With so much focus on my film company lately, travels have been fewer and further between than I would like to admit. An opportunity arose recently, however, that rejuvenated my adventuresome spirit...
One of my dear friends, a Dutchman, whom I've adventured with in the past was making his first trip to the USA since I last saw him here nearly a decade ago. Full of spirit, he declared he would fly to Utah to ski, drive to Portland, Oregon and south along the coast into California, after which they would make their way to Yosemite, before taking a puddle-jumper to Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
Knowing I'm not one to easily turn down a road trip or a reunion, he lobbied for me to join him for the entire trip. At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to join him at all since I'm entering a bit of a high season for filmmaking (aka summer in Colorado), but life is short after all, and this entire blog is based on the premise that one should take the opportunities life lays before you, especially those which are travel-related.
I negotiated to join up with him and some others for the coastal portion of the journey, since I had not seen my friend in over seven years, and I had never been to Oregon and always wanted to see the Redwoods. Once again, this planet surprised me, opened my eyes yet again, and our entire journey was full of wonder.
The Oregon Coast left me particularly impressed. The only other time I had been equally impressed by the landscape was when I first explored my way through coastal Thailand. The combination of cliffs, monoliths, and ocean resonates with the rhythm of my heartbeat in ways explained only by feelings I don't know how to share. Yet, the Oregon Coast, home of The Goonies, sits in a category of its own.
I felt a bit like I was living the movie. Here we were- four random friends from different parts of the world, adventuring together, and searching for some treasure that would set us free. Showing the movie to my foreign friend while journeying through the very place it was filmed allowed me to watch it anew. The sites themselves were the key to the freedom my wanderlusting spirit craved, and the comradery earned along the way added to my stockpile of grandpa stories I'll tell one day to eye-widened youth.
The site of us walking through the forest must have appeared to The Redwoods as a bee might to us- zipping by our line of site on a sunny day, swiftly on its way toward a much sooner end, most likely never to be seen again. Their very size and age put all other lively things into uncommon perspective.
I was dealt with a deft reminder of why we all need to travel way more than we think we do or make time for. I don't mean to some resort vacation. That satisfies a different need and is more like a wet bandaid on a self-inflicted societal injury that will do nothing to satisfy the soul. We humans are meant to experience awe.
This is why we create art to share our interpretation of the world around us. This is why we create boats to sail across seas. This is why we climb mountains to look at the world far below. This is why we create lens and telescopes to and rockets to explore the things we don't understand. Travel is experience and awe. Humans crave these things.
Don't hesitate another moment; buy a ticket to anywhere and go be awed. The reward always outweighs the costs.