A few months back I finally dove into reading Patti Smith’s book “Just Kids.” It’s not a recent release but I’ve had it on my shelf for years and finally picked it up on a recommendation of one of my girlfriends (luckily I hadn’t donated it yet!). I’d wanted to mention it here since I finished it but I hadn’t gotten around to that until now.
I had no idea what to expect because I wasn’t very familiar with Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe but I’d heard it was a good classic New York read.
In retrospect I wish I would’ve read a synopsis before diving into it because I maybe would’ve gotten into it sooner than I did. I think it took me 75 or do pages. But once I did I found it to be a really heart warming memoir about the genuine and loving bond between two individuals.
What I didn’t expect though was how much of an inspirational wanderlust read it would be. Smith went multiple times to Europe with very little money and oftentimes with zero plans. It made me a little jealous that I’d never been that outrageously carefree while planning, or you know, not planning, my travels.
Could I do that? I asked myself. Could I land somewhere with zero plans or arrangements and be comfortable stay in the silo of a barn somewhere outside of Paris? Likely, I couldn’t. Unfortunately. I think people are still as decent as they were in the 70’s and there are definitely free spirited souls who would let you sleep on their couches (I mean, the website Couchsurfers exists!) but is it for me?
While part of me says no, another equally as loud part of my mind says, “why not?! You stay in hostels anyways,” and yeah, whenever I travel I choose to spend my money on experiences rather than accommodations because I never spend much time in my room (I could not bother to travel at all if I wanted to hang out in bed all morning!). But unfortunately I’ve grown up in America where we have fear projected onto us 24/7. Although I know most European countries are way safer than anywhere here (they don’t let just anyone buy a gun, for example).
But add to that my love of horror movies and you have a semi-paranoid traveler. Well, paranoid in the sense that I’m not staying with a random person in some free room in their house. But I think maybe that’s pretty reasonable, eh? Oh, for the record, I’ve never seen the movie Hostel before. I don’t need my travels permanently ruined, k?
As silly as those reasons may sound, it’s the reason why I could probably never take a page out of Patti Smith’s life and travel exactly like her. This book has travel inspiration spilling out of it’s pages though and you should add it to your (very late) summer reading list while you can.