29 – Port St. Lucie to Palm City – 14.5 – 1549.1

Took a zero and got spanked playing ping pong and pool with my host, Tom, from Milwaukee, who retired young and can now spend as much time as he wants with his kids. 

I hadn’t played pool in quite a long time and out of the dozen games we played I lost a dozen times. We played ping pong and the closest match was 21-14. It reminded me of when we’d get together with the college gang in McDonald hall, back in Buffalo, and Jesse would come up with new games of pool to explore when we got bored of losing against him in regular pool. You always reminisce on old times with old friends when you’re soloing, most likely because you are traveling by yourself and can’t bring your friends with you; it kind of brings to light the question of why people travel if you are on your own, roughing it, without your friends, without your family, and pretty much homeless without the comforts of your nightstand and TV. Well let’s leave it up to Alain de Botton to answer that question for us. In his musings on travel in The Art of Travel, de Botton explores the anxieties of travel, the realities vs expectations, and the philosophy behind why we travel where we travel: why we should seek locations that serve a purpose in fulfilling a state of mind, why some places can inspire meaning and self reflection while others are for those seeking relaxation. He concludes his journey with a thought: that there is no point in traveling if you don’t start with simply a meaningful way of “looking”. He references de Maistre’s Journey Around My Bedroom…

“There are some who have crossed deserts, floated on ice caps and cut their way through jungles but whose souls we would search in vain for evidence of what they have witnessed. Dressed in pink-and-blue pyjamas, satisfied with the confines of his own bedroom, Xavier de Maistre was gently nudging us to try, before taking off for distant hemispheres, to notice what we have already seen.”