Three paths, work, study, travel.
The first two, pretty much obligatory, will provide us with better opportunities and can often feel like a chore. The last one, a reward. The more it became important in my life, the less I felt able to go after it. And for those of us who seek to become or remain travellers, explorers, adventurers, that can be a hard reality to accept. I know I am doing the first two, the last one I sometimes have an issue with. What I realized at some stage was that I had put work, study and “doing life” in one category and “travel” in another. I needed to change the definition, I needed to integrate travel into life, into study, into work. It made me think of that famous quote this one really smart person once said,
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”
Aw, that would be Albert Einstein by the way.
I was talking to a family friend yesterday, making polite conversation, talking about work and life and my studying and her plans for summer. I asked her if she was going on any trips, short holiday, little getaway?
– Aw no, we are not travelling this year. We are staying put. Well, we are going up to our holiday home. But you know, still here. I looked at her. She looked at me.
We both silently agreed.– Well, it actually is travelling, isn’t?
– Yes, yes, we are not leaving the country but I reckon it still counts as a holiday.
– It’d say it does. You are having a lovely break. Will go for walks around a new area. Hit up some new cafes. Staying for a while?
– We are going for three weeks and you know I always look forward to it the most, even more than big international trips you know. It’s my little safe space and it’s so relaxing but I daresay it still counts as travel doesn’t it?
We both agreed it actually does.
So maybe that’s the point of changing the definition. That’s the purpose of re-examining these words. Which led me to this thought.
Waiter, bring me anything but my usual!
Are you a creature of habit? When you go to your favourite restaurant do you go straight for your regular meal or do you try new flavours? What about your favourite cafe? Do you try new drinks, do you ever drink your coffee differently? What about when you are travelling? Do you feel more inclined to try sweetened tea with no milk in Turkey rather than back home? Are you intrigued by eating small bite-sized entrees instead of a whole one plate meal? Sometimes, I’ll go into a new place and order the most not me item on the menu. It could be anything. But it makes me feel adventurous. I’ve tried something new – it’s a good day!
Let’s drive a different way today.
A few months back I spend a couple of weeks house sitting for some friends of mine. Their house was on the opposite side of town and not a place I frequently drove down to. One night, I was finishing work and driving back home. Distracted by a phone call and eager to make it back for dinner, I found myself arriving at my house rather than the place I was house sitting at. How? How? I thought to myself. My brain had wired this route somewhere deep and I instinctively must have driven back there without realizing it. Routine! A beautiful thing sometimes but lethal in others. Do the same thing enough times and your brain must conclude, we don’t need to think about this anymore, let’s put it on autopilot. A new route home, a drive through a strange neighbourhood, a new supermarket than the one you normally visit.
Have you been to the movies lately?
Movies, shows, performances, plays, music and books. Art. Have you experienced that moment in the end? The one where you step away and it’s like exiting a world, re-entering your own. It feels like you are a bit out of balance, a bit lost even. You need a moment. Maybe you need to talk about it. Share what you heard, saw, experienced. Call a friend. Ask them, have you seen it? Have you heard this song? What did it make you feel? Did you get that bit in the middle? Yeah? I need a moment. Hmm, yeah, I need to get back to “reality” you hear people say. I was someplace else and I need to get back to now. You finish a great book and the characters stay with you. You finish a good movie and your mind is flooded with images of faraway places. You watch a cooking show and you can almost taste the turmeric they put in the Tah Dig.
The point of all this.
Did I lose you with all these questions? I hope wherever you are, you are thinking about the places we drift in and out of in our everyday life. We share, inspire, discover, question, challenge, seek, and experience so much in every single day. We take new routes, we explore new ideas, we speak to new people.
Are you working, studying, living?
Cause I am travelling…
I am always travelling…