Now that we're 13 days into our 180 day road trip, it's starting to feel like we're on a vacation, yet at the same time, I find myself getting into a groove.
We left San Diego on April 25th, and since then spent 3 nights in Yuma, 1 night in Ajo, 7 nights in Tucson, and 1 night in Lordsburg. Tonight is our first of seven nights in Las Cruces.
It feels like a vacation in that we're experiencing new places, new people, new roads, and continuously dealing new sets of variables as we roll into a different town and take up quarters in a new room. And I like that lifestyle, where my world is in a constant state of change and adventure and I have to figure everything out. It's like being handed a newly scrambled Rubik's Cube and having to put it all back together.
But there's also a small set of things that remain constant.
Our motorcycles are always the same. The clothes we brought, our laptops, and each other, are always with us. The little book that a friend gave me and Sash's pink Hello Kitty blanket, are reminders of home.
"It's starting to feel like we live here", I said to Sash as we waited at a stop light in Tucson, the day before we were set to leave. "I can't wait to get back on the road".
"Funny", she said. "I was just about the say the same thing."
Once we've figured out how all the roads in any given city connect, along with going to the same bar and coffee shop two or three times, and when all the mystery seems to have vanished, that's when we know it's time to leave.
|The Maverick Room, Lordsburg, NM|
But there's a certain psychology that goes into it also.
I don't think Sash and I have ever dug our roots into any place. I mean, my family moved all over Southern California when I was a kid. Just when I started to feel like I belonged somewhere, we'd move. Sash was the same, except she moved more frequently than I.
And there's that sense of not belonging to any family or group of people. Getting passed along from one set of step-parents to the other, not getting the pat-on-the-back from our fathers, or the attention and nurturing from our mothers, leaves an emptiness in you that can't seem to fill. You want so much to be loved and liked, but at the same time, you're angry from the abandonment and abuse of your youth, it makes it difficult to keep friends.
That anger also rises between Sash and I, often from the littlest of things. We take up our respective defensive positions and let the words fly. Afterwards we realize that we're not angry at each other, it's just those old demons haunting us. Even though we're the only ones who understand each other, it's still hard to escape from the traumatic experiences of our pasts.
Often, I feel like a ghost that wanders the highways. I don't stay for too long in any one place for fear that I'll only cause trouble and make people regret that I ever walked into their lives. If anything, they'll only catch me in the corner of their eye, and when they turn their head to get a better look, I'm gone.
|Kitt Peak, Arizona|
Perhaps that's part of what has kept Sash and I together thus far. Perhaps that's what has put us on motorcycles. Maybe this whole trip is some kind of calling we have to answer before we can take the next step in our lives.
The road trip is more than just a vacation.
It's like we're stripping away the facade, getting naked in the proverbial sense, and forcing our inner children to grow up and make critical decisions. We're literally deep into nowhere, in the middle of nothing, with no one but ourselves to rely on. I can't wait to discover the man inside me.
|Highway 80, Arizona|
|Highway 80, Arizona|
So now we're in Las Cruces. I can't wait to check out downtown and the Old Mesilla area. I've already looked up the local brewery and taprooms. We've already asked people for recommendations on the nightlife. It should be a fun week.