The certain someone was sitting across from me at the spindly cafe overlooking a softly gray rolling Pacific Ocean. “So what do you do when you travel alone?” she asked.
“I wander,” I answered, a trifle timidly, aware she was wandering herself into territory I had only sketchily examined myself.
“You wander. So what are you looking for?”
This answer, having addressed it to myself many times, I was sure of. “Nothing.”
She burst into a laugh that was a mix of genuine surprise and more than a little concern. “Nothing? Really? Then why don't you just sit on a couch at home and watch travel shows on TV?”
Once again she'd randomly hit upon a question I'd asked and answered myself, most recently in a waiting room in Vittoria, Spain waiting for a delayed train to Pamplona. I was reading but was restless, antsy in the waiting area seat in a way I'd yet to have been riding on a train. Why is this different than sitting and reading on a train, where I've never been restless or antsy yet? After all, the ebook I was reading was interesting, the waiting room was filled with people in various stages of aggravation over the delay, making them interesting to see if any of it would boil over to their traveling companion. Then there were a few toddlers seemingly open to my goofy ways of making their acquaintance. Why was I so impatient to get a move on?
“Motion,” I told the certain someone. “I simply like the sensation of moving, of just going,”
Einstein (I think, but I'm really still not sure, even after digesting four books on the subject, including one he himself had written specifically for science dunderheads like me) reasoned that the entire universe exists and can be understood by motion. Relativity is how he termed it. And relativity (I'm really on the thinnest of ice floes now) is basically the observation of motion in relation (get it?) of some other motion (including not moving at all).
If I am correct in understanding Einstein (and I have no reason to believe that I am), then my basic desire and love of motion, of movement, of just going, is actually just me perfectly tuned to the universe. So, there's quite a bit of something after all that is contained in the nothing I'm looking for.
I am aware, however, that my method of solo travel may not “travel” well as it transitions to companionship, of whom this certain someone has somewhat dubiously signed on for. Bathrooms will certainly be en suite for one thing. And hotels will not have “hostel” in their names for another. The homeless will be accommodated elsewhere than we’re booked, and our stopovers will include the actual seeing of sights.
There are other “changes” (upheavals might be more accurate) associated with diet and refreshment that are still too threatening to delineate here (brussel sprouts? I mean, really?) But it's all for a worthy cause, namely, extending a life that wishes to remain in motion for as long as possible. And to share it once again with someone who simply wants to “go see stuff.”
It’s time to meet her...