I like to wander.
I always have.
When we travel I find that my favorite parts of the journey are when I just wander around the streets just to see where they go.
As a teen growing up in southwest Missouri, most of the other guys – and some of the girls to – enjoyed riding horses. For most of them that was a means to an end: rodeo-type events like barrel racing and calf roping and even bronc riding. As a 14-year-old city kid removed to the country I was automatically an odd duck as the new guy in a tiny rural community located about ten miles from the place Footloose was based upon. In an effort to fit in I tried some of rodeo events – not realizing how terrifically dangerous it was to do so I even tried riding a bull. (Fortunately that was about a one second experience for me and I scrambled away a whole lot more scared than hurt.)
But I rode horses and I rode them a lot.
Not to race around barrels or to rope calves, but to wander around for hours on end. I loved to explore lonely dirt roads and old houses and abandoned barns. Even today I cherish the opportunity to stroll through ancient towns and ponder equally ancient buildings. Perhaps I should’ve been an archaeologist or something, as intriguing as I find the remnants of humankind, the roads and buildings and structures we’ve created and then abandoned. Sometimes when I’m driving I will simply seek out the roads that no one else is traveling, often those original segments of highway now bypassed by multiple-lanes of freeway, modern day disconnections severing the links between towns they formerly connected. Whether by foot or on bike, wandering, sketchbook at the ready, is the way I choose to experience my world.