Photo Credit: Katy Stoddard via Flickr
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” –Jack Kerouac
I have to admit that ever since my English nerd high school days, I’ve had a moderate obsession with Jack Kerouac.
My pseudo-romantic self seemed to mold with his eloquent words with every passage I read.
I came across his infamous On the Road quote the other day: “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
Travelers, writers, and otherwise creative thinkers have long found transcendence in this quote; it seemed to push them to explore new sights, places and experiences. It even pushed them to greater and more profound vehicles of self-expression.
My take away is even simpler: Jack Kerouac has, in 2 sentences, summed up the only constant that could ever exist in life – change.
Life is change. I repeat: life is change. Life is change. Life is change.
Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to travel in my 20’s, hiking beyond my front door, and trying new things.
Because when our 9-5 world hides behind its computer screens, jobs, boring routines and schedules, it is living an illusion of comfort and safety.
That is what is so wonderful about travel: it pushes us outside of this illusion, in direct contact with exquisite beauty, new experiences, spontaneity, and unforeseen events. By trying new things and building new experiences, we build trust in the universe and in ourselves.
The true romantic comes to life, and our lives change from black and white to explosions of color.
So in the words of Jack Kerouac once again: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”