Yesterday I heard my parents talking about a post in the Panamerican Travelers forum. In it, a member had asked a question. To sum it up, he asked whether anyone on the forum had concluded that overlanding wasn’t their “cup of tea” after doing it for a while. In response, our friend James (also an owner of an XPCamper) had responded:
“[Overlanding] has sublime moments of awe and beauty, but they shimmer away, never quite tangible; as we arrive, see and leave. No chance for us to make our mark and truly become part of the world through which we pass. A series of one night stands where we kiss and tell with Instagram then leave at dawn.”
As I thought about his comment I remembered that James (and his wife Claire) are on a really long worldwide overland journey. We are on a much shorter 14-month journey from Colorado to Ushuaia. And although I admit that I have a tendency to mope in the back seat of the truck as we drive from place to place, I am more than happy with the one night stands that we have had. For me, these one night stands (and typically multi-night stands) have enabled me to have some of the most amazing adventures and to visit some of the most amazing places in the world.
In addition, the journey has given me space and time to think about my dreams and even purpose. And perhaps most importantly, it has enabled me to develop a shared story with my parents that we will never forget and which will become part of the foundation of our future relationship. Perhaps this is one of the benefits of a shorter (1 – 2 year) trip. You don’t feel like your entire life, or a big chunk of it, has become a series of one night stands. Instead, a shorter trip can give you the opportunity to explore the world and yourself and, perhaps, to come up with a plan about how you can make future trips more meaningful by making them a more integral part of your broader life and using them to give something back to the world. Do I sense a Salty Dog?