December 1, 2005


Leaving isn't always easy. If it were, everyone would be more inclined to just pack up and go, free to explore the world and themselves. But daily life, responsibilities, and so-called necessities make it difficult to do, even when you consider yourself to be a non-participatory "member" of society.
Living for even a few months in a house or other such dwelling requires commitment, and facilitates the accumulation of personal property and belongings, both of which make leaving difficult in the end. As you long for the days of living out of a backpack in your simple, obligation-free cabana on the beach, you also cherish the thought of having a place to be and feel settled. It's this quandry that gets my head spinning: How do I live freely and be true to myself in a world that I feel is becoming a place ruled by the very things that complicate life when they are supposed to be making it easier, simpler, more convenient? I question the priorities of society, and my own, on a daily basis, and as a result, often feel conflicted, torn, and sometimes just downright guilty.
How does this have anything to do with leaving? I suppose it's those creature comforts that I have the love-hate relationship with, the necessity of having a place to house them, and having to deal with them before I can leave, and live, and feel free. So why do I have them if its this upsetting? Well, I like my down jacket! I like having a pillow on a comfy bed, and I even like being able to watch a movie now and then. But they just seem to accumulate, endlessly, out of control: stacks of books, magazines, clothes, shoes (!), cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. Don't even get me started on art supplies and assorted papers. Only when forced to move said objects do we start to wonder why in the hell we have so many, and when on earth we ever find the time to use them all.
Which is where I am at right now. In a short 6 months, post-Mexico cabania, I have acquired the stacks and piles and feel buried. In order to feel free and alive again, I am planning my next trip. I think part of the appeal of travelling and living out of a backpack is that you remind yourself once again how little you actually do need to survive in this materialistic, misguided society.

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