We’re all aware of the Seven Deadly Sins: Sneezing, Doping, Grumping, Doc…oh wait, wrong “seven”. As we tack away at issue #8, I thought I’d address how the actual 7 deadly sins can creep into the full-time traveling life and cost you everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Can’t hardly wait, can you!? Don’t worry, patience is not a sin, at least not a deadly one.
Wrath! That’s a strong word. “Extreme anger”, the definition given by Google and Apple reads, “chiefly used for humorous or rhetorical effect.” Travel cures wrath for the most part. It opens our eyes to differences in culture, we meet people with viewpoints other than our own, and if we’re adaptable people, we integrate some of those features and customs into our own lives and become more well rounded individuals than our former small town, never been to Spain selves. However, beware the dangers of road rage. Road Wrath, as perhaps it will be known henceforth given the sheer majesty of this piece of copy, is the #3 leading cause of all roadtrips going to hell (handbasket typically not included), surpassed of course only by construction and the question, “Are we there yet?”
Greed is the primary killer of travel. The assassin of movement, if you will. We desire money, then we desire more of it. It takes time, typically, to make money, and we exchange the time of our lives for more and more green until our bodies are too old for hiking mountains, our souls have grown over with too much malice to even want to do so. It is all too easy to think that, in our attempts to amass stacks of green paper-cloth, that we are doing “right”. Particularly when you have a family, or come from a family which places much importance on fiscal solvency and financial independence, workaholism can be seen as the territory of the just. The saying, “you can’t take it with you,” is the only thing we truly know for sure about death, though. Live while you are alive, there will be time to toil in God’s factories after you die.
Sloth is practically impossible as a full-timer. There is always another cliffside to climb, river to float, or bend to round. It is difficult to be lazy as a full-timer: indeed many of us who have achieved this life have done so by becoming entrepreneurs. And no entrepreneur is lazy, otherwise the title rarely sticks. Of course, there are plenty of folks who embody sloth, who embrace it as a way of travel. This can be an incredibly freeing experience, but at some point I think we all come to the realization that asking others for money instead of earning it on our own leads to an addiction to methamphetamines and a dangerously outdated haircut.
Pride is such a strange concept, as a sin anyway. One should not be proud of their little girl during her first grade recital? One should not be proud of themselves after having climbed Everest? That God, he’s a crazy old bastard. The rules he makes up seem incredibly obtuse and outdated, almost as though, 6,000 years ago when he created the Earth, his omniscience didn’t cover a future where slavery and rape were frowned upon. Oh Sodom, how things have changed! Anyway, the primary way that pride can crush us on the road is in not realizing the luck that has come our way. I know of travelers who think that everything they have, they have earned. That they have made this life for themselves. That may be largely true, but be sure to take a moment and thank the Internet, without which most of us who are on the road today would not be. Perhaps you chose a career in web design at an early age, only to find how profitable it would become as the Internet was being built for the first decade or so. Or maybe a parent left you a business, one which you did not create on your own but inherited. These are fortunes, and we should be proud of our accomplishments, but aware of our good luck, too. After all, anyone who travels without a bit of luck on their side is missing most of the point.
Lust! My favorite of all sins, of course, is the one where I get to express my love toward my lady in the physical world. Be cautious though, for lust is the predecessor to what many would consider the eight deadly sin: childbirth. Yes, children are beautiful little creatures, but be careful, for they exist purely for one purpose: to drain your wallet and life force. But boy they’s cute!
Envy can manifest in a variety of ways. The stationary might envy the nomadic. The fat may envy the thin and the thin may envy the muscular. When living in a VW Bus, I imagined myself the envy of every RV park I pulled into. For others, envy is living in a Class C parked next to a Class A, or a custom Sprinter conversion next to an old Chevy Conversion van. Forget envy, enjoy what you’ve got and if you want for more, it’s probably because you don’t work enough (sloth) or you work too much (greed). Click your heels and count back from three.
Gluttony on the road comes in the form of the Freeway Exit. We are on the move, headed somewhere, the journey is the journey not the destination, etc. etc. and so on, etc. Therefore, we slip a little McDonalds in here, a little Eat n’ Park there, and the next thing you know you’re wondering where a treadmill will fit into this mobile lifestyle of yours. Best to just stick to carrots and peanut butter (sans the peanut butter, of course) and live to be 102 and made of fiber.
Thanks for playing, see ya next week!