Its not the money that keeps you from traveling this great, big world of ours..
A few years ago, when I was hitchhiking across the United States of America, I was picked up by this kid who was about the same age as my fresh-out-of-college ass was.
For the two months prior to our meeting, Cory had been driving around the country, hang-gliding competitively. For the two years prior to his decision to do that, he had been working as a software designer, in which time his life had stopped making any sense. Sure, he was making a decent wage working this fulltime job, but he had no family to provide for, no mortgage to pay off, nothing like that. He soon realized he was young and only responsible for himself. Shortly after this revelation, Cory was turned onto hang-gliding by a friend; shortly after this re-ignition of soul, Cory bought a van, quit his job and picked me up.
People do what they want to be doing, Cory, the inexperienced, but devoted rookie hang-glider, told me. If you want to be driving around the country, hang-gliding in competitions then youll do it. If you want to hitchhike across the country, youll get out there & attempt it. &, if you want to be working a 9 to 5, always saying you want to do this, that & the other thing, but never going for it then thats where youll be. People do what they want to be doing.
& it was then, after I had already left my mother crying in the driveway as I walked away to stick a thumb out to the freedom of whipping wind coming off the motor vehicles gliding the highway, to get to the California Coast on the goodwill of total strangers and perhaps face a raping or death that most of my friends & family thought was certain, it was after this motion to prove myself to myself & it wasnt until Cory spoke those words to me that I truly realized if you want something bad enough, youll make it happen, & if you dont then youll make excuses.
After that summer had ended, after I had made it from coast to coast having only paid for accommodation when I camped at the Grand Canyon, having only paid around a total of a hundred dollars to cover all this great green, lush & sometimes barren country of ours, I knew money had made no major difference in my adventure.
It was my heart, my soul that had made me choose the road; not my wallet.
& besides, on the road I had met street kids who hitchhiked, hopped trains from state to state, racking up new scars & warrants wherever they went. They did this with little to no money, & they did it better than I could have at that point in my life. But I knew if they could do it, if somebody could do it, if it was humanly possible to do it then I could do it..
& Cory? What happened to him?
By the time the summer had ended, Cory was the number one ranked Sport Class hang-glider in the entire world..
-Originally published by FlockU.com on April 26th, 2016