McTrip Unchained

Posted: October 7, 2013 in McTrip posts
Tags: , , , , , , ,

unchained3If you weren’t tied down to life as you know it, what would you do? If you had no job, family, mortgage, apartment, business or any other such obligation, where would you go? If you were a bird, which way would you fly?

That’s my thought process tonight. I’m as free right now as I was the day I was born. I’ve unshackled myself from most earthly obligations and am tethered to nothing. As of yesterday, 95% of everything I still own is in storage and I am now couch surfing at friends’ homes.

So, taking money out of the equation, I could do anything I want right now. I live in Los Angeles out of choice and not necessity. I work plenty of shifts in the catering biz, but I control my hours. So I could leave L.A. tomorrow and not have to give a 30-day notice to a landlord, or an employer, or a parole officer.

What an opportunity! I’ve asked a few friends in the last couple days, “What would you do if you had nothing keeping you here? What if you could do anything you want with your life, what would you do? Where would you go?” And I see their eyes light up. And I listen to them fantasize.

Then it occurs to me, it’s their fantasy. But it’s my reality. What a fricking gift!

I’m just not sure I have the balls to do it. To just set out for the great unknown and see if I stumble upon my purpose in life. And I hear the voices of my parents saying, “You need to settle down and get on with planning the rest of your life. You’re 50-years-old and you’re acting like a college kid. Jumping in the car and driving is not going to get you any closer to establishing some purpose in life.”

And there’s the issue of money. I do have one last (emergency) credit card, with a $5,000 limit and a 25% interest rate. Conceivably that could buy plenty of gasoline and a slew of hostel rooms along the way.

This fantasy road trip is not part of the middle-age reconstruction plan I’ve laid out with the help of Life Coach Laura. The plan is to resurrect my writing career, earning whatever money I can along the way, and ultimately writing a book. But I don’t see how that goal would be hindered by living the life of a wonderer. Perhaps quite the opposite.

Yesterday, my application was accepted on an apartment here in L.A. Yes, only a week earlier I backed out of another apartment because there was no assigned parking.I put everything in storage and hunkered down to wait for the perfect apartment to come along. Well, it didn’t take long. I found this one in a quaint and “sleepy” part of LA, a few miles south of Hollywood, with parking, ample room for dinner parties, and plenty of peace and quiet (it appears).

But I haven’t signed the lease yet, so as of this hour I’d only lose my deposit if I backed out. If I sign the lease, this freedom fantasy dies with my signature. The shackles are back on. The anchor is being lowered again. Who knows if I’ll ever have this blank slate available to me again.

So, I could very easily just proclaim myself a vagabond. A middle-aged gypsy. And surrender to the world and let it take me where it will.

Or I could sign a lease.

Which made me think of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”:

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

(To be continued…)

  1. Sign the lease and invite your friends and family over. They are the most important things in life. You won’t realize it until they are all gone.

  2. Diane Hansen says:

    I’ll buy a little pick-up, some ‘strike anywhere’ matches, and a gallon of Rum, some Coronitas and shirmp or whatever and we can head to Mexico for a week. I owe you a truck.

  3. Oh boy, what a conundrum you’ve in. I found my purpose on a much needed road trip! But, I also had a home to come back to. Actually considering selling everything I own and just going when my children get more settled. Sounds like bliss!

  4. troy patruno says:

    I think I say sign the lease. You will still have quite a bit of freedom for exploration/inspiration, and you can have a “home base” from where you can write about your wanderings!

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