“The French word for wanderlust or wandering is ‘errance.’ The etymology is the same as ‘error.’ So to wander is to make mistakes. In other words, to make mistakes, to make errors is sort of the idea of learning through trial and error, allowing the mistakes to be part of the process.” — Robyn Davidson
When I was about 22, I read a book by William Least Heat Moon called Blue Highways. It was about his journey across the backroads of the country, avoiding interstates and encountering the characters he believed you wouldn’t meet traveling the main highways, the ones marked in red on most maps. I also read Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, an account of the novelist’s 10,000-mile journey in a self-built camper with his beloved poodle Charley.
Both books captivated me. Ever since I have been fascinated by the concept of the road trip. Adventure. The unknown. Living by one’s own abilities with no agenda, no accountability to anyone but oneself…and maybe a dog. A journey of true self-discovery. Both writers felt compelled to seek answers to questions deep inside and believed the road would provide answers.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in the car. Too much. Not for fun so much but for work. Driving to Indy. Driving to Madison. Driving to Iowa, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Louisville. Downtown. Downstate. Up north. Middle-of-nowhere.
Odyssey / noun/ od-ys-sey/an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest; an odyssey of self-discovery; a spiritual odyssey from disbelief to faith.
At some point I decided life on the road was not worth it, at least under the circumstances in which I found myself. Too much time away from family. I missed out on important moments in the lives of my kids and the people I cared about. In fact, it felt as though I was living separate lives.