There are more people reading my blog then I had anticipated.  Apparently there are  people reading this whom I’ve never even met.  This internet thing is crazy.  I guess I’ll need to step it up a bit because there are millions upon millions of readers out there who are relying on me to get through their day and are just dying to read every word I type.  I’m popular (and have self esteem issues).

Today’s topic is adventure!  The inspiration for this topic comes from two sources that I encountered this weekend.  The first is the two Bill Bryson audio books I listened to while driving to and from Michigan.  The second is the conversations I had with friends, both old and new.  So let’s tackle each of these separately.

I have now read or listened to a few of Bryson’s books.  I was introduced to his writings by my girlfriend some months back.  She let me borrow her copy of At Home.  I was instantly hooked.  His writing style is beautifully tangential.  If there is a main topic or theme he is almost guaranteed to stray from it every chance he gets.  Since reading At Home I have listened to the audio books of In a Sunburned Country, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and, A Walk in the Woods.  The problem with listening to Bryson read two of his own books this weekend (a total of 12 hours of Bill Bryson’s voice) is that I now have his voice stuck in my head.  I had to give a 10 minute presentation in class today.  The whole time I was preparing (reading the presentation over and over again in my head) it wasn’t my voice I was hearing, it was Bill Bryson’s.  I hear his voice right now.  As I type these words I have his voice running through my head.  It’s as if he is reading my blog to me.  His books are enthralling and I intend to pick up every one I can get my hands on.

This is the voice in my head

In a Sunburned Country and A Walk in the Woods both gave me the same sort of feeling while listening to them.  They both terrified me and made me want to go out and explore the world.  He makes it sound like everything in nature wants to kill you, but that it’s cool to go tramping around in it anyway.  I haven’t been on a good road trip or gone camping in years.  I rarely ever hike or kayak anymore.  And I miss it.  I love nature, always have.  I love exploring new places, eating weird things, and sitting around a fire.  I love the feeling you get when you break through the trees and realize you just reached the summit of whatever high point you were climbing.  I love getting lost.  I love finding the perfect walking stick.  I don’t get many of those opportunities today.  I’m too busy, and I live in Iowa.  The closest thing I’ve had to adventure recently was walking to the Taqueria around the corner from my apartment.  The closest interaction I’ve had with nature has been watching a squirrel attack my car from my apartment window (it has been doing this for weeks.  It really dislikes my car!).  Anyway, I need to get out more.  I need to find places to go.  I need adventure.

As I stated earlier, the second inspiration for this topic came from people I chatted with this weekend.  As it turns out, I know a lot of people who live in a lot of different places.  Places I want to go.  Places that aren’t Iowa.  I had conversations with people who are now spread out all over the country and beyond.  Most of these people I grew up with, but have traveled off to various places for school, work, a relationship, etc.  Some of these places I’ve been to a number of times, others are unknown to me.  When I was a kid we traveled all the time.  We went everywhere.  Every summer and spring break my family would take off on a road trip, camper in tow.  I’ve seen a good chunk of this country, but I still have a lot to see.  It’s a lot harder for me to travel these days.  I don’t have the time or money.  Gas is expensive and flying is a pain in the ass.  I want to see people I haven’t seen in years and visit places I’ve only read about.  I want to see the fish market in Seattle, eat bbq in Kansas City, and not get dysentery or lose any of my oxen while fording a river on the Oregon Trail.  In short, I need an adventure.

Tomorrow’s topic: making applesauce the hard way.  Should be fun!