Tag Archives: Gogol Bordello

“Sorry Son, But That Wanderlust is a Chronic Condition…”

27 Sep

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I didn’t want this inspiration forced. Luckily, today was just one of those days.

After a long hard weekend wrestling with a host of things that threatened both my inspiration and my peace of mind, I deemed it time to go on a nice long run, reflect on everything and try to refocus. It was at this point that I had an epiphany. That moment where you just… know. The problems are still there, the situation hasn’t changed, but all of a sudden it all begins to make sense.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately getting lost in things: work, social issues, my future, and of course, music. Things that grab hold in your head, and transplant you somewhere else. Whether it is across the globe, in a constructed reality, or rocking out to some song in the middle of your bedroom, you’re gone for that moment of time, and in it there is a certain understanding that can’t be ascertained from your physical surroundings. According to my brain, I have been in purgatory, on the top of the world, Morocco, France, Home and Boston all in this week regardless of the protests logic will make against that.

So how does this all fit together? Well, quite simply actually. But let me bring up the two points separately before bringing about the conclusion. The first is, as I like to put it, my wanderlust. I recently stumbled across a band called Gogol Bordello, and after they had me convinced that I should start wearing purple, I ran across a song entitled “wonderlust king.” Intrigued, I hit play. After two listens I was convinced: I had just found my new anthem. It was then that I began to draw my entire life, all my hopes, dreams ambitions and fears into one never-ending string through one concept and one concept only: travel.

In high school I wanted to be an engineer, but I always was plotting a way to go live in a van, skiing my way through the American west. Common sense eventually seized me of that idea as it was replaced with pragmatic thoughts of college, again satiating that thirst for, if not travel, the hope of future plans. As the concept of leaving for college became less of an adventure, my sights turned elsewhere again, leading to an abortive road trip attempt in my summer prior to leaving for school. My year at Geneseo included study abroad and transfer applications. My decision upon leaving that fall was simple: whatever next year held, it was going to hold it in Milan, Italy or Boston. But I couldn’t even wait for that. Nope, for that summer I reinvested myself in my cross-country road-trip ambitions, this time succeeding, making it from my humble home in Saratoga all the way to San Francisco in just over a week’s time. Boston beat out Milan and then proceeded to latch onto me in the fall, providing some of the excitement I had been searching for. But, even Boston’s allure couldn’t keep me forever, and it was off to Rabat, Morocco followed closely by Hyeres, France, and finally, back to Boston once again.

This little bug, this little, barely traceable tick in the back of my mind seems to have latched on to me and provided me no way out other than to continue following my gut. Keep your cruises; keep your pampered vacations, your hotels and your quiet luxury. I’ll take a pillow, a crap car or cramped buses, dirt as my Modus Operandi for food and bed, and the open road. As long as there is something I’ve not seen, people I’ve not met and adventures yet fulfilled, this will forever be my drive, my motivation, my desire. And, furthermore, and to put it bluntly,  people on that cruise ship don’t exactly rate on my “people I need to meet” list. Whatever this is, wherever it will lead me, you can be damn sure that I’m going to follow it for now.

It’s this little bug that has led me through 31 states and 10 countries in the span of 4 years that has outstripped most all of my family members roamings. It is this bug that has given me 2 surrogate families, the most intense highs (and lows) of my life and a photo album for the ages.

But, it is also this bug that has led me to sacrifice much of what I could have had in return as well. It is this bug that has given me my greatest struggles, and has taken away many of the things I miss about being in the same place day in and day out. Thao Nyugen wrote a song that has remained my rainy day anthem for some time with the refrain:

“Oh, geography… is gonna make a mess of me”

Geography, long-distance lines of communication have existed as so much of my weakness for so long now that it becomes frustrating and confounding. The downside to having a life flung across the globe is, well, you can only be in one place at one time, and so you have to eventually sort out your priorities, and without fail, I have always managed to lose at least one thing in the tussle. Nothing in this life is truly free, and sometimes it’s a much easier a concept to think about than one to accept.

Whether you feel inspired right now, or depressed, it’s of no consequence, because now is the time to blend this all back in on itself.

In doing so, I’m going to borrow from one more musician, and this time I’m going with Jack White.

“Jack White performs his music unlike most other artists. He will purposely place things out of reach, for no other reason than to make things harder for himself.”


“He believes that it makes him sound better. He believes that the struggle, the effort, the force, is what makes his work what it is.”

I happen to love the White Stripes, so this is a poignant message. If you don’t well, go find your insight elsewhere for this one.

All of these quotes, ideas, and concepts had been floating in my head prior to today. And, as I was walking back getting down to Jay-Z/Pharrell’s “So Ambitious,” someone loaded this mishmash of inspiration, melancholy and prior philosophical vomit, mixed it up nice, and fired it through the haze that had been surrounding my mind.

It was then that I was able to once again accept the good the bad, and come to the same conclusion I have drawn so many times before. Nothing worth having is ever easy. Comfort and convenience don’t build character.

Alright, I give up, the bug bit me, and I am going to continue to roam this earth to the best of my abilities and search out a few more of those less traveled roads in the process. How and in what capacity? Well, let’s throw a TBD on that for now. And yes, the sacrifices and shit that have come my way for the decisions I have made will continue to sting from time to time, but once again I have realized that it is worth it. What I have sacrificed is minimal compared to what I’ve gained. These stories, these experiences, the people I have made connections with and this life I have built of my own drive and ambition, is something that no one and nothing can ever strip me of.

It is this life I have chosen to live, it is these decisions I have chosen to make, and it is this life right here that is a product of all of that.

I have a few more seas to cross, a few more mountains to climb, and a few more sacrifices to make before I reevaluate my path.

Until then,

I’ll be quite comfortable being a “Wonderlust King.”

As for my word:

Espoir (hope)