Earlier this year, I preached a lot about putting yourself in the way of fear and finding yourself in nature, and I still hold true to those words.
I firmly believe everyone should take a trip of and on their own, exposing their selves to Unknown. But there’s something I neglected to say. I didn’t address what happens when the trip’s over.
Well, here’s the good news: in some ways it will never end.
Like Steinbeck says, a trip can begin far before you actually embark on it, and it can last long after you return home. Because we don’t take a trip; it takes us. The trip decides when or if it ends.
I suffer from perpetual wanderlust, a constant longing for change and discovery.
So, for me, trips are always beginning before they actually do. And when they physically end, I long for them so deeply they live on in me. Whether I want them to or not, they become a part of me, which impacts the way I think, act, feel and dream.
Basically, I am nothing more than a compilation of trips taken and lessons learned from them.
And here’s the truly remarkable part – the part I never really considered until recently: a trip can be anything.
It doesn’t have to be a multi-month cross-country expedition. It can be something so simple as riding your bike a couple miles to the nearest waterfront.
Adventure is all around you, everywhere.
So even if you’re back from backpacking Europe and returning to the corporate American lifestyle, your adventure isn’t over. You’re still on a trip. You just have to see it that way.
Recently, I took up a job for which I need to commute an hour each way. At first, I saw this as a negative. Who wouldn’t?
But now, every time I drive to and from work, I find myself embracing the time I have with myself in my car. Every morning and evening, I take a road trip. I roll my windows down, blast my music and cruise Florida freeways devoid of nagging thoughts or emotions. I just drive.
And the more I see it this way, the more tolerant I am of others on the road. This morning I caught myself letting not one but two cars ahead of me in a traffic jam.
The more I welcome the trip I’m on in that moment – because not all trips are camping expeditions and tropical getaways – the more I see a positive change in me.
What I’m saying is this: we are the trips we take.
If your trip is a brake-slamming, horn-blowing, road-racing, teeth-gritting commute, then your trip won’t end. It will bring stress home with you. But if it’s a beats-bumping, fresh-air-feeling, steady-drifting road trip, you’ll arrive home smiling.
This might sound crazy to a lot of you, but you’d be surprised how capable we are of tricking ourselves into believing something so ordinary can be so brilliant.
Eventually, you won’t need to trick yourself anymore, and you’ll realize: every trip is brilliant, especially the ordinary ones.