For those that find a life on the road, there exists no reason, not a single cause for the vagabonding way. It is just a fact of being for people like me: a predestined way of life.
I never remember being homesick. Not once as a tousle-headed little human did I cry for home or even want it. I had an uncanny ability to sleep anywhere, from under dinner tables to on top of rocks, and a dangerous tendency to wander off in strange places. I grew up on planes and in cars. My family didn’t appreciate lazing in resorts so our vacations took on distant escapades, remote hikes, and any other explorations my father dug out of his imagination.
But, it wasn’t the trips I went on or the wonderful memories I hoard from them that made me this way. It was the feeling that infected me every time I climbed into the car or bumped my suitcase across the tiles of an airport: a feeling of ecstasy. It was freedom that turned me dizzy and impossibly light with the promise of the world at my fingertips. Traveling is never a quickly ending delusional escape from life. For me traveling is life, the way I will live, the only way I can.
Every time I leave and spin into a new land, I am gloriously stripped of labels and stories. The past cannot be held onto any more than home can be packed into a suitcase. It is a vivid distillation of self, a stripping of ego that forces you to wear nothing but yourself. Not hidden behind jobs, titles, money, materials or distorted by judgments. Unchained from labels, an utter liberty to live truly begins. One simply lives, unpreoccupied by being or not being this or that. The world pops into clarity, set afire with endless possibilities.
Leaving is not an escape, but the only way to feel completely present: here. Wherever that may be, under brilliant starry skies, fiery suns, deserts, mountains, oceans, bustling streets, and quiet cobblestone alleys.
Traveling is truth. I don’t have wanderlust. I lust for reality. A beautiful mess of humanity and raw nature, all waiting for me to dance and twist into every crack and inhale it deeply into my soul: the wildness, the uptightness, the injustice, the kindness, the impossible, the evil, the breathtaking, the happy, the tears, absolutely everything.
My traveling is a mad drive to live. Drinking up wildly all I can before the clock’s ticking ends. So I throw my arms wide as I rush into the world, embracing the vast unknown, giving it my fate to do with it what it will.
I leave home because for people like me there is no home but everywhere. We carry home in our souls while endlessly searching, trying to behold a life worthy of living.
So I leave.
You can probably find LJ Dawson in the rocky mountains or in the red rock deserts. She spends her days in the sun and nights under the stars. Missoula living and Colorado grown.