Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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May 13, 2013 |
Dear Mr. Keillor,
I'm halfway through college, and I realize what I want to do. I want to be an adventurer. To travel, to meet people, to gain experiences, to work, to suffer, to live.
And to have some really great stories.
I'd like to have 50 different jobs before I die. There's so much to do, and know.
My question, and fear: Is that selfish? Is that enough?
You got the right idea, Taylor. Somebody has to be an adventurer, we can't all be drones and mercenaries. I don't think it's selfish at all -- you will go off to South America, Africa, Asia, India, Nevada, anyplace ending in A, and you'll see astonishing things and file posts on Facebook, and your thousands of friends, classmates, cousins, will read these and feel envy, amusement, horror -- you will be a bright flashing light in their humdrum lives. I have a friend in Kenya who is a peace worker, mediating between rebellious tribes and the government, and her family, while they worry about her constantly, is terribly proud of her gumption and bravery and resourcefulness. I notice you didn't ask me HOW to become an adventurer: you sense, correctly, that I am not one myself. I travel cautiously and avoid dealing with unpleasant people and rent cars rather than hitchhike and never stay in accommodations that do not have a private bath. And I don't drink the water.
You'll be able to have 50 different jobs so long as you're willing to work for cheap, which, being an adventurer, you will be. (An adventurer does not have a mortgage or car payments.) And so long as you report on your adventurers, you are earning your keep and more. But don't go looking for suffering. It will find you soon enough. And good luck.