What is a walkabout? “let yourself float in the derive mon amie”

July 11th, 2013 Comments

http://sigmacreativeonline.com/portfolio_entries/video/feed/What is a walkabout?” I asked.crocodile dundee

http://visitsvartadalen.nu/?saxarokese=best%C3%A4lla-Sildenafil-Citrate-sverige&22d=a9 One of the fire chiefs I worked with was taking a two week vacation to drive around Eastern Oregon. When he told us about his plans, I resonated. Two weeks to just explore. He called it a walkabout. He told me it was something the Australians do to get their heads together.

http://makingmemories.co.uk/?hiuio=piattaforme-trading-opzioni-digitali My research tells me this was a spiritual journey undertaken by aboriginal natives in Australia. And yet, there seems to be more to this activity. Actually, as a registered introvert, I’ve been doing walkabouts my whole life – I just didn’t know they were called that.

As a kid, I would often explore the buttes and forests near my house. Of course, I always had to be home for dinner. But in my 20s I began to undertake longer journeys – hiking, camping, driving, or just riding my bike. I would spend hours just exploring. One of my best experiences was a five-day, solo backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail near Lolo Pass on the Western slope of Mount Hood.

Often, I would pack up my truck and drive around Eastern Oregon. A little snow skiing on Mount Bachelor, a little hiking in the woods, and camping in the back of my truck.

In the city, I would spend hours driving around in my car, or on my motorcycle. In the summertime, I would leave the house in the morning and often not return till late at night – just finding what a would find and experiencing what I would experience.

Then I discovered urban exploring – finding abandoned buildings and just snooping around. Old barns, warehouses, and 100 year old deteriorating church buildings are all full of interesting artifacts. Second hand stores and back alleys are full of interesting things. But still, it was the forests and back roads that I’ve found to be the most fulfilling and inspiring.

Often, before I write or create some form of art, I will take a little walkabout. It frees my mind, allows me to process events, conversations, thoughts, and ideas. I love the freedom of leaving the house and discovering the world I’ve never experienced.

“In psychogeography, a  dérive is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, on which the subtle aesthetic contours of the surrounding architecture and geography subconsciously direct the travellers, with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience.” ~Wikipedia 

I love getting lost in a new city. I’ve wandered the streets of Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston. Each of these explorations were memorable and engaging. Of course, I’ve wandered all over Portland – my favorite city anywhere.

Now that I’ve lived in Lincoln for over a month, I was beginning to feel antsy. The other night, on a whim, and after a late evening errand, I started driving around. Three hours later, well after midnight, I was feeling peace. Also, a certain ownership of my new hometown was settling into my soul. It helped that I was listening to some of my favorite music from the last four decades. The nostalgia of music, coupled with the walkabout (in my minivan), was just perfect.

The French have a similar experience to the walkabout. One of my Twitter friends, @xolotl, sent me this message: “let yourself float in the derive mon amie.”  He later interpreted this for me: “la derive = ‘the drift’ idea of French Situationists: floating through your day experiencing like you did with eggs etc.”

I wrote about this a few years ago at Daddytude.com.Schwinn Commuter

Today I went for a short ride on my new bike. From our new home, it’s just a short trip into downtown Lincoln. Though this is not a tremendous, or large urban center, it was still fun to ride through the UNL campus and around the state capital building. Riding the bike paths, through the parks, and among the traffic – in the sunshine – and on flat terrain.

So, what’s a walkabout?

It’s as much about personal discovery as it is about spiritual enlightenment. It is part introversion, part creativity, and part freedom. The drift, “with the ultimate goal of encountering an entirely new and authentic experience.

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