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Without further ado!
So, I chose to go on a reverse vacation on Saturday.
I’ve traveled from Colorado to Washington in one month, taking stops to camp or see National Parks. I’ve showered from buckets in the city, built campfires on the beach, saw the totality of a solar eclipse, and caught some good movies in parks. I’ve hiked waterfalls and sand dunes and mountains.
It was time for some rest.
I checked into a hotel just outside of Olympia, Washington and had a really lazy day/night. I cranked the freezing air conditioning, snuggled into the equally cold blankets of the squeaky hotel bed, and watched TV until it rotted my brain. I even got to take a shower in a real bathroom!
The stay was short, but nice. It put a lot of things into perspective.
Most importantly, how comfort has a tendency to slow me way down. I’m not the kind of person that’s comfortable living a “life” in some temperature-controlled box. I don’t need running water or a shower tall enough to stand up in. I don’t need walls that put me in shade no matter where I go.
Those things are nice. But, just nice.
In that room, I was surrounded by simple luxuries that kept my meat-bag of a body comfortable and happy. I felt like one of the fat, subdued humans from Wall-E. It was so easy to lie on the bed and do nothing, full of food, letting the television tell me when to laugh or cringe or cry.
Out here, back in real life, the world doesn’t care about my comfort. My comfort is secondary to my happiness. My fulfillment in life is not dependent on how cool my skin is, or how soft a conditioner can make my hair, or the smooth pivot of an office chair.
My fulfillment comes from doing things for myself and taking charge of my own life. Life—real life—is a precious and fragile thing. You can get hurt climbing mountains. You can get infections from bug bites. You can freeze without a fire. Overcoming those dangers and doing something beyond your comfortable norms, daring to see how far and how high you can go… that’s truly living.
I prefer to spend my life traveling, adventuring, writing. I prefer getting dirty and shaping words. I like the challenges of finding the next place to sit and write, or stumbling across the next waterfall to climb. (I like to be on top of stuff for some reason.)
The reverse vacation was nice. I’m glad I took it. It reaffirmed my decision to cast off the comfortable life and do something crazy. Since I have, I’ve been so much happier.
No more shady boxes for me. It’s time to get back to living.
Ronin usually lives in his van, “Rhino”, and prefers cooking pasta in the woods to ordering pizza. He writes daily about his travels and observations, and is currently working on a book.