Editor’s Note: Main Street Clarksville is pleased to introduce a new column by Curtis Anderson, The Wandering Soldier. Anderson, a retired Army soldier who lives in Clarksville, plans to write about his travels across the country a couple of times a month.
I'm a retired Army soldier who lives in Clarksville. I love to travel and have a motorcycle addiction; it’s a good combination. For me, traveling is life. Traveling, in general, is all about the experience. I collect them like some people collect things. The more experiences you collect, good or bad, potentially can make you a better person.
Travel on a motorcycle, what can I say; it’s all about the ride baby. Like an arch, it welds all of the senses together with a little touch of danger added. Some would say riding a motorcycle; that’s not safe. I would say the quality and a fulfilled life will not be measured by years lived. It is the best way to travel. You are exposed to the environment, forced in some ways to become part of the places you are traveling.
I have always had a thing for borders, crossing them, looking at them. To me, they represent change, a fresh start, different people, but more importantly, it’s about new experiences and adventure. Borders and rivers divide the world and the nation, not only geographically, but also culturally.
When driving north crossing the Ohio River, you are no longer in the South; you are in the North. You have left the land of Dixie, and are now in the land of Yankee. A lot of things in life aren't necessarily right or wrong but just different.
Real travel educates; what I'm talking about is staying in real neighborhoods and eating at local restaurants that haven’t been created to chase the tourist dollar. My greatest travel experiences have been meeting people who did not think of me as a tourist.
A few years ago on a business trip to Kuwait, I met a Bangladeshi taxi driver. He gave me a lot of insight into his life in Kuwait, but also his life and family in Bangladesh, where he had started a rice export business. To me, this is what travel is all about. It is about life and the different places that those lives are lived.
So hopefully you can join me for the ride, but hold on. I promise a wild one.
Curtis Anderson, the Wandering Soldier, is a retired Army soldier who has a motorcycle addiction and loves to travel. Anderson and his wife, Terri, live in Clarksville. He can be contacted at thewanderingsoldier.com.