We are now over a week removed from the end of our epically awesome “Horsemen visit the upper peninsula” trip and I’ve yet to do any writing or other creative type activity. This post is long overdue. Taking a week away from normality is difficult to recover from hastily. That’s the point though, right? To throw yourself in the way of new experiences, hoping that some special new change will take hold. May that always be our intention, even when it’s not our intent.
While the Horsemen trip was nothing short of epic, I couldn’t be a part of this type of trip more than once every 3 or 4 years. Being with these best friends takes me back to a personality that cannot be summoned in any other way or by any other people. The trip was happiness imbibed through the prefrontal cortex, but the person being conjured is a person I no longer am. The person that I am at 35 enjoys physical activity, silent contemplation, creativity. Understand that I wouldn’t trade any part of our trip for any part of what was missing, it’s just difficult for me to sustain a long term healthy state of mind unless I have myself there with me.
Bob and I began planning our world travels in the days before graduating high school. We knew that the plan was to join the Air Force and it was up to our imaginations to fill in the blanks. In a lot of ways, Bob and I have never let go of the world traveler mentality. What I’ve thought for a long time, and what this trip emphasized with an exclamation point at the end, is how Bob and I’s approaches to world travel have changed. Bob is still very much in the business of marking locations on the map, visiting as many foreign cities, countries, and cultures as possible.
Firsthand experience has taught me the value of immersing one’s self in a culture other than one of those that you know and understand. Government bodies would be so much more effective and open-minded if every representative was required to spend time living with normal families in foreign lands… a conversation for another time, perhaps. Bob’s goal to see the world still makes a lot of sense to me, it’s just that my life and way of thinking have led me down a similar but very different road.
What I’ve come to understand and delve into is the idea that every moment is, in itself, a universe waiting to be explored. Brian might call this type of thinking, “Hipster”, and maybe he would be right. I understand that this sounds super cheesy. Traveling the world still appeals to me, the value is just a bit more complex than I once viewed it to be. Understanding the world that you don’t know is unquantifiably valuable, to a point… until it’s no longer valuable at all – it’s that whole seeing the forest through the trees thing. If you’re not ready to learn that which a book is wanting to teach, then reading the pages isn’t as immediately valuable as it could be, as it wants to be. I’m not saying that the book shouldn’t be read unless you’re ready, I’m just saying that you need to understand that which you are not ready or able to fully appreciate. Have you seen the local “Be a tourist in your own city” events that some cities do to promote local businesses and activities? What I’m describing is my desire to be a tourist in my own body, to be a tourist in this moment.
I’ll end this post by saying that appreciating every moment as a universe in itself is a place that I’d like to visit, not a place where I currently am living. My exploration of this universe is very similar to the first couple of times I visited Paris – seeing all the popular sites while understanding very little of their true values.
Let’s chat more on this soon.