The road is calling. I can hear it whisper to me, as I wake into a half-sleep, in the early twilight of the morning. It is out there, outside the door, leading away into the distance and it tempts me with new mysteries and experiences. I respond eagerly. My breakfast is a scrounged sandwich, or a protein bar, or cereal along with diner coffee (two refills, to justify the 1.29$ cost) and an apple or a peach. I must hurry, or I will miss the bus – which means more than being late for a meeting, it means losing a day of travel and a 100$ rebooking fee.
Goodbyes to hosts, the last packings of the backpack, and I load up and head out. Consulting maps for directions, locating the right bus terminal and I settle down in my seat. The journey is a blur, like the landscape out the window. I read, or doodle, or talk to my neighbors when we’re both feeling chatty. The road is always calling, from a short distance away. The bus is fast but not fast enough to catch up to where the siren song is coming from.
I reach the new town, just like the old town. I have a new friend to make, here. Introductions, the same answers to old questions. There was a time when I used to reach deep within for the answers to the questions but now they come easily. Why am I here? Where am I going? Yes, its a pretty amazing story. I’m not jaded, just amused at the repetition.
Maybe dinner, maybe a snack, maybe a beer. Even my meals are the same.
There is laughter and there is serious discussion. There is head-shaking at the world and there are snorts of derision and other gestures that bind. Somewhere along the way, there is walking and exploring and despite the new sights and the sounds and the places but always, buried beneath the hubbub is the little worm of the voice of the road, urging me on.
And so the days turn into weeks and the weeks have turned into months and here I am, two months in. I can feel the calling still, but I have learned to limit it. Not to rush about blindly, to let it drive me but not be driven by it. I think I have passed the hump, the emotional high and am settling in to this journey.
Tomorrow I leave again. I can’t wait.