For the past thirty minutes, the prelude to this story was going to be inspirational, focused on getting all of my friends to stop making excuses and grab the traveling twenty’s life by the horns, as I have. I wrote as deliberately as I could, giving flashy examples that would pierce the heart and bring out of the soul of the wanderer in everyone, but then it got too threatening and I realized something; not everyone is as free to leave everything as me. It’s okay and I get it.
I want everyone with the means to explore to do precisely that, and by ‘means,’ I imply youth, lacking in responsibilities, and just between you and me, a bit of virility never hurt.
I came back a few weeks ago to the US and started hanging out with friends I hadn’t seen for well over a year. It has been great to see them again, but I have heard one thing more than anything else during our catch-up sessions, “I wish,” followed by the ‘but’ that stood in the way. I couldn’t really believe most of the reasons that were pulled out. At times, I even shot them down. Looking back now, that was not good by any means. I get it.
I get it a lot, don’t I? J But that’s just it, travel and you will get it too. Traveling simplifies it. More than that, it hits you with the itch to move. But as I sit here on my bed at midnight, I realize where the fear to leave comes from. I had it, and it still crops up at times. Stability, solidity, whatever you want to call it. That day-in-day-out that is so easy to bitch about, but feels really really comfortable. I got it when I went to Korea. It felt sticky and weird, but I kind of liked it because it gave me time to jack off and play Nintendo DS. That was a joke and I’m sorry. J
There is no way for me to intimidate people into traveling, and criticism certainly doesn’t help. Most of the time, it just makes people scoff at you and roll their eyes. I get it that ‘the life’ that most people (or at least my friends) think of after college is getting a job or going to grad school, but I am here to tell you that if you’re not one hundred percent positive about it now, stop! STOP YOU SONS OF BITCHES! That’s not the life now, and you’re too young to go and get that picket fence all nailed up just yet. The twenties are for figuring shit out, and what better way is there than to go half-way across the world and try to make friends with people that don’t speak English. I’m talking about challenges.
But challenges are great. And I digress to Nepal…
Nepal is the place to start and end. It is as lovely as a flower, but as strong and mind-blowing as a hit of acid and a shit-ton of bass.
In Asia, a man can find anything, like drugs and sex, but Nepal is different. Honestly, Nepal probably has that stuff in plenitude as well, but Nepal is not that. It is the place where you find the things that have been lost, and gain the things that are yet to be found.
I cannot describe Nepal in a way that does it justice, just as a picture cannot capture the magnitude of depth or the sound that mountains make. Beauty can be described brilliantly at times, but everything falls short of feeling. That’s why travel-writing in my opinion, though awesome at times, ultimately sucks. It paints a picture that is dear to the orator, but less-than-relatable to anyone that wasn’t in the moment. But I’m writing and that was me two minutes ago. All branches of writing, as pictures, and stories, and moments, are not meant to catalog lives, but stir up the fire under the feet, to liven us up and draw us out. MOVE DAMNIT, MOVE! If you see that generic landscape picture on your desktop and are not stirred even a little, you are an android and I want nothing to do with you. You see that shit and you are struck for a time, however small.
So I’m doing it. I’m talking about Nepal.
There. I’m done.
I know. It’s a rip-off. I didn’t talk about it at all. What would I do, tell you something funny, or crazy, or extremely inspirational? But that’s just it; I don’t want my stories to be desktop photos that people can roll their eyes at and label as clichéd travel stories, and I don’t want people living through my crazy-assedness. If people are strong enough to move, they’re certainly strong enough to stand up and push themselves out the door without my ass telling them what to do.
The Gods are the smartest,
For they do not proffer
The whole of the heavens
Or life’s greatest coffer,
For such is as evident,
As sand in the desert,
Yet most will not find it
With their eyes on the dirt.
And I, with my hand on the trigger,
Know only that life is much bigger.
I could try and tell a tale,
But then I’m sure, I’d quickly fail.
For anything less than life is a jip,
So why would I offer a time as a tip?