Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why am I on this boat? Adventures from Virginia to North Carolina - day 28

I left colonial Williamsburg and headed to Raleigh, mostly on back roads.  As I was driving and zoning out to music, just following the guiding voice of the gps, I saw water ahead and a little guard house, and assumed I was about to cross a draw bridge.   The guard motioned me to continue on, so I didn't stop until I found myself on a boat.  I went into a full on panic - I looked in the rearview mirror and the deck hands were closing the gates.   I had no idea why I was on the boat, where the boat was going or how much it cost. 

As the boat took off, I became more and more distraught but soon realized I needed to calm myself down because I was approaching full on panic.  I decided it was all okay.  Surprise!  Boat ride!  I love boats, I love ferries, what was the big deal?  If I was lost, I'd find my way once I got off the boat.  If it cost money, I'd figure out how to pay.   After I took a deep breath and came to these conclusions - the gps kicked in and told me to stay on the boat aka Rolfe Hwy. for 1.2 more miles. 

The psychological effects of being lost are really interesting.  It's hard to convince yourself it's not the end of the world even if intellectually you know you will find your way (perhaps with some delays and frustration) but emotionally it feels like the ground is collapsing underneath you.  I think the feeling was amplified because I was alone in an unknown place, headed across the country for an unknown amount of time with an incredibly loose itinerary.  Maybe the fear of the unknown seems more extreme when your entire life lacks stability? 

That one minor blip has come to symbolize a much larger story about this project.   I have travelled alone almost entirely for the last two and half years and with that I had to build a great deal of trust. Not only in myself and the ups and downs of travel but in pretty much everything I do and everyone I interact with. Trust that there is a reason I have dedicated my life to this project, that my Facebook friends aren't crazy, that my car won't break down in the middle of nowhere, that my film will come out, that I remembered to charge my batteries, that my phone won't die, on and on.   I didn't realize how much I depended on things falling into place until I found myself asking myself "Why am I on this boat?"

Anyway, I carried on and followed the gps off the boat (It was free, by the way. I wish I had video/audio of the gps pretending like nothing happened) through the beautiful farmland of Virginia and into Raleigh, where I arrived at my childhood best friend's house.  I hadn't seen Tania in about 7 or 8 years, but she had a glass of whiskey waiting and we caught up while she made a fantastic dinner.

Leaving Virginia
About to cross the James river by boat
I guess I'm now on the boat
Definitely on the boat 
Back on the road
Virginia country side 
Entering Raleigh
A whiskey waiting my arrival
Tania and Todd make a fantastic dinner (I did eat dinner even though my dinner plate has been replaced by my wine glass)

Miles 212, Trip total 1139.  Date January 21, 2013.
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