The Open Road to Nowhere

A while back, not so long ago, we learned about a hairdresser from an obscure town in the UK and her desire to live her last years in style. The woman's name is Sue O'Grady, she's 62 and she has a plan: sell everything she owns, mount her Harley and go away wherever, in search of whatever, as long as the money lasts and her Harley keeps working.

Almost instantly, it hit me. Sue has a point. In my case for instance, before hearing about Sue, the thought of how I will live my last years on this Earth never crossed my mind. And I can bet my year's wages that it didn't cross your mind either.

Have you ever thought what will you do when you go into retirement? What will you do when for you time is going to start to look like a countdown to nonexistence? How will you choose to leave your last years, regardless how many, on this Earth? Will you choose to remain a prisoner in between the walls of your house, waiting for death to come and claim what is rightfully hers (or his), or will you choose to go out and look for it?

Provided you have settled pretty much all there was to settle in your life, will you be capable to sell everything, ditch your family, forget about your friends, abandon the life you've known all your life and leave, not run, but leave to live your last years as you see fit?

I, for one, think I can. Provided a meteor doesn't strike the planet or the Gulf Stream doesn't change its course and turns us all into frozen statues, as soon as my friends wish me “Happy 60th!” I'm gone.

I'll start by heading east. There's too much concrete, too much noise, too many rules, too many people in the west. East seems lost, empty and poor. East seems dusty, hot and cold, east seems mystic. And that's about it. That all I'll plan on this journey. Go east.

Alone, accompanied only by a map and a car or a bike - I haven't made up my mind yet. Only me and the sound of the engine, lost in the Sahara desert or Tibet, with my thoughts running amok as clouds of dust raise and settle as if nobody passed through there.

I'll leave no traces. I'll keep no records of my journey, I will not post my exploits on Facebook and I will not tweet every time my car (or bike) breaks down in the middle of nowhere. I will have no phone, I will have no GPS and, most importantly, I will have no goal.

It will be my time. A time when I will have to worry for no man, a time when time will have no significance whatsoever. I will not be in a hurry. I'll take it slow and enjoy every bend of the road, every bump, every God forsaken pothole that will send any of my vehicle's wheels rusting on the side of the road.

I'll keep to the roads and ignore them altogether. If my car wants to go right, I'll go left. If a road sign will force me to go left, I'll stop and double back. If it rains, I'll lower the windows and gaze into the night, counting as many rain drops as I can.

You'll ask what car will I drive? Where will I stop at night? What will I eat? What will I do when the car breaks down? How will I know what road to take? How, what, why, when?

Does it matter? Wouldn't you do something similar? Or at least, wouldn't you try?

Of course, you'll say I'll never do that. That may be so. But if I do, you'll never know, 'cause I won't tell.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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