12.11.2006,12:02 PM
The world is a book...........
.....and those who do not travel read only one page.

"A lot of us first aspired to far-ranging travel and exotic adventures early in our teens; these ambitions are, in fact, adolescent in nature, which I find an inspiring idea......Thus, when we allow ourselves to imagine as we once did, we know, with a sudden jarring clarity, that if we don't go right now, we're never going to do it. And we'll be haunted by our unrealized dreams and know that we have sinned against ourselves gravely." -Tim Cahill

Between the small cracks of today's modern world are individuals who have reset their clock with their own time. A time of adventure, meanderings, ramblings, explorations, wanderings, discovering, and vagabonding.

"Excuse me, but I"m going to step off this huge highway of life and take my own path for awhile."

Sometimes that path has a map with a marked Point A and Point B. Other times the map is a rainbow of colors highlighting little paths that may or may not crisscross each other. A map can be as small as a square mile or stretch across the globe. You don't really need a good reason to go anywhere, just go to a place for whatever happens when you get there.

Our ancestors were inherently nomads, moving from place to place following the food and water as the earth moved through its cycles, facing challenges and their fears daily. Every day often presented something new, adventures, good or bad. Yet each day they grew, physically, mentally and emotionally. Their life was full. And because of this, they were each special with a different perspective, history and paths and maps of life.

Now we live in an age of technological wonders: we can fly to the moon and outer planets, split atoms, manipulate genes and clone living things; we can send a message to others halfway around the globe, find multiple answers to a question by searching the information highway, build structures and machines that protect us from most natural and man-made calamities, share our expressions with the world, and extend our lives beyond a time when we probably should throw in the towel.

But what do we really have? Who and what are we, really?

"He who stays at home beside his hearth and is content with the information which he may acquire concerning his own region, cannot be on the same level as one who divides his life span between different lands, and spends his days journeying in search of precious and original knowledge." - al-Masudi, Meadows of Gold Traveling
Traveling unbound by all your possessions and creature comforts is not always carefree and full of ideology. Sometimes we are cold, hungry, in danger, and broke. But we are forced to meet these challenges, find and dig into our own strengths and resourcefulness. Without all the rituals, routines and possessions that give our lives meaning at home, we are forced to look for meaning and strength within ourselves. We are left to improvise and meet our raw true Self.

"[Travel] is a radical way of knowing exactly who, what and where you are, in defiance of those powerful forces in society that aim to make us forget." -Kathleen Norris
On the road we discover and recover parts of ourselves -physical, psychic, and emotional. As we do, we also discover the same about others and learn about the world around us beyond what we read in books, newspapers, and magazines, beyond what we see and hear on the television. But we also leave behind pieces of ourselves - habits, prejudices, ailments, and maybe even pieces of our heart. We learn of and acquire pieces of life that can't be gathered sitting still. Luxury is, in a way, being comfortably ignorant.

Most of all, we learn what we value; in ourselves, in others and in life.

"We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again - to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more." - Pico Ayer, Why We Travel

To all those who yearn to travel, who envy those who do, who pine by reading travel books and dream over maps, who sigh after proffering excuses; I share below a quote by Isabella Lucy Bird:

"The cowardly belief that a person must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness. There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the non-existent horizon, and her empire is an intangible one, for her domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit."
Gather up your spirit and courage, take one step forward and then another. You might find how easy it is to shed that harness behind.


posted by Macrobe
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