Kelly also hosted three “Kids” (as he called them) who were backpacking across Asia. They ate roti canai with us and explained how each of them wound up in Malaysia. One girl was working on a sail boat from Australia that went through five days of a typhoon, after which she asked to be let off at the next island to fend for herself. She disembarked somewhere in Indonesia and hitchhiked her way to KL. The other two (a Canadian girl from Quebec and a Spanish-American boy) were also traveling from Spain without a direction or goal, but with a general heading toward volunteer work. One of the Kids began prodding us with questions about how many shirts/shorts we packed, whether we had planned out our accommodations, and whether or not we were the “sandwich type.” We were being weighed and measured. When found wanting (we have our accommodations pre-booked!), we were fervently encouraged to hitchhike as the more authentic travel experience. We politely explained between shared side glances that we’d both done the school and career thing for a bit, and that we were happy with the path we choose even if it wasn’t the one less traveled.
For all my talk of not being a dreadlocked wanderer, I’ll admit to romanticizing the notion. I hold backpackers in high regard, reverent of their Rastafarian lifestyle. But, they choose that lifestyle because it’s what they want. Peter Owen knew what he wanted – a life without winters, and he hopped a plane to make it happen. He knew the why of traveling is more important than the how. I want to see Asia pass by my train window while I blog about it. I want to talk to couch surfing hosts about their careers and life experiences while I contemplate my own. Besides, Frost wasn’t giving importance or to that road less traveled anyways; the roads were basically the same. What made all the difference was in the choosing!
The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.