Posted by: Jena Davison | January 11, 2010

Good-bye to being On the Road

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
– Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Cheers to my new favorite travel quote. I am currently reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac and came across this quote yesterday, which I then proceeded to underline. It is fitting (perhaps, cliche?) that I starting reading On the Road while I was continuously on the road for three months. Yet, I found that I was really able to relate to some of the sentiments and experiences he conveyed through his writing.

When I read this particular passage, it really struck a chord with me. I tend to become really emotionally invested in the places I visit and the people I meet while traveling (and in general). I try to really indulge all of my senses when I travel in order to get a thorough understanding of a place. Therefore, saying goodbye is always the hardest part. Every once in a while I can´t wait to get the hell out of a place, but more often than not, I am saddened to leave. I am constantly surprised by how deep of connections I can feel with people after knowing them just a few short days, or how at home I can feel in a place seemingly overnight. Therefore, I can absolutely relate to this feeling Kerouac so eloquently speaks of in the quote above. Watching some of my favorite places disappear into the distance always gives me this funny feeling like I am leaving a piece of myself behind (although, I am most likely taking a piece of the place with me instead).

However, the best part is knowing that another place lies ahead with as much promise of capturing the heart as the last. Especially when you are constantly on the road and seeing so many places and meeting so many people, you have no choice but to look ahead. Dwelling on what you have left behind only slows you down and unfairly taints your view of the next place. Likewise, not allowing yourself to form meaningful connections with people or places knowing that you will have to leave them shortly after is commiting a great injustice to yourself. Every person I have met along the way has impacted me in some way, even if I can´t obviously detect how. Likewise, each experience has taught me a little something. I do not regret anything I did at all on my backpacking trip–mostly because even if I wish I had spent one less day in a place, that would mean that I would have arrived in another place one day earlier and would have met completely different people and had a completely different experience.

Right now I am simply overwhelmed by how much I saw and experienced, and how many people I met and shared experiences with over three months. Yet, I have been quickly thrown into my ¨next crazy venture beneath the skies,¨ and I am excited for all that is to come. I have entered into a new phase of my adventure and the signs are everywhere. My room is currently peppered with dirty clothing as I celebrate the privacy and free space I now have. My alarm clock is set for 7am for work tomorrow morning, signaling I am now on an actual schedule. I even bought a cell phone yesterday, meaning people can now get a hold of me if needed.

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Responses

  1. I know exactly what you feel like although I haven’t actually got a job yet. The thought of going back on a schedule is terrifying.


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