I turned 37 on Saturday. I'm definitely not a child anymore, but I'm still considered quite young, for adult standards. It doesn't hurt that I'm currently separated and childless, either. And I rent in apartment in Alexandria. So I'm single, childless, and I don't own a home. I also don't own a car. Or a pet.
I know, from a certain point of view it can look cold and lonely. But I'm actually really, really excited. Because this remarkable lack of responsibility I have in my life means I am able to do one thing really easily, and really well: travel.
I've never considered myself the traveling type. I'm a sedentary dude. You know, gaming and shit. I don't need to go anywhere to play Xbox, you know? But here's the thing I've discovered upon turning 37: the more shit you can tie together, the better EVERYTHING is. You can play, say, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and have a great time with it...but imagine how that game must feel after spending a few weeks in London! I wouldn't know, as I haven't been..yet. But I imagine it's pretty bad-ass.
On the roleplaying side is where it really pays off. I just picked up Horror on the Orient Express, the sprawling, epic adventure for Call of Cthulhu (which, btw, won the Ennie this year for best adventure). As I was reading the intro, I thought "damn, this would be cool to actually just DO." And then I did a little Google, and guess what? The Orient Express STILL exists. I'm just a passport and and about a week of leave away from doing it damn near ANY time I want. And not only could I have the experience of a lifetime...I could get some awesome research in for running that adventure, too.
How 'bout Tokaido? Haven't played it yet, hear it's a great board game....and I also hear the 300-mile journey in Japan for which the game is inspired from is pretty epic, too. Then there's Fury of Dracula, Letters from Whitechapel...plenty of places on this planet to explore to get the most out of some of my favorite gaming experiences. How awesome is that?
But for now, I've gotta start small. I live in the capitol city of the United States, and I've seen barely a tenth of the stuff travelers pay thousands to see every year. So I'm going to hit up some landmarks here in D.C. Then, I'm going to take my first train ride...the AMTRAK from Union Station in D.C....to New York City. At some point, I'll hit Boston and Philadelphia, too. Those are all inexpensive destinations for me that don't even require a passport. Then, by the end of this year, I've got a passport, I've got my debt paid down, and I've got some leave at work accrued. THAT's when the real travels begin...