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The Wanderer's Path This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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I wonder if quoting is cliché. Then I worry if it is even legal. But I know that a real, true inspiration is not to be trifled with, ignored, or insulted. When you’re gifted with an idea, you grasp on to it, as so few are able. So how about a stab at it…

J.R.R. Tolkein wrote in the Lord of the Rings, “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” Many reading this poem would pause at the first phrase, “All that is gold does not glitter, ” interpreting thoughts of falsity or masks. But I read on, and identify more with the second phrase, “Not all those who wander are lost.” So much so, that I’ve made it a rather personal catch phrase or motto.

As a general character trait, I’d describe myself as impatient. Delving deeper, I might find that I just want to move away from this place. But in my core, in my real true heart, I’m a wanderer. No move, no matter how far away, could ever satisfy me, and upon arrival in any place, another move is too soon cooking in my imagination.

“Wanderer” paints mental portraits of gypsies or shabby men with sacks of belongings trotting down dusty country roads. The appeal of a free, no-attachments, no commitments, no responsibilities life, is lost upon many of us. A home, a car, a successful career, friends, and possessions are enough contentment for the majority. But then there are the exceptions, and exceptions can identify more with the shabby rambler. But that mental image of a wanderer isn’t completely accurate.

A wanderer isn’t just a man with no home. A wanderer isn’t a young man searching the country for a career. A wanderer might not even have the means to travel. But it’s inside the mind that you find them. It may be the school child who can’t concentrate despite medicine, bouncy chairs, or his parents best efforts. Because his mind is far away on imaginary planets having tea with aliens. Or it’s the office receptionist who not only dreams of beach vacations, but of quitting her monotonous job all together, packing a suitcase and travelling the world. Just to see it. Not for prestige or for romance nor financial benefit.

And although these wanderers have no paths, no goals, no ideas of ends or returns or homecomings, they are not lost. Though they are not heading in any direction or another, and are truly wandering on a hopelessly tangled path, they know exactly where they go. Because these are the people who can truly appreciate cultural differences, who study just to learn, and who travel just to experience, just to witness. They know no bounds or limits, have no reservations or inhibitions. They have no plans, except their plan to wander and live life to its fullest. And in this plan, of having no plan, they prove that they are not lost at all, but on a truer, more direct path to happiness and fulfillment than any career man could understand. Those who wander are not lost, quite the opposite; they know where happiness lies, and see great things on their way.





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