Saturday, October 10, 2009
I ask myself some days why do I travel. Do I have a gene that cannot sit still? Do I seek something new all the time? Am I that curious? Most people I know love to go on vacation but the travel I am talking about is different. When I travel I do not have an itinerary with a daily destination; I do not like that too much. I rather like the free flow and sense of discovery when I travel. Yes, I like a target, a city, a region or a country that I will aim for when I am on the road. I like a theme, for example I liked retracing and exploring the route Lewis and Clark took in the early 19th century. I like to find newness, things I never saw or knew before. With the Lewis and Clark example I enjoyed learning about the lives of the Native American at the time of Lewis and Clark. I am not sure how deep I want to go on some subjects but if it is new to me, I like to learn as much as possible. The difficulty is that my brain can hold only so much on any given day. I do get overloaded with impressions and newness over time and I can feel the learning, the sheer size of newness, physically. I know from experience that I need a rest when I feel like this. Weeks of accumulated new experiences wear on me.
That is the reason I go back to familiar places; places that do not burden me with new, but relax me with familiar. Familiar is predictable, something I normally do not like very much. But familiar is calming, reassuring and well, familiar.
So, after all of our travels for the last 9 weeks we went to France. I learned to love this county. France to me is familiar; the food is great, the people friendly and the French routine somewhat predictable. But because I can only converse in words, not in sentences I went back to Germany. Now here, of course, I am at home and I find some pride in the German ways yet I would never live here again. The language is my mother tongue. It is way, way too familiar. Way too predictable for me.
But my bike needed a new headlight, the auxiliary light from Touratech needed fixing and the right aluminum pannier needed adjusting. Touratech was the place to go and we over-nighted in Dauchingen at the ‘Schwarzwaelder Hof’ Hotel, a great, clean, predictably German place for a night. How people can live their entire life in Dauchingen is beyond my understanding. I cannot be like them. I need to travel. I need to explore. I need to search. I am curious. I want to know and learn. So I am constantly in flux; trying to find a place to settle, yet feeling the need to add to my experiences through travel.
I am lucky that Carol is as much a traveler as I am. Her reasons might be different, but we make a good team. After all this time, travelling and getting bumped around by circumstances, we get along just fine. I don’t have, nor do I pretend to know, all the answers to the way I am.
This blog is just a vent as to what goes on in my head while traveling. I am constantly searching for some kind of answers about myself. Maybe traveling is a diversion or an excuse not to face myself?
I am learning though and will do what I do until I can no longer do it.