I've taken many expected steps in life. However, since graduating from Bowdoin College in May of 2007, I've been talking about "going on an adventure"--by which i mean taking a year off of life and doing some adventuring. Adventuring might be in the eye of the beholder, but to this 9-to-5 square it means quitting my job and finding wild places, engaging interesting people, and stocking my memory for old age. I've been scheming this since reading and re-reading Miss Rumphius as a child but haven't yet had the resources to make a go at it. While some smart people might be using their meager savings at age 25 to buy a house or pay for a wedding, I'll be using mine to adventure. I can't afford a house in DC anyway.
I am certainly not the first of my friends to go adventuring. There is a strong undercurrent in my generation compelling us to seek adventure during the untethered twenties. Haunted by our ever-increasing mortality, we have inherent difficulty waiting for retirement to spend the fruits of our labor. Our lives are frugal, unrestrained, and insouciant. That is part of the adventure.
I sent out an email to over 100 friends, family, and acquaintances in October 2009 to gauge interest, gather suggestions, and ultimately to make myself accountable for actually going. My adventure will be simultaneously self-reliant and sustained by the seemingly infinite connections of friends. I am seeking a collaborative journey, put together with suggestions from many friends (people I already know) and also suggestions of their friends (people I do not know). With just a couple of degrees of separation I am sure I could find someone who has been any of the places I plan on going. Follow this blog to be kept up-to-date on the myriad of planning details and to follow the peregrination once commenced.
All good adventures need a name. I solicited some input from folks, ranging from "Munny's Peregrinathalontastic Trip of a Lifetime" to the "Anti-Youth-sucking Campaign". Ultimately, I have settled on Peregrine Deviation. What may seem an unlikely pairing of words articulates the two aspects of this adventure I am seeking most: journey and digression. To peregrinate is to travel or journey, usually on foot. To deviate is to turn aside, depart a given path, digress. My "peregrine deviation" is a digression (via travel) from normative life in search adventure.
It is my intention to commence my peregrine deviation in the spring of 2010. There are a few parameters I am working within, including attending several weddings during the summer of 2010. I'll head out in the spring, return state-side for domestic adventuring between the weddings, and then head out again. I'm hoping to travel as long as my money lasts and as long as I have the urge. I am hoping this is until next January or February.