Inertia And Movement (And Love)
A few nights ago we raised our jacks and made our first RV move of 2016. Our destination was somewhere in the boonies and it got me thinking, as these things always do. I thought about travel and love and how things go. I get philosophical when I hang in nature and I also get hopelessly mushy when I think of love (I am and always will be a romantic, ya know) and in my random brain the two things meshed perfectly for my post today.
You see the morning of our departure I was reluctant to leave. The weather in San Diego was sooooo darn nice and we had such a great spot and there were soooo many good breweries we still hadn’t tried….and after 2 months we’d gotten into an easy rhythm -> morning walks by the beach, afternoon bikes on the bay, evening sunset by the water. Life was good. So our impetus to move was low and it seemed such an effort to pack up and go to the next stop. Why move? Why go somewhere else when it’s so perfect right here?
When you’ve been living on the road as long as we have you’d think this traveling business would be second nature. After all we’ve been fully nomadic for 6 years now and we both had 15-20 years of travel experience in the USA, Europe & Asia before that. Shouldn’t it all just come naturally now? But in reality travel can be like getting back on your bike after a long absence…you’re a bit rusty and it takes a little while to get back into the groove of it.
It’s a phenomenon I call movement inertia and in many ways I think this is a natural human thing. As a species we evolved from nomadic hunter-gatherers to semi-settled agro-communities over 10,000 years ago and I think it’s somewhat in our genealogy to seek out that environment. We like to settle down and get comfy, and the longer we’re settled the harder it becomes to get going again. Just like Newton’s First Law, once we’re on a given path we tend to stay on that path, and there’s resistance to change.
Traveling is the exact opposite of all that. When you travel you throw security to the wayside and seek out everything that is new and different. Sure, you carry your house with you (if you RV that is), but every drive is a new drive, every place holds new challenges. You’re pushed outside of your comfort zone and you have to work harder to do all the “normal” stuff in life-> find a place to shop, locate a dentist when you have a toothache, fix a flat tire when you puncture it etc. The places you know and count on are all gone, and for some folks that can be a big barrier to overcome.
Which begs the natural question, why go at all?
As I sat in my rocking chair in the boonies, wine in hand overlooking the golden colors of the setting sun spreading across the desert, my honey beside me, my furry family lounging in the warm sand I had my answer. For THIS.
Travel is deep in my soul and no matter how comfortable I get, at some point I always start to feel that itch somewhere deep inside -> the urge to move, to urge to explore, the urge to experience something different. And once I’m on the road I feel complete, at peace, in the moment. I know this will sound corny (it truly does) but travel renews my faith in the world.
Which brings me full circle back to my initial philosophical thought.
Inertia, even for us “hard-core” nomads, is a normal thing. We all feel it and we all deal with it to different degrees. For some the urge to move never develops, or it changes over time, all of which is perfectly normal too. We can’t all be movers & shakers all of our lives, right?! But I do feel movement is important, even if it just remains a small part of your existence.
If I hadn’t moved from home when I was 17 I wouldn’t have lived in Europe. If I hadn’t moved to the USA after college I wouldn’t have met Paul, and if I hadn’t asked Paul to marry me ~19 years ago I wouldn’t be here today -> sitting in my rocking chair, wine in hand, my honey beside me…I do believe that overcoming inertia, no matter how small your steps to do it, will always lead to something interesting in your life.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, this beautiful day of love, I hope you find yourself in movement and if you aren’t right now I hope you will someday, even if just for a moment. Who knows where it might lead you?
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