Monday, June 20, 2011

Hobo Bucket List

I've stated before, unapologetically, that I am an indoor cat. I was thinking about it the other day, though, and I realized that I've come to this conclusion through many outdoor experiences, both the usual kind and the kind that's a little bit outside the normal realm. I've done enough field research to be able to draw the conclusion that I vastly prefer the indoors. When it comes down to it, I have a completed bucket list to make any hobo proud.

I've camped out, road-tripped across the country, biked with camping gear for a week, fished and swam in oceans as well as rivers, lakes, and streams. I've gone cliff diving, horseback riding, hiked on both sides of the country, camped in the forest and the desert. I've been to summer camps, on a mission trip, and all sorts of places as an adult. I've camped in miserable heat, in rain that flooded the tent, and, once, in a hail storm.

On the other side of the coin, I've showered at truck stops. I've brushed my teeth at train and bus stations, and in the woods, with a canteen instead of running water. I've sponge bathed with a bucket and a hand pump. I've not only used, but also cleaned outhouses.

I've slept in my car, with and without children. I've slept on the floor of an airport. I've spent the night on the street corner in a foreign country. I've gone to the bathroom in a stall where the "toilet" was a hole in the corner, where the mosquitoes were so thick on the walls that they looked like wallpaper. I've shooed scorpions away from our campsite, and cooked over a Coleman stove in the rain. I've worked on a car at a campsite. I've broken down by the side of a wide variety of roads.

In some of these experiences, I was one of a crowd, in others, the lone adult. In many of them, I experienced beauty so breathtaking that it will stay with me forever. I've awoken in the morning, beside the Rhein, to find swans swimming silently just feet from my campsite. I've turned a corner and surprised a herd of deer, sending them flying across the field in front of me. I've watched my children play in wildflowers, swim in oceans and lakes, and be rendered speechless with delight over the wild creature in front of them. Those are the times I think it's worth it.

How about you? How much of a hobo's bucket list have you completed? What's your experience been, and do you prefer indoors or outdoors?

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