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Thoughts On Not Going Crazy While Long Term Traveling

Very good question from a reader. I wrote up a pretty thorough reply, and now I'm recalling a number of times i've been asked this. So, here we go -

Hi Sebastian,

You are travelling a lot, so I've been wondering if you feel lonely and if that's the case, how you deal with it. I don't mean to sound too personal, just for the record, so if you do not wish to answer, go ahead (just let me know if that's the case, or point me to some reading, maybe?). I have found that when travelling for extended periods of time in places one does not know people, or when moving, changing location, that a certain lack of close contact with people can occur. This can lead to demotivation (concerning activity in general, work...), paralyzation, distraction causing lack of devotion to work and the like. Well, you are often writing about many friends, and I suppose you mean over the internet? Is that enough, or a temporary substitute? How do you counteract low-states induced by such cirumstances? (If they occur, I don't know if you have the problem, it just seemed a possibility).

Thanks a lot,

Good observation. Yes, you're 100% right - lack of contact with people is a big problem with traveling.

The Woods 2 "Something on the Path"

On Wellington Street

I was walking my dog near my home. It is a daily ritual, one that must occur promptly at five. Otherwise she will start whining and barking, and won't stop until she has a leash on her collar and is heading out the door.

Near my home is a short dirt path, one that I rarely ever pass since it is not on our normal route. That day though I decided to try and extend the walk a bit, something I knew Shelly and I both needed. So I had to adjust the route a bit, and in the end I found myself walking along the dirt path I so rarely traveled. The path curves a little, and so by the time I noticed that there was something settled in the middle of the path I was right on top of it.

Laying in the dirt was an animal, one I instantly recognized as a raccoon. It was small, not small enough to be a baby, but was certainly not much older than that. There were flies crawling all over it, and its leg twitched a bit, which I assumed was the movement of insects under the flesh. I have a strange morbid set of interests, so I am aware of how a corpse can travel several feet after it dies, simply under the influence of the maggots and other insects that feed upon the tissues.

I didn't want to leave it in the middle of the path. It was near homes after all, and after quickly looking up from the body I noticed a large number of children nearby. They hadn't noticed yet, but I didn't know how long that would last. So I took Shelly off to the side and told her to stay while I retrieved a stick to move it to the grass nearby. I began to to slide the stick under it, but I found it hard to get between the body and the ground. Then it stirred and snarled at me.

I reeled back, dumbfounded as I watched it weakly crawl, before finally coming to rest much in the same way I found it a few inches away. I was overcome with confusion, not only because I had no idea how to react, but also because I had never seen something move that was that far gone. It was not the first time I had ever seen anything dying. When I was a child I had unfortunately had the family dog die in my arms. But that was relatively quick. Despite its condition, I knew that this thing still may have a couple of hours left before it died.

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