One of the things I miss most about living in the continental United States is the ability to just get in your car and drive. You don't need to have a set destination, or a itinerary, or even a plan. You can just decide you want to see new places and things, get in your vehicle and go.
Guam, being an island, is limited in that regard. Oh sure, there are some roads I haven't been down here, but they won't take me to anywhere to surprising. I know my island. I've been to most places here that I can go to. I've been to a lot of places many others never will see, thanks to trips to various parts of various jungles with my dad whilst growing up — to pick betel nut (pugua) and catch freshwater river shrimp. And because he was in the military, I've seen parts of the island that many without base privileges haven't seen. I've been down all kinds of dirt roads, to various relatives' houses and ranches.
I've seen the infamous brown tree snakes in the wild, though they are far from as prevalent as is contended, I've encountered wild pigs and deer. I've seen all kinds of marine life, because we went to the beach all the time and I did a lot of fishing — both from the shore and with a spear (Hawaiian sling).
But when you live in the states, there's always a quaint country road leading off somewhere new. You can see new bridges, landmarks, famous trees or rocks or buildings, tourist attractions like giant balls of string or Cadillac graveyards. There are mountains to drive up or under, valleys to drive between, tunnels to drive through.
In the various seasons, you can drive to snow, or to watch snow melt. You can voyage to the country to get fresh fruit or watch the colors of the foliage change. You can find quaint little towns, eat in homey little diners or quirky truck stops.
That's pretty limited here. There are some new places now and then. And there are some places I haven't been to here. But I could be to those places within a matter of minutes.
If I just want to drive — and I like to do that a lot, to think and not think — I can do that ... but I see the same old things, over and over again, no matter which direction I go. There are only so many ways to come back home.
And if I want to drive very far, all I can do is drive the same old ways over and over again. I can't just drive for 5 hours without repeating roads and views. I can't drive so far and so long that I get so tired that I have to pull over at some rest area, or at a two-bit, flea-bag motel.
I miss the wide, open spaces. No matter where you live in the states, you can drive to wide, open spaces, see new things, go to new places.
Someday ... and soon, I hope ... I will make the trip back. And for good.
I love Guam. I love living here. I love the life — as boring and as unfilled as it is — that I have here.
But I think I'm reaching my limitations. I can only do so much from here. I can only move so high. I can only go so far. I feel a need to do more. To move higher. To go further. To find the wide, open spaces that I miss so much.
I won't be easy for me to leave. It won't be easy for me to go. I have some good friends. I have my godsons.
But, by the same token, I don't really have all that much to keep me here any longer. I don't have strong attachments to anyone. I don't have family here; I mean, I do, but not really.
So why not go somewhere new? Why not try something new? Why, for the love of God, why?
My life has been stagnating in recent years. OK, for probably longer. I have what I have and I do what I do ... but I don't really strive for anything beyond that. I don't really take chances any more — not on people, not on new experiences or job opportunities. I don't seek them out, I try to ignore and eschew the new, for the stability of the old. Why rock the boat, after all?
But that's doing nothing for me. Nothing for my development as a person, as a human, as a man, as a writer.
I guess I could shake things up here, and continuing to live here. I could try to remake myself, or improve myself.
But I think it would be easier in a new place. Surrounded by new people and experiences. A new environment. A new place and way of life. A road less traveled, as Frost would say.
Then again, I could make the big move and have nothing change — be the same man in the same kind of job being essentially the same person with the same life ... only in a different place.
This shit is too deep for the fun and majesty of the boardwalk carnival that is DZERLAND.
Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam is more than 5,800 miles away from the continental United States (San Francisco) and more than 8,200 miles from Orlando. Want to find out how far I am from you? Go to this distance finder and type in your city, state (or country), and then type in "Agana, Guam." It will give you miles, kilometers and nautical miles.