About My Addiction and Next Trip
I’m just going to go ahead and get this outta the way now; I’m an addict, and have been since the early ’90s. My addiction is severe and absolute, and with any luck at all, I’ll never be able to overcome it.
It all started back in 1992 with an innocent trip abroad to study at a university in Moscow. It was here that I discovered what would become my all-consuming addiction; this new experience, it like, opened my mind, man, it like totally heightened my awareness.
I was instantly hooked, and no amount of justification or self-chastising could make me quit.
“Alright,” I’d say to myself, “This one last trip, and that’s it. One more time and then I’m goin’ legit.”
Then I’d go on another trip and of course it was followed by the guilt and another stern self-talking to.
“C’mon,” I’d growl, “keep yer feet on the ground! Put that useless college degree to use somehow! At least make an effort to make the ‘rents proud!”
It was no use, however, and these days I’ve just accepted that I may never shake my travel addiction.
As I’ve said to my parents a million times over to justify my wanderlust, “There are worse things I could be addicted to!”
The idea for this trip was hatched after I’d researched the Appalachian Trail and realized the potential for danger; there seemed to be quite a bit of crime along the trail, and my plan was to stay in-country to save the ‘rents some worry. I was neither surprised nor disappointed with this information; I’ve long thought my own country was far more dangerous than most places I’ve been (I’ve never seen a civilian swagger by with a gun sticking out the top of his pants anywhere else but in front of my own house), and this way my love affair with the far East could be rekindled with complete justification.
The Appalachian Trail out, my ponderance was, “Now, where in Asia could I go on a long hike?”
The Great Wall of China. Of course. Certainly thousands of people had hiked the wall, just like so many people had conquered Everest. Like I said in my second post, however, that wasn’t the case…and it made the trek all that more intriguing.
Although I prefer to travel on my own (I’m not anti-social, but the freedom of going where you want when you want makes things far easier), an 1,800 mile trek wasn’t anything I wanted to do alone.
A few people seriously considered, committed, and then dropped out. It wasn’t until I went to Vegas last summer for an old college friend’s wedding that I found a real sucker…I mean, taker.
My old pal Ig (aka Robert England) waxed nostalgic about his own travels and coveted my next adventure. As we stood looking down at the lights of Vegas from The VooDoo lounge 51 floors above the city and sipping on a $25 drink bubbling with dry ice, Ig’s fate was sealed.
The Great Wall? Phhhffftttt, why not?!
I could sit here and swear to you that this will be my last trip, but alas (!!), the truth is that I’m nothing but an utterly hopeless travel junkie.