CMH Gourmand

Eat, Drink, Repeat: Culinary Discovery & Misadventure in Central Ohio

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Travels with Toby: Roaming the USA

Posted by cmh gourmand on May 13, 2010

CMHTobias is my co-pilot

Travel is both a passion and a sickness for me. As a passion, it fulfills my need to learn, explore, discover new foods and step outside of my day to day routine. It sustains me, gives me hope, refuels my soul and constantly changes my perceptions of people, places and my own psyche. As a sickness, I am wired to never be satiated by a journey. Each trip makes me want to see more, not less. Years ago, travel was my salvation. I did not deal well with failure. I have definitely had an unhealthy serving of disappointment to date. Now I embrace failure instead of trying to flee from it. Each failure fueled an epic trip. Travel planning focused my attention on something in the future instead of the pain of the present and on something far away instead of the reality too close to home. My angst allowed me to: play roulette in a Monaco casino with a sheik, sleep under the stars in the Outback, float on an innertube down a river in Fiji, meet the woman of my dreams in one country and lose her later in another, stand on a glacier and walk through a rainforest in the same morning and a few things even Hemingway or James T. Kirk would be proud of. I have flown well over 500,000 miles and visited most of my A list countries by plane, train, automobile, bus, raft, ferry, horse, kayak, bike and foot. And I never did find what I was looking for. I always came home to the void I was trying to heal or fill.

This journey is different. Although I made many good friends in my past wayward sojourns, I began and ended each one alone. For a change of pace, I am not doing this one solo. Joining me are two things I can always rely on: my 12 year old Subaru and my 8 year old Appalachian Porch Hound. I am rarely at home so spending time with Toby (known to the public as CMH Tobias) is my attempt to make up for missed walks. Toby will provide some challenges on the trip as well as a companion to talk to. During the next several weeks, I aim to make amends to him for my ongoing and increasingly hectic lifestyle. We head out into the unknown, with no plans, no timeline and no goals, other than to go where the day takes me and to come home when I see fit. I am not running away from anything or hoping for catharthis. This trip is about recharging before I run full steam into something new that I have waited on for a very, very long time. The muse loaned me Steinbecks’s Travels with Charley which I will be reading to Tobias at bedtime.

You can follow our journey on twitter:

@CMHTobias

Some of my food finds will pop up on my twitter account – @cmhgourmand

8 Responses to “Travels with Toby: Roaming the USA”

  1. Amanda said

    wow, this is really beautifully written. Makes me yearn to have traveled more. Glad to hear that you aren’t running away this time. Hurrah for recharging! See you upon your return.🙂

  2. tacodrew said

    Hey Jim – I feel bad that I neglected (read: completely forgot) to bid you a fond farewell and bon voyage at Pecha Kucha… hope your adventures are as edifying as ever, and look forward to stories upon your return.

  3. CMHMOM said

    CMHTobias looks very happy..did you play “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog”…on the radio…sorry about the iPod…

  4. lidia labra said

    JIM ELLISON.- QUERIDO AMIGO, HE LEIDO ESTA CARTA Y QUIERO DARTE LAS GRACIAS POR TODOS ESOS BUENOS MOMENTOS Y LA AYUDA TAN GRANDE Q NOS HAS DADO A LOS HISPANOS -A LOS MEXICANOS-EN ESPECIAL A LOS POTOSINOS, QUIZAS NO ENTIENDO MUCHO EL INGLES, PERO ESTA CARTA TOCO MI CORAZON -JIM-TE MANDAMOS UN FUERTE ABRAZO UN SALUDO MUY GRANDE Y NUESTRO RESPETO HACIA LA PERSONA QUE SIN NINGUN INTERES DE PORMEDIO, DA SU TIEMPO, SUS CONOCIMIENTOS Y SU PASION EN UN DESCUBRIMIENTO LLAMADO’TACO TRUCK’ JIM, MUCHAS GRACIAS POR TODO ESTE TIEMPO Y RECUERDA QUE AQUI DEJAS HUELLA EN EL CORAZON DE MUCHA GENTE…

  5. Dave said

    It’s pretty common at the moderately priced brasserie to see a patron with his faithful companion sleeping patiently beneath the table. Such a civilized country.

  6. Becke said

    I have to admit, I’m a bit envious. Like you, I get wanderlust – where I leave without any real plans and in a day or two, just eat and run around, and then start all over in another city a few days later.

    I’m just waiting for life to stop being so hectic long enough for me to be able to get out of here for any length of time. One of these days, I want to drive to California, the long way.

    Big props for traveling with CT. We tried taking our pets once and it was a nightmare finding a hotel/B&B that allowed pets.

    So how long are you wandering for?

  7. DianaHayes said

    Good Luck with your travels, I’m looking forward to posts on your new adventure(s).

  8. Thad said

    We need to have a talk when you get back…

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