Why We Travel- The Search for Moments
Photo Credit- Wili_Hybrid
April 9th, 2010- Somewhere in Northern Chile
I had to do it, I had no choice. Over fifty sets of eyes locked directly on my next move as my heart attempted to actually explode inside my chest. But I wouldn't get off that easy, death would be too ironic, too simple. Instead I would be forced to do the unthinkable. I would be forced to actually begin living.
Rising to the occasion, I stood confidently and grabbed the 60 year old Peruvian woman's hand. I noticed the gleam in her eyes, the excitement permeating emotions from her younger years that still existed, but lied dormant all too often I assumed. As the salsa music blared through the speakers, the passengers looked on intently with smiles stretched ear to ear. The huge Gringo and the diminutive Peruvian woman began dancing in the aisles of the tour bus, as the crowd around us cheered and yelled wildly. In that time, in that specific place on a mountain road in northern Chile, I was free, I was alive.
Photo Credit- Technowannabe
Why We Travel
I get it, you have responsibilities. You can't just up and leave, and besides, you don't have a thing for old ladies like me. Or perhaps your a bit squeamish to cut a rug while winding around narrow mountain passes on a double decker tour bus.
Or maybe you just have not yet felt the itch.
The feeling you get when the moment that you have come half way around the world for happens, in the last place, with the last person you had ever expected it to. I never left for South America in search of this moment. Dancing in front of others with an old lady is a brand of torture I thought would be reserved solely for my wedding day. Yet when I look back, I still hear the thumping beat and the brass percussionists laying it down with Latin flair and the sound of salsa music is in the air, my dimples are exposed, unable to keep back the hilarity of that one moment, that I can never possibly forget.
Where are your moments hiding?
To stuff away your treasured possessions, flip your boss the bird, and hit the road, is something we have all dreamed of. Whether we actually decide to use a bit more tact in our approach, or employ this blunt, yet wildly effective method is really up to the individual in question. The moments you seek are waiting for you in places you have never seen, in tongues you have never heard.
What we fail to understand too often, is that these moments are fleeting. With each passing day, the likelihood of ever finding those feelings, feeling those indescribable emotions, fades away. Without being present, without an open mind and instead laden with the troubles of everyday existence, we miss these moments as they pass beneath our noses.
While we sit and wait for the right time, making the responsible choices instead of venturing into the unknown, we slowly fade from who we are, and from the things we had wished for. The young boy who once repeatedly asked why to his father, wondering about all things, needing deeper reasoning, now loses his sense of wonder, content instead with what is told to him.
Stop Waiting to Die
"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."- Steve Jobs
What are you waiting for?
If you have found this post, it is somewhat likely that you have the urge to hit the road. My advice to you is to analyze just what it is that you are waiting for. Sure, maybe you can not simply pack it all in and leave today, these sort of things take time. However you must look at your life honestly, and make the distinction of what it is you really want to do.
If you have not left yet, are the wheels even in motion? Are you planning your journey?
One of the things that has brought me the most happiness in the past two years, is receiving comments and e-mails from readers who have said that my writing has inspired them in taking the leap. There is no greater gift in the world that I can think to give, than the gift of inspiring one to take this leap into the unknown. Knowing what this process has done in my own life in helping me grow, learn, laugh and love, these experiences have been unmatched by anything else I have experienced.
Committing to Happiness
Are you seeking that feeling?
If you are in search of that rush of emotions, the adrenaline pulsating through your system, the pounding heartbeat that comes with being outside your comfort zone, then I ask you right now to join me.
I know why I travel.
I travel to find the moments. To meet people who don't look or talk the way I do. To explore the places that captivate the imagination and drive the spirit forward. Realizing that this reaching outward with openness of the mind, results in us seeing who we truly are on the inside. Living life as it was meant to be lived, instead of waiting for these moments we live for, to pass by without us.