Travel is my passion . Of that I have no doubt. It has enlightened me, educated me, challenged me and rewarded me. But most of all it has changed me. I have embraced that change over the past 6 years and have become a better person because of it.
So why was I nervous about traveling again?
It was six months ago that my life changed. Breaking my back in the Amazon not only opened my eyes to how things can change in an instant but being laid up for 4 months also reminded me of what it is like to spend time in one place, connect with friends and develop a routine again. It was nice and comfortable, but there was always something nagging at the back of my mind. Something was missing. It was this strange sensation of feeling complete yet incomplete at the same time. Wanting routine but knowing that I thrive on chaos. I was being pulled in two different directions.
The things that bored me previously now gave me some sort of comfort. It is a strange feeling…to be reigned in by normalcy. Something I have fought against all of my life. “Always searching for something more” has been my modus operandi for as long as I can remember.
That has not changed. I still long to be challenged and search for the “different” in things. It just seems like focus has eluded me for the past couple of years.
I suppose it is a struggle that people face daily in their lives. There is always some deep rooted voice telling you the grass is greener on the other side. But what if you have lived on both sides of the fence and sampled what both extremes offer. How do you choose?
For me, I thought the answer would be simple but it has taken 6 months for me to figure out. The answer for me is not to choose but to balance.
I remember reading once that finding balance between life and work is like surfing.
The metaphor works so well for me. Choosing a path in life is like a surfer choosing a wave. He has to be experienced enough to know what the right wave looks like because if he chooses the wrong wave he will then waste too much energy and possibly lose a much better opportunity. Start paddling too soon in front of the wave and it crashes over you. Paddle too late and you miss is. But if you react at just the right time then things will go naturally, for a great distance, seemingly without effort.
Timing Is Everything
Life is about the yearning to find the perfect wave (your passion) and the willingness to paddle too early or too late (perseverance) to gain the necessary experience (proficiency) that will lead you to that feeling of satisfaction when you ride your first perfect wave (Payoff). And once you ride one you will continue to search for that wave again and again.
I realize now that for me true happiness does not lie in the actual reward but in the act of searching for that wave.
What Makes a Traveler?
I think that is what makes a traveler a traveler. We are in constant pursuit of more. Egged on by the insatiable need to experience and discover.
Perhaps this is why I have felt so conflicted. Pulled in one direction by the basic human need to have close friends and a home base and pulled in the other by the yearning to explore and travel. But when I step back and look at my life from the outside I see that it is not a struggle I have faced but the fusion of the yin and yang of my soul coming together.
It is easy for us all to lose sight of what is important in life and be blinded by the pressures that are forced upon us each day. But if we look deeper I think that we can all see that we subconsciously surround ourselves with the things that are important but sometimes fail to recognize their existence. When I look around me, I have the things that are important to me. I have the best in family, (Deb and her family) the best in friends, and I get to pursue my passion.
What I have come to realize is that I just need to continue to get back on that surfboard and seek out that perfect wave. I know I can find comfort in the waves that crash over me and the ones that I miss but most of all, it is when I am searching that I am the happiest.
So as I ease back into travel at the slowest pace in 6 years I know that travel will continue to change me but that change is now in my control. The fears and doubts act like like fuel for my passion and they keep the fire stoked within my heart.
After all, it is overcoming the fear of change that pushes us to live an extraordinary life.