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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blending Home and Road: Metaphors Wanderlusted Men Can Understand

Photos like the one above drew (drove) me west. That such places actually existed and awaited the un-timid heart had me cutting a hole in my Springfield, Missouri "fence." I barely escaped with my life and dreams intact... before the rut got too deep, paycheck too big, paycheck too small, friends too dear, family too big, courage to small.  So I loaded up a '66 GMC pickup truck, hitched a 24 foot house on wheels to it and put Springfield in my rearview mirror like it was Sodom and Gomorrah... never looking back lest I turn to a "pillar of road-salt."

I found "home" in western Colorado, met an equally restless soulmate and tried to settle down.  But there is a duality to my personality (some would say "defect," Potato/Patahhto) that drives me to reach beyond my artistic and beautiful geographical "bird in hand," to risk Utopia... the one place that feels like "home," for something better in the "bush." "Something" I don't have a photo of, something I can't even describe, something that probably doesn't exist beyond the grey matter responsible for dreams. 

So I must take "meds" for my "condition." Without them I would be sleeping under bridges, wearing out Goodwill shoes... on the move with a bedroll over a shoulder and a dollar and change in pocket. Those "meds" allow a wanderluster to live a relatively "normal" life. What kind of meds, you ask? The House on Wheels sort, the ones that allow young-and-restless turned old-and-still-restless to escape Utopia and/or Nirvanaville every once in a while in order to rest bleeding heart eyes on... maybe even flirt with... another Utopian-ville, the kind that feels sooo good in the moment, but, like all one-night-stands, are soon regretted.  

So I'm about to take my "pill;" hit the road... flirt with "possibilities," maybe even have a fling or two with real-estate hookers in quaint villages. But I'm leaving the "anchor" at home, for there is no more dangerous lust than wanderlust. It's a merry-go-round that never stops; fun and games for a while, but eventually a ride from hell. There are reasons trees have roots. I don't like it any more than you do. However, if I'm perfectly honest, I do like to get off the go-round once in a while... stand on Lovely, familiar, and steady ground, say June through October, and for a little bit around Christmas holidays.

It's a compromise, a hearth and the road, sort of like kissing your sister. But it's where most Full Timers eventually end up, I believe. Compromise is not for "hardcores" and "purists." But surely it must cross their minds once in a while... just like the road crosses mine during long Utopian winters of discontent. 

I learned the long-way-around that most of the prettiest "girl" towns are by now either "soiled," or married with families of their own. Do I really want to start over at this age... with spoiled stepchildren, extended family that requires a cheat sheet to keep track of... at a time in my life when I've all but forgotten how to "date." I sort of have an unwritten "pre-nup" with Lovely Ouray. I can leave, but not for good.

It just wouldn't work out any other way...

I will see you again as Verizon allows... which seems to be getting worse and worse with the advent of Smart Phones (sigh). Till then,
adios, amigos...


  1. Loved this post, and by the way it's not entirely a Man thing. I feel it too... to my core. I hate with all my being that I can't at this point afford it both ways. So for now I must downsize and honor the need to gooooo. I will always have a place that I feel belonging and return, just not a sticks and bricks. Who knows what the future will bring. Thanks for the great blog!

  2. Well said, Mark, and well photographed. We, too, have the wanderlust; currently no sticks and bricks. At some point, we, too, will find a cabin, cottage or other "real" estate. For now, we are enjoying our journeys.


  3. I've been following your blog for a few months now - missing CO thru your gorgeous photos & loving your "soul" references. And NOW I discover you're a fellow SW Missourian! Hope to cross paths with you & Bobbie some time.

  4. Wanderlust knows no gender. My feet are so itchy right now, I'm even anxious to leave the canyon behind.

    Safe travels, hope to see you on the road.

    Keep the rubber down.

  5. Oh yes. I flirt with little towns and tiny houses with foundations, but I know I'll come down with an STD (Steady Travel Disorder).

  6. P.S. We're a coupla Roaming Women bloggers ourselves.

  7. I haven't found the right town, yet. When I lived in IL, I dragged my husband around to see real estate in neighboring states on weekends. I even wanted to buy a lighthouse on Lake Superior. When we would go on road trips, he always wanted to go home after two weeks, I did not. I'm thinking I want some property, but wonder if I really do. I told my daughter to keep a room for me for visiting. Have a safe trip.

  8. Beautiful photos. Great post! -Caleb

  9. Kib Explores,
    Thank you... and yes, it is more and more not a "man thing." You have "the disease," and it's side effects are wonderful :))

    Travel Bug,
    Gracious. Enjoy for now your un-real estate. Now go take your meds. :))

    I see you were in Branson, recently. Let me tell you, we used to go there in the 60's and it was nothing but a four way stop with a gas pump and bait store. Then it suddenly exploded with growth.
    Let's do meet up... but I'm afraid it will have to be here; we don't "do" Missouri anymore. I will say, however, it is pretty and climate friendly this time of year. Thanks for your kind remarks.

    And that's what I'm talking about... that no matter the heavenliness, there exists in some the need to move along. Hope we can cross paths eventually.

    Lucky Ducks,
    Ha! So that's what they call it. I'll add you to my "Roaming Women Bloggers list." If there is any other roaming women out there who want a link... let me know. You guys rock!

    A lighthouse/RV combo would be a cool lifestyle! What a great idea. Until then, that's what kids are for... a place to land. :))

    Thank you!!!
    Check your e-mail!
    Thanks for your comments... now I'm off to finish over loading Goldie. I hope she's got a strong back.

  10. You're fortunate to have found a place you enjoy living in so much. We have yet to find one, but then we aren't seriously looking. After 4 years we still have too much wanderlust in us to settle down.
    Hope you have a wonderful journey!

  11. Ah, the disease...I have the disease. Thankfully have found a mate who has it too (or manages to put up with it). Happy travels to ya!

  12. Wheeling Nina,
    I really enjoyed your "Dark Side of RVing post." Honesty in that area sometimes brings out the "dark side" of newbies and wannabes :)) at least when I write about it. Our "blended" life works only because we are fortunate to have sticks and bricks in "Switzerland of America," Lovely Ouray, Colorado. Now if I was single, I'd be a Full Timer and just camp around Ouray all summer. My fair hiking partner likes to spread out once in a while.
    It works out.
    Readers, click on "WHEELING IT" and go read "Dark Side of Rving."
    Tnanks, Nina... Here comes some more hits :))

  13. Jim And Gayle,
    One day that special place will find you...
    Don't worry tho, you can keep the Lazy Daze :))


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