Haight's Wanderings - is an idea that I have been playing with for some time. The idea that wandering and traveling without purpose is who I am, and that allowing things to happen organically offers wonderful rewards.
Spontaneity. Unrestrained curiosity. Marching to the beat one's own drum. Wandering free and bold.
I once flew into Lima, Peru with a backpack and two weeks of unplanned, unorganized, chaos ahead of me. I remember sitting down in the Lima airport right outside the custom's gate and thinking about my life plan and much more immediately my current plan for the impending next two weeks. It was hot and dusty with a rank South-American-aroma permeating the area. Leaning against the airport windows I pulled out my Lonely Planet - South America on a Shoe-string budget - guide book and decided my next plan of action.
For some people that very idea is cause for extreme anxiety - arriving in a foreign country with no plan and no idea what to do. Yet for me it was a liberating and challenging experience that helped me grow into the man I am today. Eventually I found out the language they spoke in Peru (kidding, I knew that one!), the currency they used, and the other relevant information to hailing a taxi and finding the nearest bus terminal. I had decided in that last half hour sitting against the glass to visit Machu Picchu - Because, why not? It sounded like a fun idea. Needless to say I was not aware of the 20+ hour bus ride that it would take or the other misadventures in front of me. But, in hindsight, those were just parts of the wandering that took place.
Fast forward a few years and I am happily married, teaching Spanish in a wonderful community, and living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan continuing to enjoy that wandering-free-joy that I experienced in that hot dusty airport terminal.
Fishing from my kayak in remote lakes, rivers, and streams is a beautiful experience as I am constantly exploring with a fresh set of eyes. Fishing in new areas allows me that pleasure of being in new places and trying new things. Could I go to different areas and catch more, better, larger fish with more frequency? Yes. Definitely! But, traveling and trying new places keeps me constantly fresh and excited about what is just around the next bend.
Sometimes this lack of preparation and planning backfires. I was once mugged at knife point when I decided to take a sunset stroll rather than take a taxi in Quito, Ecuador. Here this last summer I accidentally took my kayak through a more extreme set of rapids than I expected and lost a few hundred dollars worth of equipment and heaping quantities of my pride. This adventure is documented on my YouTube page if you care to see it. Click this link to visit that video https://youtu.be/Nf3ESrJQghc
At this point, I've still yet to describe the inspiration for the actual wording of the name. I borrowed "wandering" from my favorite poem written by J.R.R. Tolkein in The Lord of the Rings. The poem goes as follows...
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
The first quatrain of this poem speaks to my soul - Mi alma aventurera. Specifically the second line, "Not all those wander are lost" means volumes to me. The path we take is our own. The destination is not always the goal; the journey there is half the fun. This path that my wife and I travel has purpose and meaning; we are not lost.
Look for my future blog posts detailing our upcoming trip to Africa and my upcoming adventures fishing in our beautiful neck of the woods.
Catch. Release. Wander. C'est la vie. Pura vida. Carpe diem.