Life is a Journey for Two

Some will observe that this Post will complete a trilogy on why I describe life as a journey; there will be more but this one is required now.

Many people prefer to travel alone because it is as hard to find a good travel companion [some say it’s much harder] as it is to find a good spouse.  In fact, some have said that before you tie the knot or declare someone your best friend it is wise to have a holiday with the chosen one first.  One “expert” declared that there is no better way than a holiday together to ruin a friendship or prevent a divorce.

When I decided to retire towards the end of 2000 I bought a large comfortable caravan [a live-in trailer for Americans] and fitted it out with a “self-designed” computer desk while I ran the business down and wound up my other affairs.  My plan was to leave Sodom and Gomorrah to head slowly south towards the region of my birth north to north-west of the city of Nineveh.

An old friend came around every few days to see how things were going.  Towards the end of four months of preparation she thought out loud one day about the wisdom [or stubbornness] that makes a man at my age do such a stupid thing.  I had confided in her that I was planning on taking two years for the initial one thousand miles down south and then maybe another two to rediscover my roots and I had no intention of finding a travel companion.

One day having finally stacked everything into place I took the entire contraption off the parking supports on the four corners to test things for correct and overall stability between all the wheels pending departure.   She  observed this quizzically I had noticed and after once more enquiring whether I was really going to go it alone she looked at me wistfully and out of the blue she said, “You must not forget to take yourself along with you.”  It stabbed me in the right place and I felt what Steinbeck must have experienced when he described the young children looking in on him each day while he was preparing Rocinante for his 1960 journey across America.  It is the best travel journal ever written; find it and read it ten times like I have.  The title is Travels with Charley [the latter as in Charley for a thin-legged poodle that wasn’t black or white or any of the other usual colors reserved for poodles].

Well, I started out with myself and a dog named Gypsy, as a present and a travel companion from our daughter.  This blessing of an animal bonded well with me “and myself” but died of tick bite fever five months later.  She is buried somewhere on the road six months north from here but it took another eighteen months further south from her burial place before  I found this little hamlet where I now live.  My roots shot out when they smelled home-soil and anchored me firmly to the ground.  They would not hear my protests and my other self did not say a word.

There is utter peace around me now; no argument has ever cropped up between me and my other self though the latter does admonish the former on occasion whilst strengthening and/or even supporting the former when a 36 year old daughter admonishes him unduly.

I have never been lonely, perhaps because, now that I think about it while sitting on the keyboard, my friend up north was so right when she said almost ten years ago by now, “you must not forget to take yourself along with you.”

We talk a lot; we laugh and banter with each other.  And on occasion we pray for each other too; this we do quietly, when and so that it does not disturb the other one.

You will find the first two deliveries of this trilogy in:

10 Responses to “Life is a Journey for Two”

  1. Al Talisman Says:

    It is a refreshing new look at life; you have a novel way of seeing the world.

    • Ike Jakson Says:

      Thanks Al

      You understand the message; it gives me great pleasure. Do go well on your journey my friend.

  2. christophertrier Says:

    There is a Spanish expression: “what you can’t learn in books life will teach you”.

  3. christophertrier Says:

    I have concluded that life, in its cleanest form, is merely an existence. We would go through our most basic functions until, one day, they would cease just as quickly as they started. Theoretically one could get by without ever leaving a very limited area so long as one had the most basic sustenance.
    But, then, what type of life is that?

    I’ve never been fond of road trips — it is, in fact, easier for me to fly across the Pacific than it is to drive a few hundred miles. Perhaps, then, I will never be able to fully relate to your journeys. (Somewhat: if you are interested I could write more about journeys to Arizona and Idaho)
    I have, however, done some travelling in my time. Most recently I went to Asia — Taiwan and Japan to be exact. Taiwan was a journey more incredible than I could have ever dreamt. Although shorter than originally planned it still took me by train from the north, Taipei, to the end of the railway — Kaohsiung. There is a wealth there in its people, in its land. The description “Formosa” was not in error. The kindness of the people, the quality of the food, the pleasant climate… A respect for tradition and standards refreshingly free of affectation and mediocrity. (That sounds absurd, but there is something to that… How often do people, societies, hold on to past glories and ways despite the fact that time is steadily moving contemporary societies further from these halcyon days? How often do societies claim to be the heirs of glories past but, somehow, never even hold steady?) Japan felt, despite it being my first first time there, to be a journey home. I knew the aura, I recognised the minute details which are often overlooked. In a way, I understood it and its ways better than the USA — a country, which despite having been my place of residence since my mother chose to relocate during the end of my childhood, has never been more than a place to pass the time before the next venture. These experiences, both exotic and routine, make life more than an existence. The scars and the embellishments make us who we are.

    • Ike Jakson Says:


      Thanks for a delightful piece of writing with all the musings and so much detail.

      If I may sum it up I shall use your last words “The scars and the embellishments make us who we are” and call it my journey. It’s so true and your words make it even more memorable.

  4. christophertrier Says:

    I forgot to add this link to my previous post:

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