Adventure, and, ode to the partner left behind

There’s an old, handwritten quote on my refrigerator. I put it there years ago, and there it still sits–as pertinent today as ever:

“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy.”

-Sir Richard Burton, Zanzibar

He continues:

“Excitement lends unwonted vigour to the muscles, and the sudden sense of freedom adds a cubit to the mental stature. Afresh dawns the morn of life; again the bright world is beautiful to the eye, and the glorious face of nature gladdens the soul.”

I think of this quote every time I scheme adventure, every time I yearn for adventure, every time I actually set forth. With tomorrow’s super-early departure looming large,  I definitely feel that sense of freedom, the fresh dawn of life, the expansion of the soul. With every loose end that I tie up, I feel one more trapping of habit slipping away–at least for the next three weeks, when I will replace it with the habits of travel.

And yet, home is not a Slavery. I do escape from it often–I’m sure James and many of you think way too often–but it’s not a Slavery.

These little adventures of mine are how I make life so sparkly. These forays into spontaneity, into nature, into exploration, into the unknown, give everything a lasting glow. The light from the bright world of adventure dazzles everything about life; home is precious because I have the choice, and I choose to come back.

I am so, so thankful to have people in my life who put up with my particular kind of crazy, who realize that this constant need to leave and return makes me who I am, that the fact that I can adventure is what truly makes my soul happy.

The last few days, I’ve been so giddy. So happy, in fact, that I almost wonder why I’m leaving. But it’s exactly because I’m leaving that I’ve been so excited. It’s because I’m about to embark into the unknown that I’ve been so happy with what I have here. And three weeks from now, having tasted deeply of adventure, I will come back to my home, my love, my rock–full.

I may be crazy. But I don’t know how else to be.

And I’m so fricken psyched about life right now.

So I’m off. I won’t have internet access and I don’t much plan to use my phone, but enjoy the Portland spring for me and I’ll catch you all in a few weeks:)

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