Vagrant Ruminations of a Wannabe Traveler
Elsewhere beckons! It has only been a few weeks since 'settling' in Abbotsford, but already i'm itching to go. My semi-struggling social life and completly unchallenging course-load leaves a lot of time to ponder over my own wanderlust. The worst part is that i think my urgency to hit the road is manifesting itself in neurotic tics. I've started biting my nails again, something that i haven't done since high school, and the other day i zoned and realized i had been literally pacing my basement for about half an hour. Not a great sign :S
f*** I need to do something! To leave, to move, to go! Something!
I'm jealous of those who can find all the wonders of the world in their own backyard. They say that the hum of the universe- the splendor of life- is in all places at all times. That all we have to do is tune in and listen. That the same potential for the sublime exists in my crappy computer room as much as it does along the banks of the Ganges or summiting the Himalayans. But try as i might, i just don't get that sense. At least not today anyways.
Even in a new city, it's always the same. We get into a routine then resign ourselves to comfort, complacency and boredom.
I remember leaving Manitoba after a briliant summer, with an intoxicating sense of limitless possibility. A feeling a little more worn now that i've been sedentary for a bit. Lugging a torn pack, decked out in my hippy clothes, guitar, shawls and smelling like a hobo- might not be glamourous... or very hygienic.... but somehow feels so right. I'm still making plans, it's just that the initial excitment is gone. It feels more like grasping at straws. A desperation for adventure mixed with that ever-present pain of the travel bug.
The job hunt in Abbotsford hasn't gone quite as well as i had hoped. I quickly found a job, a really good one, but the hiring process took forever. Three interviews! Spread out over weeks before i was fully hired at the Ramada Inn. Since coming to B.C. every passing week with a paycheck has meant one more plane ticket i couldn't afford, or one more week's travel i'd have to cut back.
My quest for West Africa is seemingly slipping farther and farther away from a reality. It now seems cruel that Timbuktu is a place synonymous with being impossibly hard to reach. Only a week or two ago my backpacking journey through Mali felt extremly tangible. As though if i just waited it out, did the school and work thing for i bit, i would inevitably be there soon, in the flesh. Now its starting to feel less and less like a real place. Once again resigned to mythology. Unless by some miracle i come across a good sum of money and soon, there is no way i'll be able to make it to le festival au dessert, which was my main motivation for Mali. The trip i was planning was so dependent on that festival, it would fall apart without it. West Africa was my holy grail of adventures.... it almost makes sense that the joyrney has escaped me.
So change of plans! I'm still looking into going to W. Africa, but cutting out all the backpacking stuff and just volunteering for a while. A month in Ghana - possibly the Sudan- living and working in one place. It almost feels like a waste of a plane ticket to be traveling halfway across the world and not fully exploring the region, but oh well...
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."-Douglas Adams"