I’ve been drawn to two books in my library that I am re-reading. I’m trying to understand their special allure. The first is called The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, and the other is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Each book presents an older man who simply walks away from his life. He doesn’t tell anyone he is leaving, and he doesn’t take anything with him.
Back when I was working far too hard at three jobs, I used to daydream in the car while driving between locations about staying on the highway and driving as far as I could and never turning around. I knew it was a daydream, but it saved my sanity on many occasions.
Why do I still find this idea so appealing? Why would anyone do this? One reason might be to escape present circumstances, but my present circumstances have never been better.
Another reason might be purely for the sense of adventure. I think that’s the appeal for me. Admittedly, the 100-Year-Old-Man and Harold Fry (65) were in much better physical shape than I. They walked. Harold Fry walked all the way across Scotland. I’ll have to drive. They had no money. The 100-Year-Old-Man robbed people, and Harold Fry depended on the kindness of strangers. I’ll need money. Already I can see that my sense of adventure is tempered with a lot of convention and common sense. It will never make a good book—The 70-Year-Old-Woman Who Got in the Car and Drove Far Away. No. I’ll have to stay in touch with my sister and my friends.
I guess I’m just ready to go on a vacation.
What about you? Do you ever want to walk away (or drive away)? Will you really do it? Where would you go? Why does that appeal to you?