Inspiration for Long-distance Travel
Way back in 1983, I was doing what most struggling young freelancers do: taking on a succession of projects, destroying old passions by turning them into businesses, and trying to make enough money to stay afloat. My lifestyle had become suburban, and as I clattered around my boring acre in an itchy haze of midwestern pollen and lawnmower smoke I wondered what had gone wrong. "Freelancing" was an illusion; I was chained to my desk and deep in debt like everyone else. Stuck.
|Worse, change, evolution, and growth had begun to sound like vague counterculture concepts instead of the basic objectives of daily living.Where had all my passions gone? One afternoon I listed them: writing, adventure, computer design, ham radio, bicycling, romance, learning, networking, publishing... each of these things had at one time or another kept me up all night in a delicious frenzy of fun and giddy intellectual growth. Yet my reality had become one of performing decreasingly interesting tasks for the sole purpose of paying bills, supporting a lifestyle I didn't like in a house I didn't like in a city I didn't like. I had forgotten how to play. Could it still be possible to construct a lifestyle entirely of passions, or was losing the spark a sadly inevitable part of growing up?
Combining the passions in my list and abandoning all "rational thought," the obvious solution was to simply equip a recumbent bicycle with ham radio and computer gear, establish a virtual home in the nascent online networks, and travel full-time while writing and consulting for a living.