The Wandering Itch

There are so many quotes, movies, songs, books, people- doing rounds in my head that just tell me to throw away every worry of the future, and just live- now. Today. In this moment. And I’m sure  you must know quite a few of them already. And writing this I feel a longing, for something I have experienced in my dreams and only fleetingly in reality; and yet it is something I can almost define.

Did you ever get that feeling, that cliche kind of feeling,  the one you only hear people talking about and very few experiencing? When you want to run off, out of the house, down a hill, up a mountain, to that heavenly beach, or a veteran, gigantic tree, an old museum, that broken down archaeological dig,  the music concert you have been waiting for, book signing by the author who practically changed your life, the really famous haunted fort you told your friends you’re not scared of… Oh I could go on and on an on, and the list still wouldn’t be done. And as haphazard and impulsive as this sounds or rather reads, I have my list, albeit it just keeps growing.

Why is that, even after having all the amenities and conveniences you could ask for in one place, your feet and your head just can’t shake off that itch? Why is it that people, thousands of  years ago, walked across the globe? And they literally walked.  Was it simply a need for resources and safety? And why did they take so many different directions? Into unfamiliar territory, with nothing to guide or warn them about the manifold dangers that awaited them. And yet they pushed themselves, body and spirit, and  went on to build the greatest civilisations we have known.  Of course I don’t think I am ever going to build a civilisation, I might not even build a house for all I know! But the point is, do I want a permanent, changeless home?

I have tried to explain this to my parents. I have seen people of my age group try and bring up this topic of travelling with their family, relatives, peers and colleagues. The consequence has been a rephrasing of the same words : “Get a job, get married, settle down and then do this/It’s all hype, you have a family to look after, you have obligations and duties.” And whenever I hear this I am reminded of a friend who once said to me “people don’t settle, its mud that settles, just mud. Do you want to be  mud?” It’s true that a price of living in society is the commitments we have towards them, but what about our rights? As I see it, when we die, the checklist of duties is pretty much done over and over, and the one for our interests, hobbies and wishes remains painfully unchecked.

How do you make these conventional, weirdly content people (parents, family etc.) understand what you want from life? More importantly, what do you do when you realise that there is nothing you can to do to make them see your point of view? Do you give up settle down? After all these people, especially the older ones, have experienced. They know better, parents always know better, because they have seen the world- but have they??

I don’t know about you, but I can’t be mud, I can’t ‘settle’ down. Not before I have lived. My life. My way.  There are hundreds of places, at least, where I want to go. I want to see the oldest relics that my ancestors  made, the bluest waters that the earth has conjured, the skies where they laugh out a thousand shooting stars and auroras, soils that still remember the fight for freedom and the blood shed in the process, places where legendary movies have been shot, towns so breathtakingly beautiful that they have been called mythical abodes, caves deep and far where you can almost feel the lives long gone, trees and monuments that have somehow survived our barbarity for ages, the pavements, stations, forests, graves- all of which that inspired authors to create an altogether new world, places of worship and religion that make you want to believe in god, see architecture and creations that speak of humankind’s spirit to live, to fight, their yearning for freedom, their works which convince you that a human is no less than a god, that we are in fact divinity- and more.

And then, I want  to meet new people who shake the very foundations of my beliefs and challenge my thoughts, force me to think and evolve. And I want to go on this voyage to see the world with people who I feel are my kindred and of my choosing (family vacations don’t offer too much choice!) or wish to be wanderers, just like me.

So as I finish up this piece, I wish best of luck to me, and to everyone out there, who is trying to get a life, and make their own selves happy for a change, instead of that endless line of pessimistic people. To all of you who want to be  gypsies, even if temporarily. It’s a short life, and as they say, I’m paraphrasing here,  it’s not like you’re going to make it out alive.

P.S. This article is a tad bit dedicated to a friend, G, who has been an on and off, here and there, (Don’t ask me what that means :P)  muse for me.  The said person is also a fellow ‘dying to be wanderer’ : thus the dedication. Hope we get to do this together sometime!

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