Friday, February 24, 2012

Travel Bug: The Recklessness of the Free-Spirited

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This is a topic that presses a hot button of mine. I mean it reeeally does. I've forever been badgered by many who found that being settled with children, and not being a free-spirited traveler, is the way to go. They feel that a man past thirty should hunker down and turn marriage-hued headlights on in search for a (victim) spouse.

Honestly, that's the way I view it. Victims of norms. Now, I'm not downing anyone happily married with children. I know plenty of those and my blessings go out to you. But alas, I know far more that fall on the other end of the spectrum. Those that wish they could just up and go--free-spirit their way out of their marital shackles into a foreign country and leave their woes behind (and I'm sad to say, many do up-and-leave abroad). What with the divorce rate skyrocketing globally, what once was considered taboo is now an accepted norm. Some even joke about it and call a first marriage a starter marriage.

I'm sorry to say. But travel calls. This whole relationship drama can take a backseat in the car which I've parked in the garage of a house I've locked and long left.

You really wouldn't grasp it without standing, for example, on Pub Street in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Forget the merchants. Forget the sleazy, cramped backpacker rooms besieging the neighborhood. No. I am talking about the travelers from all over the world roaming around you. Some looking like people of class, some looking like trash, but all with that singular essence burning in their chests: the free spirit.

Some take trains, some take planes, they travel here and there, many without destination, only a dream and determination. You can't pretend to be like them. Even if you try to break the societal mold and travel far away, many will do it for the sake of Facebooking it to show their friends and work colleagues. Nothing more. You will see them trying to snap pictures without enjoying the beauty of the scenery. Viewing it only months later through the pictures now posted on Pinterest. No, you've only cemented the idea further, that you indeed traveled for the wrong reason, that you remain shackled and lack this spirit which grant many such joy with so little in their pockets.

You. You are the one whom we're talking to. The one who can't understand the foreign language we speak. We don't shame or pity you, we respect your decisions.

But respect ours. Don't point fingers unless you're willing to look at your hand and notice the three pointing right back at you.

Recklessness lays not within the free spirit, but within troubled hearts. And these exist on both sides of the fence.

Do you not agree?


  1. I couldn't agree more. Travel is a beautiful thing that is ruined when your heart's not fully in the moment but rather to impress others.

  2. I'm not pointing fingers, I swear! lol