Blogging is not only a forum for me to fabricate a word or two and completely get away with it free of criticism under a guise of creative license. It’s first and foremost a place to document my projects, adventures, photographical development, bucket-list progress, and general shenanigans, or lack thereof. It’s an online home of self-centered pursuits – I blog for myself and no one else, and the fact that people I don’t know have piped up and said this material appeals to them in one form or another, well, it’s a great shock to me but also a completely awesome and mind-boggling byproduct. Even though I am still wholeheartedly convinced that my mother is in fact my only reader, and the comments and page views made by ‘others’ are actually her making different Word Press accounts and personas and sitting at home clicking the ‘refresh’ button repeatedly so that her Robot daughter can feel good about herself and her silly little blog. It’s working, Mom! omgkthxsomuch.
With that said, I can now introduce an announcement of blog-worthy proportions, hence my mentioning of it here: I’m leaving the country for a while. After Christmas.
I am long overdue for an adventure. Straight up, travel confession style: In the name of Anthony Bourdain, Nat Geo, and airplane peanuts, it has been four months since my last international flight.
Considering I simply cannot cease traveling like a shark cannot stop swimming, I am escaping to a remote part of the world for a while, which will hereby be known to readers, family, and friends as Isle X. This is even contrary to the belief of my dear but dull friend Blake, who is convinced I’m going to Afghanistan for two weeks (after refusing to tell him my destination, he guessed Kabul and I just went along with it. He was then genuinely astounded with his own astute perceptions and ability to “read” people). But no. I cannot be read. Kabul is in my future, but not quite yet. In fact, I’ll excuse Blake’s dullness because people who know me would expect me to buy spur-of-the-moment cargo plane tickets to a state as failed as Afghanistan. No kidding. If anything, I’ll use this confession to gage how often Blake actually reads Squeaky Robot – if his real-life response to the fact that he’s a gorbellied milk-livered cankerblossom (courtesy of the Shakespeare Insult Kit) is delayed or completely absent, then he will lose my precious friendship both in real life AND on Facebook. Yes. I just went there. He’s already dancing on thin ice after rejecting my invitation to drink gin & tonic with me, even after casually mentioning that he would be providing the gin & the tonic. Probably the lemon and lime as well.
The choice to keep my coordinates hidden is a brilliant move on my part. It’s whimsical and ridiculous, and I can welcome the New Year with a completely clean slate, one where telemarketers and the IRS cannot find me. Not that I necessarily want to wipe my slate clean, but every once in a while it does a person good to acquire a new one. Yes, this means I’ll be alone on New Year’s Eve, which is a completely personal choice and a good one at that. Scuba diving and kissing turtles is on the agenda, but not in the DR or Belize like I previously planned. Generic island photography is on the menu, though, as well as many other island activities. Hiking, swimming, seashell collecting, looking at the horizon in a dramatic fashion, talking, reading, writing, eating, seeing, ‘splorin’, breathing, peeing, and peeling off sunburnt skin have made the list of things To-Do. I may even go coconut-hunting with the natives. Those bitches (the coconuts) can be elusive in the midst of human predators and they may fear their fate of being cut in half and having their delicious innards sucked up by loud foreigners with “crazy” straws and then impaled by three-inch toothpick umbrellas that drunk obnoxious women put in their “I-tried-to-make-my-locks-perfectly-windswept-but-it-didn’t-quite-work-out” hair in a desperate effort to achieve the look of “island sexy”. But I will drink from said coconuts, throw them at passers-by or people who frustrate me, and most importantly, conduct scientific experiments that address the swallow-to-coconut weight ratio question: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? And then the same question will be applied to a swallow carrying a coconut (this test will use both African and European swallows, to be thorough).
A little description of Isle X: There is sun where I’m going, and also drugs and violent crime. Jackpot. There is also food, air, trees, poisonous animals and water. And malaria. My family needn’t worry because where I’m going has the same amount of detriments as any other place on earth. The US also has violent crime and drugs, as well as air and water. But anyone who stays put in their own country solely because they believe the outside world to be dangerous is an idiot. I follow this by saying it is better to have harsh, decisive stances than none at all. Better to act dramatically and colorfully than to not act at all. Escape to a pseudonymous island? Why not?
The Isle of X is bursting at the seams with the unknown. I literally don’t know anything about it. That’s the best part. As of yet, it’s unadulterated by faulty word-of-mouth and overrated hype. I haven’t heard bad things, I haven’t heard good things, I’ve just heard no things. A perfect blank canvas to form my own opinions, make my own assumptions, and make my own mistakes. God knows there will be mistakes.
And so I have plane tickets but no plan. My element. I have prospective hostels, but those hostels won’t graduate from prospective to definite status until I get there. Planning is a waste of time. Who knows what’s in store, because I sure don’t. I may just steal a hammock on the beach and set up shop there. Or build a sand fort. All of this is just a roundabout way of saying that adventure is just bad planning. Luckily for me, having to constantly deal with the unfamiliar and the unknown and basically living in the hazy fog that separates the present and the uncertain future is something I’m used to. That’s one thing about the familiar. It feels so good.