A Cure For Wanderlust
Oftentimes in the store, I find myself yearning to break free of the rigors and trappings of day to day life and live a free life on the road. As much as I dream of leaving the day to day grind, it is the freedom of the road that has the most appeal. I imagine the constant reading and rereading of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in college is partly responsible for cementing this glamorized idea of the vagabond lifestyle in my brain. After taking two week-long climbing trips this spring, I found that I missed little of life at home while traveling. More than that I loved the simple life of a traveling climber with little concern for anything more than each day’s adventure.
All of the things that I thought I would miss about home, I did not. The comforts of home were quickly supplanted by the ease and simplicity of living out of a couple bags (or bins in my case). Sure it is wonderful to sleep in a comfortable bed, but a quiet tent far removed from the stresses of the day to day provided easy sleeping. A day of being in the sun and breathing the fresh air makes a warm sleeping bag feel luxurious. While it is somewhat difficult to make a grand feast on a small camp stove, it matters little because at the end of a hard day everything tastes like a gourmet dinner.
This summer I am going to be lucky enough to live some of my dream of being a vagabond climber as my girlfriend and I are going to be working as a Brand Representatives for Eastern Mountain Sports, driving a big pickup truck towing a twenty-two foot trailer filled with kayaks and stand up paddle boards up the east coast. Our job is to participate in eleven demos in nine states and spread the psych of EMS to the staffs and public we meet along our journey.
In all honesty, this is not the road trip I have always envisioned…but it is not a bad start. Sure we are not totally free to do whatever we want; EMS has provided us with a schedule of events and there is plenty to do in between them, so we are not able to travel wherever the wind blows us. But EMS did provide us with a vehicle and gas card (better than financing your own adventure). Also, we will have some free time to explore on our own and the demos provide us a great opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded people along way. Hopefully, those people will clue us in on some local secrets and help us find places we would never have discovered on our own.
And so what if it is a more a paddling trip than a climbing trip? Life is about adventure and new activities, so we will embrace the water but not forget about the stone. Looking at the route, it appears as though there will at least be some opportunities to sneak in some climbing in the Gunks and at Pawtuckaway. This may not be my idyllic Kerouac-esque, trip but it looks to be a great adventure with opportunity around every corner. Plus, this trip has a financier…something I never imagined in my road trip dreams.
Thanks Eastern Mountain Sports for financing my summer adventure and, hopefully, curing my wanderlust.