I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by

"Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" - Mark Twain

by

I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before. "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by

I travel, as most people probably, simply because it was in me. But one quote that gave me infinite wonder early on is Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn," a genius work at least until Tom Sawyer shows up late and ruins the bliss Huck finds for himself. I like what Huck says at the end, just after his doomed trip down the river with a runaway slave ends and he's being beckoned home to Hannibal, Missouri: "I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before."

He's talking about Oklahoma, or "Indian Territory," where I grew up -- a relatively uncharted territory living outside the fold of normal rules, for the time being. I used to think there were basically two sorts of people: stayers and leavers. By that I don't mean those who habitually leave places, becoming nomadic, which to a degree I find kind of sad. But simply showing the strength or gall, a time or two, to break away from the comfort and familiarity of where you grew up -- in the hopes of a bigger life elsewhere.

For whatever reason, I had that instinct naturally. Huck had that too.

 

I’m Robert Reid, National Geographic Traveler's Digital Nomad and writer who’s been the spokesperson for Lonely Planet, the Offbeat Observer for National Geographic Traveler, and a guest on dozens of national TV shows like the Today Show and CNN’s Headline News and radio programs on NPR as well as this Public Radio International.

Social