I recently read an article posted by a colleague called “Wanderlust – The Fuel For My Soul” It is very well written and stirred up the “change in the wind” innervation I generally have before saddling up my bike and making an abrupt exit stage left. Wanderlust…it’s a word I use frequently, I even have a slot for it to be tattooed on my body… a word that makes sense to me. It’s a condition I live with. She asks herself in the article if there is a “cure” for wanderlust, and that, is what got me to thinking.
Wandering….what a concept! When I dropped out of the rat race in 2013, I sincerely had NO idea where I was headed or what I was doing. I mean, there was a loose plan; but in all honesty, I was flying blind. Now here I sit in the fresh ka ka diaper of 2017, just two days old, and I am still unsure, still navigating with a makeshift plan, a concept, an idea…hell man, I’m still just wandering. As I reflect back over the adventures I’ve had with Mrs. R (my wife,) and Mina (my motorcycle) in 2016, I realize…turning my back on traditional society, thumbing my nose at the North American ideals, embracing the wanderlust, leaping unafraid (seriously scared actually) into the unknown and blazing my own trail was the sanest thing I have ever done…
.. sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and it’s not? It’s clearly, albeit somewhat foggy, night? The Little Drummer Boy is making like John Bonham and playing Moby Dick on your frontal lobe? Have you ever woken up in your own bed, but it’s not? You’re clearly, albeit somewhat foggily, in Bangkok? It must have been the eggnog, ya? When your last clear memory is sitting in Chili’s in Calcutta eating chicken wings… Then wham, bam, thank you ma’am…Merry Christmas from Thailand……what to do, what to do, what to do? Suck it up, grab a shower and go to the night market, dude!
Our arrival at Keoladeo National Park aka Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan,was a bit of a kerfuffle…that is to say it got our feathers in a ruffle…rather apropos. The hotel is inside the park and the bird militia stationed at the gate wanted an entry fee, so we could get to our hotel…in the park….and a parking fee….to park, at our hotel…in the park.
It came through a fog, droning, haunting, somehow very familiar, yet completely unknown to me, melodic, dreamy…a sitar, a tabla…in my bedroom? As consciousness came to me, I realized what it was. My alarm. The one I use for gentle awakenings, the awakenings that you know the night before are going to hurt. Like this one, 4:10 am…time to get up; today we are off on another bike adventure.
The first order of business while heading south along Quintana Roo C1, was to gawk at the cruise ships. They truly are a marvel. I’m not a cruise guy myself, but they sure are something to look at. The downside to cruise ships of course, if you’re staying in the vicinity of a port area, is that as soon as they dock and the hordes of cruisers come ashore all lathered in suntan lotion, sporting straw hats and dark sunglasses in Hawaiian shirts and khaki shorts, clicking everything that moves with their Nikons (yep, I’ve been known to don this veneer myself…too often in fact), the prices in all the shops tend to triple.