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Counting down

December 2, 2009

I sit here in a glorious stupor when I should be doing anything but. In a little over 24 hours I will be departing for Los Angeles (or El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula to use its original title) where I will begin a three month journey around North America. My backpack lies empty on the floor with various articles of clothing scattered around it. On the table sits my satchel, the only thing I’ve packed thus far, containing travel essentials: passport, travel documents, iPod, reading material, diary, travel guide.

Ideally this blog will document my travels, and where appropriate, deliver them à la Kerouac (a style I deem fitting given my location and activities – driving across the West). Whether I can manage this remains to be seen, due in part to the potential for internet and also in part to my obsessive need to continually redraft everything. Nevertheless, some semblance of textual recording will take place. The idea of turning an unending, essentially random thing such as existence into prose with a beginning, middle and end is something that fascinates me (not to mention the selectivity of memory, the influence of past experiences on said memory, etc etc – a blog entry in itself).

The Great American Road Trip is a romantic idea that appeals to an intrinsic need to keep on discovering. It was this need coupled with the belief that such discovery would lead to new and better things that drove the pioneers of the 17th and 18th centuries, or the explorers who came before them. However, to boil it down to the simple need to discover is spurious. Ultimately, what is it we wish to discover? Other cultures, other ideas? Or perhaps discover soi-même, through isolating ourselves from the mundane and everyday. Am I in fact searching for this new and better something? Is my expensive travel habit nothing more than a subconscious quest to fulfill an unknown lack of something? Or do I just want to get wasted in Vegas?

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