In his wonderful book, The Island of Lost Maps, author Miles Harvey shares a sentiment with which I think many of us can probably resonate.
In my 30s I spent a great deal of time at the Kopi [a travelers' café in Chicago] whose walls were adorned with masks from Bali and shelves filled with guides to far-flung destinations. I was then the literary critic for Outside Magazine, a great job but one that was beginning to wear on my patience. You see, the books I read were about people who climbed Himalayan peaks, rode a bicycle all the way across Africa, sailed wooden boats across the Atlantic, or tracked into restricted areas of China. These tales of adventure filled my days and my imagination, and yet my own life was anything but adventurous. The interior of the Kopi coffee shop was ringed by clocks, each one showing the time in some distant locale, and as I watched the weeks ticking away in places like Timbuctu and Juno and Goa and Denpasar, I began to long for an adventure of my own.
Harvey said that he loved looking at maps. He said he was acting like a character in a Joseph Conrad novel who said, "When I grow up I will go there." So Harvey would look for hours at exciting places in South America, Africa, or Australia and lose himself in the glories of possible adventures around the world. He would find an exciting spot on the map, put his finger on the spot and then say to himself, When I grow up I will go there. Say that with me: When I grow up, I will go there.
Can you identify with any of those sentiments? Are you ever impatient with your life? Do you ever grow weary of the routine, of the way things are? Are you absolutely content with where your life is heading on its present vector? ...
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