Updated: Nov 7
Recently, I went on a trip of a lifetime to England and Greece. Two somewhat seemingly random choices to pack into a singular trip, but they made sense for this particular adventure. And maybe you noticed that I didn’t describe this trip as a ONCE in a lifetime trip, just A trip of a lifetime. And if you didn’t catch it, no worries. That’s why I pointed it out. Because it is with full intention that I describe it in this way, as I intend to have many more of these “trips of a lifetime” in my lifetime. If you care to keep reading, I think you’ll see why.
Since returning home I’ve been processing the impact this time away has had on me. My go-to support and advocation of travel, especially international travel, is how it is one of life’s greatest teachers about humanity. When we live in our little bubbles in our little corners of the world, it’s too easy to see those outside of that bubble as different, as other, as wrong. We judge, separate, accuse, and isolate ourselves, leading to fear, hate, lack of understanding. To hear perspectives and thoughts and ideas from others around the world makes my - our - world bigger, and makes my - our - heart(s) bigger.
That, my friends, is my general reasoning in support of travel. And for this trip all I needed was that attitude and Greece! Yoga with Cindy! YES! to sign on.
Now let me take a moment and back us up 15 months.
15 months ago my life tried to crumble. It was an almost crumble on top of previous almost crumbles. And I knew immediately that I needed out. I needed to be where there were zero demands of me so that I could crumble on my own, without taking everyone down with me. Then I could have rebuilt. But, I felt like I “couldn’t” ask for or demand that time. I did the best I could while remaining in my daily existence, and inevitably, the pain and hurt were shoved deep beneath the daily surface of my life, so that I could continue to function and not allow the pieces to crumble around me. If they did, I did not believe I would be able to pick them back up again. I was scared. I felt trapped by my younger self’s decisions. And I believed I wouldn’t be able to recover if I did what I knew I needed to do and the doing resulted in crumbling.
Fast forward those 15 months, and my day to day personal existence has been mostly in stuck mode. Not forward. Not back. Although sometimes appearing to move in either of those directions. But really, just in stuck. I knew it, but didn’t know it. And what I thought, at 15 months down the road, had become a blip on the radar (I mean, I’d done things to work with it. Lots and lots of things), was actually still a full fledged storm; and it turned out it was waiting for me. I just had to get far enough away to shed the many loads I carry and juggle in my daily life to touch it. And boy did I get to touch it. And sit with it. And feel it move through me. Because it is so big and massive, when it came to the surface it said “Hi, is this seat by you taken? No? Great! Because buried under all your layers, I'm still here; and I’m here for the long haul.” Ouch.
Some of it eventually got to move out, and the joy and lightness and freedom I felt in response had me feeling like a different person. No. Scratch that. Not different. ME. Had me feeling like ME.
And so I travel. And when I look back and consider the incredible personal moments from this trip, the insights and freedom found, I can see how it’s more than just a trip. It’s another piece of what I need to be healthy and to live life as fully and authentically as I can. I’m pulled so far from myself in caring for Aspen, mothering Ryburn, and navigating difficult personal relationships, that this seems to be one of the most powerful and effective ways to bring me back to myself. Of course, daily meditation could possibly fit this bill, and be a hell of a lot cheaper and less stressful on those around me who have to take over when I’m gone, but life doled out a big ‘ol dose of challenge when She set my course, and sometimes the only way I can regain my footing is to step away. This trip reminded me that trips, for me, are more than just trips or vacations; they are an essential tool for helping me connect to the world we live in, and for bringing me back to myself when I lose who I am.
Now... where to next????