I have always loved walking in the woods and I have never seen a trail that I didn’t have to know where it went. I have never seen an animal I didn’t want to see closer. I have always loved tales of exploring the unknown and finding out what is out there (mostly tales from Doctor Who and Star Trek).
When I got older, I had to support myself working full time and I had no time or energy to spare. I then went through a period of depression where I lost interest in things that used to bring me joy. I was tired all the time and I no longer was sure I knew what I wanted out of life. I was without direction. I finally started to come out of it only to find that I hated my job and most of the people I worked with. Returning to my childhood memories, I started to miss my adventures among the trees. More and more I began to dream of simply walking out and escaping society. I was rapidly getting to the point that I was so dissatisfied with my life that living on the streets was preferable – even if just for a change of scenery.
There is something exciting about spontaneity when you have no plan and are not one hundred percent sure you will be able to adapt in time. Planning too far ahead sucks the fun out of everything and as often as not the plans I make don’t work out anyways. Sometimes I just want to do something I have never done before. Sometimes these things carry risk.
It has been said by some that travel is the cure for worry. I don’t take it quite that far; I still find plenty to worry about on the road. Still, I have noticed that while on my trips I am usually so busy that I have little time for worry. Travelling also requires a certain degree of minimalism, and the less I have the less I have to worry about keeping track of. I also don’t have to worry as much about offending someone. If I can escape them, I can simply move on to the next town and they will never see me again. Detachment brings freedom. A restaurant owner has no choice but to deal with the health department, but someone on the move can always skip out on paying a parking ticket.
I wasn’t quite ready to just leave everything, but in 2009 I took several days off driving around Vermont. It was the first time I had driven so far alone, which was a huge step in itself. I visited Molly Stark State Park, the ECHO Aquarium, and Groton State Forest, among other places. I also visited “America’s Stonehenge” in New Hampshire.
In 2010, my only vacation days were spent up moving out and fixing up my new house. I didn’t go anywhere. In 2011 I took another drive around Vermont, climbing mount Hor and Mount Psigah in the same day. I also visited the Fairbanks Museum. In 2012, I was cheated out of my vacation when my seasonal job unexpectedly moved their schedule up, forcing me to leave my part-time job early. I still managed to visit the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in New Hampshire, but I was frustrated.
Then in early 2013, I was fired for no good reason, cheated out of my house in an incomprehensible legal dispute the same month, and had to move back in with my parents who had since moved to Florida. I finally had the time to explore, but no money, and I missed the look and feel of the northern forests. This is when the dream really began.
I still don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I am going to one day sleep overnight in every State Park in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. After that, who knows? I might explore the whole planet.
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What are your dreams?
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.