So my friend and I have always talked about taking a sabbatical from the rotten pits of the daily corporate life. Well, not exactly – we do enjoy our corporate careers in a way. After all, it pays our bills. But the fact that there are complete fallacies in this incomplete career world, constantly make us sing the song of severance.
“What do you want to do?” I was as objective as could be.
“I think I just want to travel to Tierra Del Fuego and spend a few months there”, he said unassumingly.
Now that was an option I never considered even in my wildest “Verne”-ian dreams.
“Well..may be I will start my one year world tour with a two week trip to Japan to absorb some of its ‘shijou’…and then move on to South Asia…you know..it will be kinda neat to be traveling with no plans. I do however want to end up in Tierra Del Fuego”, he continued as enthusiastic as an Apple fan who just got the first iPhone.
“Hmmm..yeah..that will be kinda neat..”, I muttered the best response I could gather in 2 seconds.
An unplanned silence filled the room which otherwise was reverberating with world travel jives.
“What about your sustenance?” I threw the question out there.
“I have saved for this trip for years…I knew what I would be getting into”, he said quietly.
I could see his eyes rolling over his bank balance in a sort of an imaginary way. He seemed satisfied…or may be his eyes swirled a bit to ensure that the numbers were still ok with the inflation.
In my mind, there were gazillion little thoughts that fluttered through. If I can be slapdash here and just type them as incoherently as my mind processed it…
“Wish I can do it”
“That’s what I want to do”
“I am jealous”
“Tierra Del Fuego – Is it in Argentina or Chile..? Actually both”
“Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and ????”
“How many direct flights are there from Detroit to Tokyo?”
“It is impossible for me to do it – Because If I have to do this, I have to do it with my wife and son”
“I wish I had learnt Spanish”
“Global warming – sucks – damn republicans!”
“Are you alright”? my friend interrupted my chain of thoughts.
“Absolutely, I was just going through the list of places I would like to visit.”
“Really, Can you share that with me?”
“Yeah..yeah..sure..sure..”, I was taking some time to collect my thoughts again knowing very well, the list is there but is not filled.
“Let’s see – Egypt, Greece, Spain, Eastern Europe, SE Asia, China, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Morocco, Congo, S Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and the whole Amazon belt..and may be central America – and…of course, Australia and New Zealand”, I paused.
“Wow..you know I have been to almost half of these places in your list”, he was clearly being boorish.
“Really”, once again..the best response I could gather in 2 seconds.
“That’s impressive”, I continued giving him the space to glow in pride and giving me the space to hide my disappointment.
“So when do you think you can take the sabbatical? Have you talked to your boss?” – at this point, I was hoping to get out of the conversation because I felt so low and so down.
“I am hoping I can take my flight to Tokyo next month”, he was confident.
“So what about you? You have always wanted to take a sabbatical too. What would you do?
“Hmm..you know I would have liked to do some travel like you..but now that I am thinking about it, with all the stuff I am in the middle of, I don’t think I can do it”
“What?” he was puzzled.
“I like the idea you see..I would love to have the freedom and not worry about my job everyday”, I confessed ..”but don’t think I will ever be able to do this at this point of my career”
There ended that conversation by the coffee kabana that day. The thought continues to linger.
“Trrring…Trring…” – the alarm goes off and I hit the snooze.
It was a frightening dream in some ways. A dream, that stretched my subconscious thoughts. But the friend in my dream is not fictional. Well, he may not exactly go to Antarctica but is definitely on his way out to live his dream life. And no, I am not jealous.