To Roam Again

 

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.

The road called me when I was just a boy. Only 12, I took my savings and bought a ticket away. Before I’d even made 100 miles, I was taken off the bus and spent a night in a cell. It was three more years before I could finally make my escape.

I traveled free then, for the first five years hitchhiking. I developed a philosophy of travel within the first year. It had four main components.

The first was to count my blessings. I learned to be thankful even when I had nothing and sang a chant every day, “Thank you for this day”.

Next, I learned to see myself at my destinations. Although I wandered aimlessly, I knew where I was going and placed myself there. There was no hurry to arrive but I rarely waited more than five or ten minutes for a ride.

The third tenet was to be indifferent. It didn’t matter to me that people drove by. I told myself, “If they don’t stop, they’re not my ride.” I also didn’t ask for food or money but every day encountered deep generosity.

And finally, I took care of myself. I had food and bedding. I took my shelter where I could find it. I always had enough for each day, year after year.

Five years of hitching then five years of traveling in an assortment of vehicles on a road that led me to a mountain homestead. There I met the mother of my two children.

It’s 25 years later now and the kids are almost grown. In only a few more months, I’ll be able to take to the road again. I’ll be traveling by bicycle with my rat terrier Pippy. My route is through the upper Midwest to Quebec for the summer then South. From Niagara Falls to Igauzu Falls.

This blog is the diary of that journey.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. leslielee says:

    Wait, so I’m a little confused. You ran away at age 12, were caught and then spent 3 years in jail? Or 3 more years at home? So you left again and spent age 15-20 hitchhiking and homeless? I don’t mean to pry or be rude, I am genuinely curious.

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    1. pcflvly says:

      I ran away at 12, spent one night in jail, then three more years at home. I left again at 15 and hitchhiked for more than five years. I was a nomad/adventurer rather than homeless though. It was a spiritual journey very similar to the Hindu idea of Sannyasa, to “renounce worldly and materialistic pursuits and dedicate their lives to spiritual pursuits”. During that time, I met many other ascetics and even met the Dalai Lama. It’s thirty years later now and I’m still trying to make sense of it all so please pry and ask me many more questions. Also, thank you so much for making the first comment on my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. leslielee says:

        Okay, I’m interested. Would you be willing to do a written interview for my blog? My blog, as you probably know by now, is based on the concept of being an outsider and alternative ways of living and understanding the world. You would be the first that I interview. I plan to conduct interviews once a week or every other week. The goal I have for my blog is ambitious; I want to have many subscribers someday, so you would have to be willing to potentially at some point have many people read your interview. It would be a creative interview that holds true to the spirit of my blog. I think you’d be a great fit. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in.

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      2. pcflvly says:

        Yes, I’d love to participate.

        Like

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