Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Why would I want to do this? Why would I wish to sell everything except what I can carry on my back and roam aimlessly? Why would I live as a vagrant when I have a good job?

The answer is simple: I wish to discover. I believe that there are places much more majestic, pure and beautiful than ANYTHING that can be found in a travel brochure. I believe that the best places to visit are often those that are rarely visited. There is so much out there that can only be found by accident.

If you look at a map of Southwest Louisiana, you'll notice a peculiar bulge in the Houston River east of Highway 27. But no such bulge exists at that part of the river. Every map I've seen shows a large, round swell where the river suddenly widens. But it's not like that at all. There's an island there. In the middle of the river is a small island and the river flows around it. You can't find that island on the map, but you can camp out on it.

I found that island by mistake, paddling down the river when I was 17. I discovered it. A thousand people knew about it before me, but no one had ever told me about it. I found it on my own, on a river I'd paddled on many times before.

Remembering that island, I can't help but think of all the interesting places that don't exist on maps or in travel brochures. I want to find places like that on accident. I want to discover them myself.

“And to think, there are still places in the world where man has not been, where he has left no footprints, where the mysteries stand secure, untouched by human eyes. I want to go to these places, the quiet, timeless, ageless places, and sit, letting silence and solitude be my teachers.” ~Evan Tanner

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