What now, after two years on the road and nine months in Boulder? The journey continues in a new form. I envision a blend of the two lifestyles, informed by the successes and failures of each, simultaneously making use of the lessons and addressing the unmet inner needs of both. I am preparing to launch into a new chapter of exploration of self, humanity, and the world. The idea is this: to live out of a cozy vehicle and to be on the road once more, slowly traveling from place to place nomadically, meeting new people and deeply connecting, supporting myself by playing music on the street or typing poems or human generosity or doing occasional odd jobs, and just living as deeply as I can.
Yes, I want to be on the road again. But things will be different this time. It’s not about traveling anymore. Travel isn’t even what I want to do now—travel itself is not what I crave. I do not long for the new scenery, the “freedom,” the sensation of movement even, not the lack of a job, not the visiting of new places. What I long for is being in touch with the world around me, being tapped in to the energy of life and the power of intuition, living within the cycle of receiving and giving freely, of trust and generosity, of knowing how to tell when the rain is coming based on how the air smells, of eating simple just to nourish my body and being so grateful for the sustenance that I am sometimes moved to tears when it comes to me. I miss all of that. I miss the mentality of the road: spending time doing things for their own sake. The freedom to live and act spontaneously. It’s not that I don’t want to work—it’s just that I want to do the work that matters the most to me. It’s not that my idea of freedom implies an absence of commitments or obligations—it’s that I only want to take on commitments and obligations that are truly worth taking on. I miss living nomadically, in harmony with life through migration: the ability to seek environments that match the seasons of the soul. I miss those moments that come with surprising frequency in which you sit back and realize that this moment is an answer to the question of WHO AM I, and you realize that that moment is the only way you ever want to live. I miss the form of service I found in living on the road. Every day I would hear people say “I wish I could do what you’re doing.” I hope I have been a source of inspiration, and I know that I’ve deeply touched certain individuals to whom the universe guided me. I hit the road tired of making compromises. I learned that one always makes compromises. Only, living in society helped me realize that while I was on the road, I compromised comfort in order to live out what I believed in. Then, living within society, I largely compromised what I believe in for a few basic comforts. I know what I need to do. Yes: what I long for is not the road but the kind of person I become when I’m out there living that way. The road is the best place I’ve found to be put in a position where I need to use everything I am capable of using, where I need to become everything I am capable of being. I want to spend my time doing the things that matter to me, which means I don’t want to sell my time anymore, and the road is the best way I’ve found to do that. What I will be doing is not “traveling.” What I’m going to be doing is being, loving, writing, serving, working on myself, etc. The road is just where I’ll happen to be living while I do those things.
A year, let’s say. Maybe more, maybe less, but let’s just say that because that’s a simple chunk of time. During this time I would be working on myself through the process I’ve developed over the three years of this journey. I would be building a new practice every month or so. Each month it would be a new thing I’ve wanted to bring into my life. It could be meditation, or having a better diet, praying in the mornings and evenings, transforming the “I’ll deal with it later” mindset that applies to the dirty laundry of my life, consciously standing up straighter, drinking tea instead of coffee, anything that I’ve been wanting to bring into my life, many things that I’ve tried and failed to build, but this time, I’d be addressing only one at a time instead of all at once in fits of manic discipline. This would also be radical and different than ever before because though a few of these things would take up time in my day, most of them are not about adding tasks to my daily life—they’re about how I live my life. Of course, I would also be steadily writing through all of this. And if I were able to begin publishing some of my work and establishing myself as a writer, that could be the beginning of a professional foundation. Ultimately, at the end of this time I could go back to school for writing, or for social work, political science, anthropology. Or I could stumble upon a job somewhere doing good in the world. I could take a long journey traveling internationally with all I’m working on. Or this could be working really well and I could just keep doing it for as long as it feels right. But one day I’ll write books about it all, I’ll be a professor in an academic community teaching writing or politics, I’ll have a family and a stable place to live and an established form of service. Maybe at that point when I have a home and a career and children I’ll even sever my dreadlocks. Or maybe I won’t do that. They’ll be down to my knees.
But for now, I’ll be living and growing on the road. As the journey unfolds, I tend to think a lot about the idea of home being something that exists inside of us. And I think in some ways, our home is just whoever we are; the person we return to each time we return to awareness. The way I do everything, the way I live my life, is my home. So in working on myself in the way I have begun to outline here, what I would really be doing is building a home within myself. When I’m out there on the road, living and writing and seeking and growing, and I meet those people who inevitably want a one sentence answer to the what are you doing question, what I’ll say is that I’m building my home.