I sat glued to my desk in the office on a muggy Friday afternoon both outside and inside. The building’s Air Conditioner broke and the sweltering triple-digit heat smothered us. I felt as though I was trudging across the Sahara Desert and there was no end to amount of work I had. I needed an oasis. It was 3:00 PM and I had no plans for the weekend despite the moment now staring me in the face.
Tap…tap…tap…ta…was the methodical sound of my fingers smacking each letter on the keyboard. I was supposed to be writing a simple email to one of my customers, a menial task that usually took me seconds. That was it. I couldn’t do it anymore. [Insert the F word here] it, I thought to myself. I logged out, grabbed my work laptop and stormed out of the office without so much as bidding the other poor souls enslaved to routine—also known as my co-workers—goodbye.
After tossing my laptop in the car, I grabbed a set of clothes and shoes I had laid out. I always have a set of clothes ready in my car and my passport book and passport card. I am always ready to drop everything and go at a moment’s notice. I guess you can say I believe in the rapture, but it has nothing to do with God and Heaven. This planet is all I have for now.
Where will I go? What will I do? What is my plan? I did not yet know. The only thing I knew was that I had one tank of fuel and I would drive as far as my hybrid Kia Optima would take me. I already had a suitcase packed and sitting in the trunk. I headed north and 30 minutes into the drive I knew I could end up in one of three places: Portland, Seattle, or cross the Canadian border on my way to Vancouver. The last one was wishful thinking. Tempting, but wishful thinking.
My brother, living in the United Kingdom, called and when I told him that I’m taking a trip and I didn’t know where I would end up, he carried on the conversation as if to say he wasn’t surprised. What can I say? I’ve been a wanderlust my whole life. At first it began with my imagination as a child. The harsh realities of crime and poverty in Jamaica placed me in a constant state of wanting to escape. Now that I am an adult and work for a living, I usually turn my imaginations into reality. We spoke for two hours of my drive for which I was grateful because rush hour traffic was God-awful.
The aim was anywhere short of the border, I really had no choice. This distance was nothing new to me. I’ve driven 3,500 miles [5,632 kilometres] across America three times before and 75% of Eastern United States in 14 hours twice. Eventually, exhaustion took hold of me as I entered Oregon and I would find a stop to rest. By then, it was clear that I would not be going to Canada for many reasons. It would Portland instead. See, I am not entirely sane. Just partially.