For me, it's the eve of the road trip. My flight is in two hours, and I am so excited I can taste it. Zoo Broker and I have taken two legendary road trips before, and I'm certain this one will contain most of the usual elements that I remember fondly:
- Uncertain destinations (check!)
- Lots of photo-ops
- Some ridiculously inebrious evenings
- Perhaps double mileage versus previous trips (3,000+ miles this time around)
- Meaningful, probing conversation
- New people with interesting stories weaving into ours
- Potentially embarrassing moments
- Incredible discoveries only found via an open mind and no agenda
- Deep, satisfying exhaustion
And that's just for starters.
On our first road trip, I was in a tumultuous emotional state, having just achieved a separation from things in spirit and a material sense. OK, I was a fucking mess. The open road, the time with a kindred and encouraging spirit really was pivotal at that time in my life. You know, being a spammer is hard. No one understands you, nor wants to...
The second time around, I was in much a better headspace. I was participating in an art show (about artful spam, of course) and topped off the tail end with a trip from Sonoma County to Yosemite to LA and back to San Francisco. Great trip, better off in the old chestbox.
This time around, I'm even stronger having hit my 100,000,000 email goal. Feeling really accomplished. And my neighbors haven't even caught on yet... So fun.
Stage being set, now it's time to take off my game face and get down to the serious business of disconnecting, relaxing and doing some social spamming on the road. You know, face to face.
Goals: Yes, it's good to define your goals before embarking on anything worth spending your time doing... I always start here.
- See states I have never visited before
- Meet interesting people
- Expand my limits - release more silly inhibitions
- Make art - work on my night photography
- Enjoy the awesome conversations with Zoo Broker
- Eat delicious red meat, and more delicious things
- Post a whole bunch of stuff along the way with minimal effort
Expectations: None. Expectations are a tool of the devil (in whom I don't believe, but it's fun to invoke him).
Destination Unknown: It's not the destination, it's the journey.
Based on this simple guiding principle, we have crafted our road trip as an uncrafted journey. Our arrival and departure at Denver Airport and my first night's stay are the only planned waypoints. The rest has been dreamed about, but not planned. Whether we head towards Kansas or Vancouver tomorrow morning is decided when Zoo Broker gets in the Jeep in the morning.
It's important to enjoy the present. Road trips are a wonderful way to get in the now. Every mile behind you is in the past, each mile ahead is in the future, but the only place you are is where you are - in the present.
Not planning leaves the tiller free to follow the decisions made in the moments that matter. So we embrace the spirit of freedom and living in the present by deliberately making decisions on the fly.
The interesting thing I remember from our last two trips is how everything becomes a mashup in the present. But somehow the past always gets solved and left behind to stay where it belongs. The long miles, good tunes and two overactive intelligent minds always make for new revelations and interesting new experiences. Like when we went to our favorite watering hole in LA... I turned on my audio recorder and put it on the table, which we shared with about 8 other locals. One fellow's head swiveled after a few minutes and he asked me directly, "Is that thing recording?"
I replied, "Yes."
His neck was very muscular and large. He was an imposing man. "Why are you recording this?"
I replied simply, "For me."
His eyes narrowed, "are you a reporter?"
"For who?" (Grammar wasn't his strong point - he is from NJ)
"Wha?" He reaches over and takes the recorder off the table. "My name is XXXXX and my agent's name is XXXX. This is an unauthorized recording and I do not give permission for it to be reproduced in any form without my express written consent. My lawyer's name is XXXX."
And then he passes the recorder to his friend, who repeats this performance with his own deets. Repeat four more times. Guy #1 gently puts it on the table, looks up at me and says, "Let's drink!"
The rest of the evening is unpublishable, but hilarious; some of it is swimmingly lost in erased memories. But my photo hand was strong. I gots the pixels from that night.
Remember to focus on what's happening now. It's the journey, not the destination.
-- Sir Arthur SpamZalot written in Newark airport, flight leaves in 2 hours