I've been living for this dream I call my permanent vacation, or the ultimate hippie trip, since about 2002. The dream started as a much smaller plan, of which I could even mention some traces of it beforehand (perhaps as early as 1992), in which it was just some crazy high school kid's dream of a crosscountry trip, but it truly had its roots as it stands today, in late 2002 or early 2003.
I had just had my second great relationship completely fall apart. I lost my job, my first ex-fiancee and I were engaged in a brutal custody battle, I was evicted from my home, and frankly, I believe it was, at the time, the lowest point of my life. For the first time in my life—and I was always a pretty chipper guy—I was truly depressed, devastated, and a complete wreck.
At that time I did what I think a lot of people do under such circumstances – I thought a lot about my childhood and the things that made me happy. I realigned myself with my childhood fascination with the great outdoors, and I took my first overnight hike.
During that hike along the Old Loggers Path, in what was then Tiadaghton State Forest in northern Pennsylvania, I did a whole lot of thinking, a whole lot of soul searching, and it was there where I ultimately decided I was beginning a journey that had long awaited me. It was there where I destined myself for a life I had always secretly longed for, and that life is the 'ultimate trip'.
But what do I mean by the 'ultimate trip'? I can assure you the concept has had quite an evolution, but basically it boils down to adventure and freedom. Call it control-freakism or a love for liberty, but the concept has always been shaped around placing as much of my life into my own hands and out of the control of others as is possible.
Now don't get me wrong and think that I decided on my hike that all of my problems were the fault of others and if I somehow could keep them out of my life I'd be happier. On the contrary, I accept full responsibility for my personal decisions which eventually allowed the problems I had developed in my life to manifest, but the fact of the matter is, my decisions were poor because they weren't mine. I was not doing what I thought was best for me, but rather living according to the way I thought I was supposed too in accordance with society and others. The truth of the matter was, I was a mindless moron.
I thought happiness was a wife, kids, a dog, a house with a white pickett fence, and a great 9-5 job. I was all gung ho for mom and apple pie and the American dream, but that dream was doomed to failure because although I thought it was, it was never mine.
That realization, the realization that the dream was never mine, which finally struck me at age twenty-eight (yes, I was a very late bloomer) amid a turbulent life crisis, would lead me down one hell of a road of discovery and transformation! This blog is the story of that discovery, of my plans for that trip, and in a few short years, a record of that very life I have been plotting and planning for since that glorious walk through the woods in which I climbed to the top of that mountain, up to the vista, and looked out over the world through God's Window.
For now, it's "peace" until I type again...