Mediums of Travel
“Life is only about collecting as many stories as possible before you die”.
Driving South on Highway 1. A friend by my side, and two asleep in the back seat. “The Doors” had repeated the same 8 songs, going on their hundredth time. We continued our conversation over the quiet voice of Jim Morrison in the background. We had just driven down the entire Oregon coast, and much of the Northern California coast. We were on the last stretch of our week long journey, but it still had not quite hit me yet. We had seen an amazing part of our country, and having seen so much of the western states, it really feels like a have experienced something special.
I often wonder why so many people are in such a rush to travel around the world when they haven't even experienced much of the country they live in. Yeah I get it – there's cultures to be experienced and different environments to be seen, along with creations of historical significance. But there's a lot of that stateside, as well, that I feel no one here really realizes is in our own backyard.
I like to travel, but I rarely find myself straying enormous distances away from wherever I call home. It could partly be because I am too broke to afford big trips, or maybe its the guilt that bares on me when I look at the massive student loans on my bank account. It could be those things, but I also like to think it is because a lot of things that captivate me are within those bounds, and there is so much that I still have not seen or explored.
If you've ever spoken to me about travel, chances are you have heard me refer to an idea I call “Mediums of Travel”. By this I mean hobbies – my dominant mediums of travel are hunting, surfing, fishing, climbing, four-wheeling, and diving. As you can probably tell, mediums of travel are shit that gets me out of the house. Shit that pushes me to the unknown. Shit that gets me into trouble. Shit that makes me take a risk. Shit that secludes me, yet also shit that brings me closer to people. Mediums of travel are reasons I go places. They bring me somewhere, and give me a pursuit. Often times those pursuits end of omitting extremely raw experiences. Those experiences may come in the form of fixing my P.O.S 1973 Ford Bronco on a fly fishing trip in rural California, spending an entire day packing multiple bull elk out of a Montana canyon, or maybe attempting to surf the unsurfable just because its there.
Traveling to sight-see is not something that I am opposed to in any way. I would be thrilled to go anywhere new and interesting, despite what I might be doing there. And I know that there are many opportunities that present themselves when just traveling to travel. I just often find myself establishing a reason to do so. Often times those exploits may even lead to an additional endeavor. If I am going to spend any money to go somewhere, you can bet that I am going to want a decent story out of it.
I have experienced so much of the western states due to the exploits of my hunting life. I can thank my other obsession of surfing for my travel down much of the west coast – surfing, along with the wanderlust of some like-minded friends. I've been to some far more foreign places, as well, but I rarely find them interesting to talk about because I never received experiences like I did on the previously mentioned travels. One thing that I am proud to say made my limited travels so significant was that they were always on the path less traveled. I have seen the back country, felt the cold, been miserable, met unlikely characters, had things go wrong, and made some stories. Sometimes even traveling my home state of California brings me to the most foreign places.
As we pulled back into Nevada, on the last day of our spring break, our conversation still ensued. One thing that my friend had mentioned was the phrase “Life is only about collecting as many stories as possible before you die”.