"I'm an adventurer, looking for treasure." Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
One thing that I know about myself, after living on this earth for as long as I have: I'm a happy traveler.
I travel best on my own, I think, because that forces me to be independent. I love to travel with Corb, of course, but when we do travel, he acts as navigator, because I somehow lose the ability to read maps when I'm with another person. And yet, I've made my way to New York City by car all alone, I've traveled on my own to London and Scotland.
The first real journeys away from parents took place in high school. First for band, to Washington DC, as part of the Apple Blossom festival. They were fun, although during the first trip, I was forced to share a bed with a guy named Stench. My friend Joyce thought this was hysterical, and actually made up a T-shirt for me that read "I slept with Stench."
At the end of my senior year, I took off to see the Statue of Liberty, one night, with three other guys, at midnight. We traveled in a battered blue El Dorado that had seen better days. I went because my best/worst friend was going, and I was heartsick in love. It was a miserable trip. We reached the Statue of Liberty at around five in the morning, and then headed back home. Four smelly guys, stuck in a beaten up El Dorado. I barely paid attention to the way that we got there, although having done it dozens of times since then, it must have been 95 through Connecticut, all the way.
Besides Scotland, which I've written about in this journal (and it's a story I need to finish, someday), there was one other trip that I took on my own, right after college. I had just spent a year working in an insurance company, and had saved up enough money to get away, all by myself. I remember that I was dating Josie at the time, but Annie was only a baby, and her parents would have frowned on her going away with me like that. Still, I was in the mood to fly away, and wanted to go to Florida, so I chose Clearwater Springs, for a week.
It may have been the most uneventful trip that any college student has ever taken. I spent the week reading "The Eight," by Katherine Neville, and collected a few issues of Kirby and Lee's Fantastic Four issues. Those were, literally, the highlights.
I do remember that the hotel I was staying at had a cute front desk clerk. One night, I thought I locked my keys in my rental car, and went to the front desk to ask for help. He came out with me, and I realized when we reached the car that the back door was unlocked. It wasn't deliberate, by I'm convinced he thought I wanted to pick him up. And, maybe I did.
Of course, these past ten years, I've traveled much more than I did in my first thirty, and the majority of those trips have been on my own.
In Chicago, I was once locked out of my hotel room, wearing only my boxers and a t-shirt.
I had a date in Dayton, with a guy I met on gay.com the night before I arrived there, and he showed me the town. He drove a fast car in a loose way, and scared me to death on the highway. I ended up leaving my favorite leather jacket in the back of his car, and had to call him up, frantically, the next day, begging him to return it before my plane took off. He did, and it was the same jacket that I wore the other night to the Crossroads event. That coat has memories!
What I've discovered in my travels is that I'm not terribly picky traveler, but I do have my quirks. I don't like rooms that have weird smells (but I don't think that's really being picky). I don't like rooms that are too small, either. And also, I need to have an internet connection, wherever I go. I remember traveling to Oklahoma, after a series of tornadoes had struck, and fleeing the hotel we were staying in, just because it has lousy internet service.
I enjoy traveling, but I have a serious need to stay connected.