This article is a follow-up to last week's Letting Go While on the Road. Then, I was in the midst of an experimental road trip, aiming to just let go and drift without plans or control for a couple weeks. Near the end of the road trip, though, and after publishing last week's article, I blatantly broke the rules of my experiment.
To explain why, I have to back up to ten days before the incident to a conversation that planted the seed of dissent in my head.
It had been raining all day in Queenstown. In a packed campground kitchen, I sat down next to a guy I'd briefly talked with weeks before in a hostel in Greymouth and in striking up a conversation, quickly realized we were kindred spirits. A teacher and writer, Jeremy was in the midst of a backcountry exploration of the South Island on foot while documenting the journey through his website. A remarkable conversation ensued for a couple hours, most pertinently exposing one major difference in our approaches to travel. Both Jeremy and I held no rigid plans, but I had literally no knowledge of my surroundings while Jeremy was loaded with more information than any traveler I'd ever met.