Taming the Lurking Travel Beast Within

I'm feeling restless.

It's a different monster entirely to feel the burn of it, the itch, yearn, pull and draw of the desire to go and be on the road already – and be a mother. It's not like I can shrug my shoulders and toss things up to fate, sell everything I own again and then find myself once more on the streets of Pusan, Korea, broke with no idea when the boat is going back to Japan. And just sit down and laugh at it and decide I may as well have a good time and what's a little hunger anyway?

 

No, I couldn't do that now, maybe ever again, with the munchkinlings here.

Oh, right, and I'm very pregnant. That too.

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It's frustrating. I get lured into dumb crap like comparing kindles or thinking we really, really need this or that ultra-lightweight jacket or whatever and I know full well with no doubts whatsoever that we do not actually need anything of that nature. That all that stuff and gunk is just one more trapping of the US, thinking a product is going to solve it, a product is the solution. A product passes time, that part is true, and a product can be a lot of fun. But a product is in no way necessary for some good traveling to happen.

 

It's frustrating. Because – like I said – I can't just sell everything, hustle my family into the Grandby and drive off. I can't. For one, we have to fix the truck so it can even make a trip as far as Los Angeles. We don't have the job/money pieces lined up and I'd hate for a month to pass by and then realize we are close to empty and OH GOSH what are we going to do now?!

 

So, I have to suck it up and try and be responsible, dot the important 'i's and cross the vital 't''s, lose the visions of a product-solution and just find a way to tame the howling Travel Beast, find something else that's interesting to do.

 

Like Pedal Fest!
 

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Oakland is a great, unpretentious sort of get-it-or-don't;-we-don't-care place, heavily shadowed by San Francisco which lies directly across the bay. Oakland is to San Francisco as Boston is to New York.

 

Oakland is smorgasboard of intense multi-culturality (think: native Eritreans literally next door to native Koreans), economic differences (ghetto projects in East Oakland right with the crazy-posh mansions of the like of Green Day in the Oakland Hills) and some rippingly awesome urban movements. Like the urban farming movemement – pure Oakland. Or the downtown Art Murmurs, big screened free movies, $5 retro movies (in grand old theatres that have cocktail intermission breaks; sans popcorn). Brilliant Crucible shows, the Fire Arts. The Taco Truck and Truck Food movement. Pedal Fest!

 

Back to Pedal Fest!

 

This is an annual bike-festival and it's held in the Jack London Square. A cross between racers and mechanics, it reminds me of Burning Man's cross between engineers and artists. With beer instead of drugs and with real music, no techno.

 

Since riding a bike now for me is like bike riding while holding a living, kicking watermelon in my midsection, we drove.

Mikey realized both kids were in the driver's seat! haha

Oh yes! Hahahaahaha!!

Um, yeah. That was pretty funny. Keys in the ignition too!

So yeah, we drove. The irony of driving to a bicycle festival was not – most emphatically not – lost on us.

And I have to apologize right here and now for the crappy pictures you are going to be looking at in this post. I'm trying hard to learn how to shoot manually. I mess up a lot!

Anyway, so we got there and it was pretty great. Lots of neat bike things, trick stuff, bike lovers.

I don't even know why I'm watermarking these pictures, they are so blurred and messed up.

Can you even see the handmade bikes? Ugh. My focus is sooooo off.

They sure are cute, huh. That much I think you can see…

 

I let the kids eat a lollipop. They were shocked. I highly recommend doing that, every once in a while – let your kids do something like eat a small hard pool of pure sugar, just to see their reaction.

This thing was madnesss- shaped like a blown-out whiskey barrel, these guys would ride around it

Crazy bike riders!

It was fun. We had a blast and were ready to leave after that.

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I think that the beauty of where we are is that there are things to do that take the edge off of my restlessness. My acute and consuming desire to leave. Travel, now.

 

Just seeing, doing, experiencing things that take me outside of myself and give me a glimmer of a different reality, of someone else's distinct and variant passion helps tame the Travel Beast that lurks within.

 

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This post was brought to you by friends at SpanishWeather.net.

It's an awesome site that sort of makes me want to cry. Because I would dearly love to be using it for real now – you know, to be in Spain or be traveling in Europe and wonder, "gee, what's the weather like in Madrid right now? Cuz I kind of feel like heading that way."

spanishweather.net is exactly like that – it's a site that tells you what the weather is like right now. In Spain.

 

Sigh.

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
This is a really fantastic idea and tutorial - book mark it! https://t.co/DRNLLzzQpi - 10 hours ago
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