Editor's note: A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Christy, who has traveled with us to Kilimanjaro and Bhutan. She was urging me to consider offering a couple of adventure travel treks to really off the beaten path places. I replied that we had tried that in the past (e.g. the Snowman Trek in Bhutan), and we simply didn't get enough sign ups. But I knew Christy was a very engaging writer with a unique style, so I asked if she would be interested in writing a piece for the blog that explains her draw to far off places. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Why? Why do it? Why go to the edges of the earth, then peak over and wonder what’s beyond? Beyond this be there dragons? Why do names like Auyuittuq, Irian Jaya and Borneo make my blood boil? Places so remote, so wild and so unlike anything else I know, unlike anything I can even dream up.
I live in a well manicured garden. It’s hard to imagine places that are not garden. In gardens, life is planned and managed; school, job, family, meals and laundry. Pesky unexpected weeds are pulled. Unexpected weather, lack of rain or money, is managed, either by breaking out the garden hose or beginning anew with more drought resistant plantings. Life in the gardens of Western society is relatively predictable. And what garden would be complete without a garden wall? My garden wall is made of things; books, photos, computers and a variety of other toys, and oh, the ubiquitous television and DVD player. The whole conglomeration is held together with strong mortar; a mixture of family, memories and traditions. I’m getting kind of up there in years, so my garden wall has become rather high, thick and durable. Even though everything I need is right here in my Midwest garden, come nightfall you may find me standing in the middle gazing up at the stars, looking for Draco. It is a yearning to go beyond, to venture into the untamed, the unknown wildness.
Garden and wildness, each stands in relief to the other. Not all who wander are lost, but some are and that is a very freeing experience.
Click here for Christy's account of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.