I Don’t Want to Go Anywhere
I asked a friend where he was off to next, what travel plans he had, and he responded that he didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t know what quite to say to that.
I’ve always admired this man as what I’d like to be when I was older: a happy-go-lucky, glass-is-half-full, endlessly curious traveler. He’s been to so many countries he ran out of push pins on his wall map. So many times crisscrossed through the states that at one point he sold his RV because he had “Been everywhere.” People say that, but he really had been everywhere.
To see one of my heroes lose that travel bug, that spark that exists in many of us to see what we don’t know, to go to unknown (and known) places far and not-far away, hit me like a freight train.
He’s almost 80, his health has deteriorated quickly over the past few years and travel is harder for him. But it’s also a bit of the case where you think people are going to live forever and that they’ll always be at the age when you met them or knew them best. It’s unfortunately not very close to reality. In fact, it’s not reality at all. People get older. They lose energy, drive, physical ability, and maybe the biggest loss: curiosity.
This is not a case where I feel sorry for someone because of the typical work-entire-life-retire-die path. This man lived a life full enough for 10 men. It’s not regret that he (or I) feels. For me, it’s just a reminder that the end of your days will come at some point. Sooner, later, or a lot later. But you never know. What to do? You know what to do. Do what you’ll appreciate when you’re 80. But don’t do it when you’re 80, do it sooner. Now isn’t a bad time. Later might not come. Or it might come, but you might not come with it. Or not completely. Do it now while you have your health, your energy, and your curiosity.