Adventure, The Great Adventure, Travel

Will You Complain When Your Dream Comes True?

Pepin, Wisconsin.

The town is three streets. The prettiest faces the Mississippi. The sun sets, the chill arrives, and I enter a pub.

I make friends. Chose the pub carefully, got the right feel. I’m not through the door and people start the introductions. I discard my book and chat.

I want a beer, conversation, and in a lucky world, somewhere to stay. Adventurer’s gamble, I suppose. Adventurers don’t always win.

Three hours finds me outside and cheerful. The pub closes; groups swagger home. I leave my bike and walk off the energy, the brew.

Time to sleep, Drew.

The river shore is cold and safe. Pebble beach, breeze, no mosquitoes. I lean the bike on a tree and I sit beneath. Wrap my blanket, cross my legs. Sleep.

I wake once an hour to a train horn. It gets colder in the wee hours. I adjust.

5:30 and the sun hits the river. Mist covers it like a serpent. He lifts his head, rises with the dawn. A dragon on the wing, a slow silver river, and me.

The night was cold, uncomfortable. I won’t complain. Why complain about what you love best?


Could Boring Be Good Enough?

I feel complacent. The days just run together here—it’s me, my parents, my laptop. Next thing you know it’s dark again.

People ask where I am. It always catches me off guard. For some reason I assume that everyone who knows me, from my ex-fiancée from college to coworkers I haven’t seen in a year, must follow my every move. The plan is the center of my life and I forget others don’t follow it so closely. How is South America? Are you still in Thailand? Where are you?

Right now I’m in Wisconsin. Where in Wisconsin? You wouldn’t know it. But it’s near other towns that, likewise, you wouldn’t know.

I like it here. I didn’t think I would. When I left Mexico I was nervous. I planned to spend two months visiting family and I wondered if that might be about seven weeks too many.

We live on a small farm. Neither of my parents grew up farmers, but it’s my dad’s retirement dream. For the first month I was here, Zangmo joined us. I’ve made a few jaunts to the Cities to see various friends and Beth. But mostly it’s been me and the two people who gave me life, in the middle of nowhere.

Zangmo and I went canoeing.

Dad doesn’t talk much. Mom does, sometimes. A lot of the time it’s just quiet (never when I’m trying to write). They have two cats who will run away if you try to pet them, so there may actually be a negative amount of socialization happening in the house.

The hours slip by this way. Somehow it’s March, April, June—what happened? I wake up early each morning, intention to write a lot; write some. I’m making dinner. Then they’re in their beds and it’s just me, the wine, the computer, the music.

I could just stay here. Mom sure would like the company. Dad’d love the help. Two years, ten years. Help with chores in the morning, write nights. No rent, no hole in my heart, meet a local girl.

Nobody would fault me for settling down, and I’m tempted every chance.

Sometimes comfort is the enemy of adventure. I’ve been so complacent I wanted to turn down a kayaking trip. Co-adventurer Mitch and I might take sea kayaks down the Gulf of Mexico when I get that far. We have a chance to take lessons together in Duluth, Minnesota.

For two weeks I’ve wondered if I can cancel.

I don’t actually want to cancel. I’ll actually be much happier if I go do something new, with a man I hardly know who might paddle across the world with me. I thrill at that very idea: if I didn’t, I should take adventurer off my business card.

But I get this way sometimes. When I have a comfortable daily life I convince myself I have lots of writing to do. It gives me a reason to go nowhere and, if I let myself, I would grow old this way and regret it.

Are you the kind of person who’s tempted to adventure, but would rather stay home? Or are you the kind of person who’s tempted to stay home, but would rather adventure?

Support the Great Adventure! If you enjoy reading Rogue Priest, believe in my journey, or just love seeing a spirited adventurer on the road, please consider making a donation to the cause. Your gift will help fund professional-quality equipment for the Great Adventure. It’ll keep me safe and help every step of the way.