I am encouraged and excited, though, because if merely planning the adventure is one of my most educational experiences to date, I cannot fathom the education I am about to receive from actually living the adventure. No matter how much I have tried to prepare, I know that I am going to see, hear, do and learn things that are impossible to predict. That is the essence of travel. It forces you into unfamiliar situations and compels you to overcome any adversity and accept life as it comes.
Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action. John Muir, The Mountains of California, 1894
December 31st marks the inevitable departure date, but I am already stir crazy. Indeed, I have had the travel itch since first going to Chile in 2004; however, my lack of travel since then and the impending adventure are making this apprehension unbearable. I have loads to do before I head to South America, but why wait to start the project? To satisfy my wanderlust, I'm going to go backpacking in my own town. I know it sounds goofy, but it is a worthwhile experiment. I'm going to strap on my pack and make a trek across the Cooper River Bridge into downtown Charleston for a couple of days - a trial run of sorts.
Any body else up for the challenge? Go backpacking in your own town. Stay in a local hostel, crash on someone's couch or just head to a new part of town and explore the place you call home from a visitor's perspective. Pretend you are from somewhere else and ask the locals about their town. E-mail me (TwentyTwelves@gmail.com) or leave a comment on this post to tell me if you view things differently after the experience.
I will let you know how my mini-excursion goes.