Monday, December 4, 2017

I fear I’m losing...

my Mojo for this Wandering lifestyle. 

After my most recent trip to Europe, I’ve been feeling B.B. King Bluesy. I’m worried that the Thrill is Gone. 

With barely a break in the action, I had to come up with a feasible game plan for my upcoming South America trip. 

In a few weeks, I’ll be traveling to Peru to do another trekking route to Machu Picchu. Then a National Geographic (read crazy pricey) ten day guided tour to the Galápagos Islands. Seven of those days will be spent on a boat. (I get seasick looking at a glass of water). 

When all this planning began, I was thinking I’d stay in Ecuador for a month. That was very ambitious with my present mindset. Currently, I don’t have it in me to figure out the how, when and where. I’ve had too many visions of asking for a table for one, getting on buses where my seat mates might be a chicken or worse a pickpocket, or spending too much time alone again in a country where English is a second or third language. I’ll be returning to the US right after seeing Darwin’s Islands. 

Am I running out of gas? Yes, in many ways I am. I’m getting tired of being my own travel agent and going it alone. 

It’s a couples world. I would love to have someone to share the misery of delayed flights, rental car ripoffs, eating lost in translation meals and the joy of going around a roundabout four times until you figure out which exit to take. I need more input than what I’m providing for myself.

Remember the origin of the word travel comes from travail for unpleasant work or torment or labor. It’s not always Joy!Joy! Happy!Happy! out there. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not nauseatingly terrible either. It would be beyond swell to share the hike to get there views, the quiet campfires, the chillin’ with a book moments, the coffee in hand sunrises or the IPA in koozie sunsets with a like-minded woman. 

I hinted at all the above in a blog not so long ago.

On my recent visit to my old hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado I even glanced at Real Estate listings. Is it time for me to settle down?

I don’t know. 

After South America, I’ll return to the United States of Dark Ages, I’ll hang in Florida with my brother and sister-in-law. Eventually, I’ll go on a road trip in the Sunshine State. Then back to the Southwest to begin another three month lap in Barley the Van. In that yearly quarter, I think I’ll figure out whether I’m going through the motions of Wandering and Wondering or am I still Living the Dream. 

Maybe I just need a recharge.

Many decades ago, I took a winter vacation to check out Guadalupe National Park in Texas. When I pulled into a Trailhead parking lot, I noticed an older gentleman sitting in the doorway of his Winnebago RV. His head was cupped in his hands. When I returned from my four-hour hike, he hadn’t moved. He was lonely. He wasn’t a Happy Camper. 

I don’t want this scene to repeat itself with me.

I’m hoping for the best of outcomes,

PS. I’ll be in Scottsdale, AZ until December 18th. Of course, I’ll be shopping! NOT! 


  1. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  2. Hang in there.. maybe temporary lull.. maybe not.. everything always is changing..flexibility as you are probably well aware is the key.. and and open mind.. have fun in the Galapagos!

    1. Working on it.
      If I were the social animal you are, I’d be around 1,000,000 people on each hike!

  3. Jeff - your experience mirrors our recent travel experience. The problem is more than not having a traveling companion, for as you know, Jenny and I are each others best friends. As I read your blog today, I found myself muttering “Yes, yes, yes!”

    During the 25 years that Jenny and I have been together we have been fortunate to travel on a regular basis. Like you, some of our trips have been somewhat lengthy. You might recall that about 5 years ago, Jenny and I spent a wonderful seven months backpacking in Europe and Asia. Two years ago, when we were with you in Cusco, we had a peak experience. And, no, it was entirely because of your presence! Hiking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a deeply spiritual experience. Your company was icing on the cake. When we left Peru, we planned to go to Columbia and Spain with the intention of spending three months learning Spanish. In seemingly no time, we discovered that we were feeing a bit down. We blamed it on letdown from the peak experience we had hiking on the Inca Trail. So, after a few weeks we cut our trip short and returned home to San Diego.

    It turns out that the problem was not just our fast descent from our Machu Picchu high.

    A year and a half ago we bought a small RV. We intended to use it to travel up the west coast to Alaska and to explore national parks in the U.S. We loved the RV, but discovered that we really didn’t enjoy being bus drivers. We also began to question the miles we needed to travel to see sights we could often appreciate by looking at pictures (you’ve shared some great ones) or movies other people have taken. So, after less than a year, we sold the RV.

    Last June, we again headed back to Europe. This time we planned for three months of travel. Although we enjoyed the trip, it didn’t feel all that special. Not long into the trip, we found ourselves questioning why we were behaving like vagabonds instead of sinking roots into our home community.

    While we still enjoy engaging with from other lands, we have concluded that we really need to immerse ourselves into the business of becoming an integral part of a community at home. Our long trips have interfered with being able to do so.

    So, the bottom line for us is that Travel has lost much of its luster.

  4. Busier than I've been for years, organizing a group working for missions in the U.S. and abroad. Perhaps you'd find both travel companions and a larger community if your travel were combined with service. If you were an engineer, I'd suggest Engineers without Borders. Don't know if there's a Firefighters without Borders, but maybe there's a Jewish good cause somewhere that would be a good fit. We support Rick Hodes M.D.'s work on tuberculosis of the spine in Ethiopia, through the JDC here. If you haven't heard of him, there's a documentary, "Making the Crooked Straight", about him and his work.

  5. Enjoy your trip. When you come back, look into some service orgs that travel too. I'm betting you might find one.

  6. I really appreciate your honesty on your blog. I kinda know what you mean - travel is wonderful and it's always been such a privilege. But maybe that's because I knew it couldn't last. Now that I have a lot more 'free' time (I'm still on my hyper-extended sabbatical), I'm really missing feeling like I'm doing something meaningful, something for other people, rather than just myself. I'm rooting for you to find that meaning, and for that partner, too!