I was thinking of my old friend Steven the other day, particularly of a conversation we had a couple years back. He’d been dirtbaggin’ around the US for about two years, in the vein of Christopher McCandless. We got to talking about a lot of different things. Reading recommendations. Travel on the open road. Isolation. Getting an STD from a girl named Rocket. And using a lot of weed.
Of the many things that life on the road brings, isolation is the one that intrigues me the most.
What is it about isolation that is so desirable? No buildings. No freeways. No metropolis. No people. Just nature. Whether it be desert, mountains, or ocean. Isolation brings peace. I find myself drawn to isolation.
I’m reminded of my time on Shuteye Ridge two summers ago, particularly of the granite boulder on which I sat, overlooking the expansive valley below. Not a soul in sight. The Minarets can be seen far in the distance. I sat there for about an hour one day, saying nothing. It’s refreshing really, to just be alone. Nothing but the sound of nature doing its thing. Few thoughts enter my mind, and the ones that do are mostly just simple reflections on the beauty I am beholding.
However, the joy of isolation doesn’t last very long. As humans we’re wired for connection. We need relationships with other humans.
Sometimes though, you just need a break. You need to get away from all the baggage of our materialistic, always-going never-stopping, consumer society.