One of the greater disappointments of the last year was my recent attempts to re-read several books that I had found to be very profound 10-15 years ago, in hopes of pulling new wisdom from the pages. The theory was that I know have a some experience to use as a lens which should allow me to pick out detail and ideas that may have been lost on me as a younger man.
The results we're depressing. Rather than finding hidden gems of knowledge, I realized that these guys we're remarkably niave. I guess back in the day, a road trip to San Francisco seemed romantic. At this point, it sounds fun, but kind of mundane. "Yippeee - drive across the country on speed again". yawn.
I'll admit that growing up camping in Minnesota, I always thought Thoreau was a pussy. That said, his ideas about the 'good life' we're intriguing, and probably make up part of who I am today. With that said, at this point, the act of buying a bucket of nails and a sack of potato's and heading 20 miles from town to live in the bush is kinda weak.
So my advice is to read "On the Road", "Dharma Bums", "Walden", and some others before you have done anything interesting - like when you're in College. That's a great time for this goof-ball shit. Get the blood boiling for some adventure "out there"!
And having read what I just wrote.... I guess the books worked!!!