More than Just a Trip
I wonder what my life would be like had I not conceived the ambitious, albeit maniacal foundations for a post-graduation cross country road trip. Cliche as it may sound, the beginning stages of the planning for said trip consisted of existential visions of transcendence, you know, the kind of “meaning of life” bull shit that we all seek to experience at one point or another during our lifetimes. But cliché as it also may be, this trip of ours, and by “ours” I mean Curtis and I, is, in and of itself, a life-altering occurrence. I swear by this statement simply because of the nature of this so called “existential journey.” We have roughly 83 days. 83 days of pure ignorant bliss, quality best friend bonding, extreme hiking challenges, and a whole lot of insomnia. That’s what sleeping in a foul-smelling car does to you. But who cares? Curtis and I certainly don’t. After all, we’ve been best friends since we were five year old kids, and we practically shared underwear for chrissakes.
I kid. But the point is, the basic outlook that we share on this trip is that it will indeed consume us both in mind and body. Thus far, we have dedicated countless hours of our free time to consolidating our resources to assemble a tentative itinerary that details our various excursions, whether it be an ascent of Mt. Rainier or perusing the awe-inspiring sights that Jasper National Park has to offer. The reason I use these two examples is because they are certainly two of the most farfetched ideas we have for our road trip. After recently ice climbing on two consecutive weekends, we envisaged an idea to make an attempt to summit one of the more dangerous glaciated peaks in Washington state: the hulking mass of rock called Rainier. At first the belief seemed to be a futile one, but after consulting with a fellow ice climber who has himself ascended this magnificent beauty, we determined that it was indeed within our skill level, that is, after we make a costly investment on mountaineering gear. Still, we do not know whether we will be capable of reaching the apex of Rainier’s snowy alpine summit, but if we do indeed fail, at least we can say we tried, right?
Absolutely not, because that’s not the kind of attitude we want to possess going into our trip. Sure, we might fail in some of our endeavors, but we better damn give our 100%. I return to Jasper as an example. This is, for all intents and purposes, a United States cross country trip. But Jasper, along with the other state and national parks of Canada, seek to defy this convention. If we’re going to go on a nearly 3 month cross country trip, we sure as hell better drive toward the middle of nowhere in a foreign country to be able to gaze our eyes upon the most serene of landscapes that our northern brethren have to offer. Case and point, if we’re going to drive thousands of miles west to indulge ourselves in America’s tranquil elegance, then Canada’s quasi-divine landscape is imperative as well.
So, the initial question of this optimistic, oft-overly dramatic blog post was, where I would be right now had I not deemed a road trip of this caliber as a necessity toward the eternal satisfaction of my soul? Actually, that’s a bit too grandiose, so I’ll put it more concisely. Why is this road trip something that Curtis and I have to do? Simply put, we see its function as a muse to our being, a coming of age ritual of sorts. It’s something we have to do. So the question is purely rhetorical. Without the procession of this trip, our lives would seem to be so much more empty and purposeless. It sounds selfish, but this is that one thing that we have to do for ourselves, more than anything else. To show ourselves that we have the balls to commit to such a spectacular voyage. Because once I reach Tennessee, I will be the furthest west I have ever been in my life. I yearn for adventure and new experiences in this beautifully damned world of ours. And a simple excuse to get out of this tedious mediocrity for once. Just once is all I ask. I’m sick to death of people telling me what I can and can’t do, and finally, for once in my life, I’m taking the initiative to do what even I thought I couldn’t do. I’m sure Curtis can attest to this as well.
So this is it. The stage is set. The players are, more or less, beginning to play their parts, subject to change of course. Who knows, maybe some other crazy loon will decide to convene with us? I write this post to reflect on these last two years of impatience and anticipation for the most colossal undertaking of my life thusfar. And to assert that the tentative itinerary is there for the viewing, not just for Curtis and myself, but for all those intrigued by the prospect of our upcoming summer. So this is actually it. I lied the first time around. I conclude this post with a question for all of those reading it. What prevents you from doing what YOU want to do? I know what deters me. It’s stubbornness, languidness, and above all, lack of motivation. This isn’t a self help book to tell you to get motivated, but I do offer you my deepest affection to do what you want to do, because you’re on this god forsaken planet for one life. So fucking live it.