d always be at a disadvantage. I’d always be pressed for more, and I wasn’t willing to give any more. In fact, I was already giving too much.
So the seed that was planted 20 years earlier has finally hatched into a plan to travel the world, slowly.