The countdown at the top of the page is now in the scary single digits. I feel like I’m going into a theater of a movie I know nothing about, and other than knowing the name of my arrival city and the first hostel I’m staying at, I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m headed next. When I was young my mom would have this saying whenever I asked her where we’re going. Wherever the wind takes us. I think it’s her way of saying go with the flow, to not be concerned with the final destination.
But she’s concerned about this.
The other night she tried to convince me to stay. You’re stupid to throw away a comfortable life at your age. To her, my happiness needs to measurable and concrete, like having my own place, a j-o-b, a nice car, money in the bank that is growing instead of evaporating. The only way I could stop the tears in her eyes from falling was to tell I would be back soon, resume my unfullfilling career, and never do something like this again. Certainly taking a trip of this nature will sap the will and desire to take another one and push me to settle down in the suburbs where I can motor around from work to gym to bar to home. I’ll just get it out of my system now before I get old. She smiled.
My dad doesn’t think I’ll last longer than two months, and he’s been more supportive than some of my friends. While I would like to travel for at least six months, it is totally possible I’ll not like things down there and quickly return to the safety of my dad’s damp basement, ant infestation and all. I kept this in mind when declining to have a Farewell Roosh party with my friends. I imagine it would be a little lame if I threw this big party and returned before DC’s first snow. The only reason I have a feeling I’ll be away for a while is because I know that once I return I’ll have to resume working. I rather cross the Atlantic and let the Euro finish off my savings.
The other Friday night I went to the late-night Starbucks / Barnes & Noble. I found it strange that the parking lot was filled and a cop car was parked in front of the building. Inside, I noticed half the people I saw had witches hats or round nerd glasses. Little girls in capes encircled my table in the geographic middle of the cafe and every thirty minutes a cute teenage girl would roll by in her skimpy goth-inspired clothing, probably unaware of how that may trigger the sleazy men around her, like myself. I stood out, without a thunderbolt marking on my neck or any other Harry Potter paraphernalia.
Well it’s nice that these people are exciting about something, I thought. Something they can look forward to. I wish I could get excited over something here so I don’t have to escape from a soulless but nice paying job—a very nice paying job—for something that has no plan, no goal, and mostly involves spending lots of money. I’ve worked so hard and come so far to this moment that I could be wrapped up in self-delusion, but I think the far greater risk is not doing what I’m doing. I could be gambling with my career, my life, but the dealer is showing a low card, I got 10, and even if I don’t have the bankroll a gambling expert says is necessary to ride the ups and down of a typical swing, I’m doubling down. Regardless of whether I win or lose, or what that next card is, it’s the right move. There will be no regrets.