Escaping

1. The awakening

First, it starts with a mind-numbing boredom that seeps into your life like an insidious toxin, until one day you realize you’re sitting in front of the TV watching 45 minute-long infomercials about Ab-Blasters and Flowbees. “What is the point of life?” You hear yourself say out loud. This is the dawn of your awakening; the first niggle of dissatisfaction and an early symptom of the travel bug.

2. The unavoidable discontent

You go to work and the traffic seems thicker and more aggressive than usual. You’re so over this road, these cars, this weather. You notice the faces of other commuters: tired, dazed, absent. “What’s wrong with these people?” you wonder, but then you catch sight of your own face in the mirror and it’s just as pale and dead as all the others.

3. The inspiration

Somebody at your work announces they’re quitting. “I’m going to live in London for a year,” she says, her cheeks flushing with excitement. “Fuck you,” you say quietly under your breath while smiling and congratulating her. You sit at your desk, open your email and notice a sidebar ad with a cheery message: Travel is cheaper than you think!

4. The first action

You check over your shoulder before clicking the ad. Pictures of exotic locations reflect a kaleidoscope of colors around your gray cube. You choose a destination, a continent you’ve always been fascinated by. The search engine forces you to select a date. An actual date? Oh well, you’re only playing, so you pick a date two months from now, returning in twelve months time. You discover that—wow!—the prices are, in fact, cheaper than you thought. You’ve got plenty in your savings fund, which you’d planned to spend on a bigger TV, but …

5. The out-of-body experience

You notice the cursor moving towards *Book Flight* as though manned by a Ouija Board spirit. Your fingers are entering details, name, address, phone … This is a confirmation screen. By clicking ‘Proceed’ you are committing to fly on these dates and … *CLICK*

6. The panic

Oh no—what just happened … ? You’re going to Asia in two months for a whole year? What have you done? What will your mother say? You’re so unprepared: are you supposed to take a backpack, or a rolling suitcase? You don’t know because you’ve never travelled AND YOU’RE GOING TO GET KILLED BY EXOTIC ANIMALS OR CRAZY FOREIGNERS OR SOME SORT OF BIZARRE, HORRIFYING DISEASE!! WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE!

7. The tranquility

It hits you: you’re going to Asia! Rickshaws, street vendors, foreign spices, tropical weather. You’re getting out of this place! You’re doing something incredible! This is what your life is about, you realize, this is what you’ve been missing: experience, exploring, adventure, risk. Maybe you’ll meet someone amazing? Somebody adventurous, like you? Your cheeks flush; you feel awake, truly awake. A giant, heavy burden lifts and you’re smiling now because you know that you’ve tricked the system. You’re breaking out of the matrix. All you had to do was click and now … you’re free.

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15 Response Comments

  • Kate Kyle  January 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

    a beautiful piece of writing, Torre 🙂 short and sweet*, with raising tension.
    I guess, it’s also true – the beginning of your journey.

    * perfect for my attention span

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  January 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

      Thank you, Kate. There’s nothing like a bold subhead to snap you back to attention.

      Reply
  • Bree  January 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “You’re going to Asia in two months for a whole year?” – ha ha. This is SO what I’ve done again and again in the past …

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  January 21, 2011 at 12:45 am

      Yes, this post IS you!

      Reply
  • Juan  January 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I like the way you broke it down, the easiness and casualness of your writting and the wondelful sense of humor. It’s very good becuase at some degree we have all experienced these phases.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  January 21, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Thanks for your lovely words, Juan.

      Reply
  • The Rhythm Method  January 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    The rolling suitcase or the backpack? So funny. I’m sure that goes through the mind of the fresh traveller in taking their first steps beyond the familiar safety of home.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  January 21, 2011 at 12:44 am

      I tells ya, the hours I’ve given to such complex questions as ‘the rolling suitcase or the backpack?’ Then I agonize in a similar fashion over every single item placed within said luggage vessel:
      “My favorite stylish cotton shirt, or the warm mohair Ice Breaker?”
      “The nice shampoo and conditioner, or the Pears 2-in-1?”

      Reply
  • Deb  January 21, 2011 at 12:37 am

    In my experience, there is nothing like a) booking that ticket to kick you into saving-overdrive mode and b) just doing it figuring it out along the way, most of the time you have no idea what to expect (and that’s then freaking awesome part!) – plus you don’t know who’ll you’ll inspire by going off adventuring….it’s a pretty cool thought yeah?!

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  January 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

      The booking of the ticket is where the journey begins!

      Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

      I love your post.

      Reply
  • Shawn  February 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I wonder how many people would love to do this, and can logistically make it happen…but instead change their desktop wallpaper to a beautiful shot of a beach that someone else took.

    Great post Torre and well articulated 🙂

    -Shawn (The Traveling Coubs)

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  February 25, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Nothing like mixing it up with your desktop wallpaper to scratch that travel itch. Funny.

      Reply

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