When traveling through wondrous places, there are inevitably times one thinks “I could live here.” It’s a fleeting, naive notion – there’s never real thought given to what the reality of simply staying in some foreign outpost would actually entail. But the passing beauty of some exotic corner of the country captures you and for a moment it seems almost absurd you should live anywhere else but in that seemingly perfect paradise. You’re drawn in by a single picturesque moment; beautiful yes, but ultimately a fundamentally false indicator of daily life. Indeed, the very reason the fantasy is so appealing is because of how superficial it is. It’s all so sensory – the majestic view, the smell of delicious simple food being cooked, the sounds of brilliantly colored birds chirping in the distance. It’s an amplified postcard, these intoxicating glimpses into places that make you want to sacrifice everything and just stay. And yet, even knowing all this, the thought is irresistible. For a moment, you see yourself there, looking out at the jealous travelers passing by, knowing exactly what they’re thinking.
I have found such a place. I could live here, in that little shack. I could raise chickens and learn to ride a horse. I could buy a typewriter and read the complete works of all those great old writers. I could meet a nice local girl and grow a beard and slowly learn Spanish. I could get to know a piece of land, to really know it, in all its intricacies, and become master of my own small personal piece of earth. I could become isolated, not out of fear or frustration or disgust, but simply out of assurance in the knowledge that I’d found that best possible place for me and that there was nothing else to search for. I could live here.
I couldn't do any of those things, not really. I know that. But damn it, for a second there, right when I first saw it, it sure felt like I could.