When We Travel

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When we travel, when we force ourselves to step outside the cage our routine creates, when we escape our securities and for a while allow ourselves to revel in our lack of knowledge, to become a stranger, to feel the unknown and embrace it, things begin to happen.

The world becomes new again.  The earth, the only place we ever called home is suddenly a mystery that we never really knew.  All of the ideas we were so set on become confused.  Our knowledge, once armor, is only a barrier keeping us attached to a way of thinking that no longer applies and we find ourselves lost.  Our spirits, the master adapters, are stripped bare of their securities and become as new and exposed as the new land ahead of us, and we realize we’d never really been introduced.  We find that, just as we do not know the world, we do not know ourselves, and with realization we are presented with the opportunity to discover the people we really are.

It’s weird at first.  It’s uncomfortable to look at yourself in the mirror and only recognize the shell.  You will make thousands of mistakes.  You will take countless wrong turns or find yourself looking for a person that doesn’t exist.  You will be forced to rely on a place within your soul that you didn’t know existed, a part of yourself that had been missing your whole life.

And once we find that person, once we hear that whisper and find that we’ve had all the answers this whole time, we can never go back.  The world becomes small and our potential immeasurable and we realize that we are responsible for defining our purpose.  Once that voice begins to speak we have an obligation to listen, to follow our hearts and see our dreams through.  Sometimes you have to travel a long way to discover the secret you’ve had your whole life, but once you do, you can never go back.  So, leap into the unknown.  Like Alexander Dumas says, “It’s only the first step that’s the hardest.”

On Travel.

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Thoughts on Leaving.  January, 2014

When the plane takes off my body was covered with goosebumps.  There’s no going back now.  In front of me, another world is waiting.  Behind me, everything I know.  “Often one goes for one thing and finds another.”  My search for this journey: to learn to be alone.

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Day 1. Arriving in Madrid

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Getting here was easier than getting to Italy or Brazil.  It’s just a 5-hour to Jersey and a 6.5-hour from there.  The hard part is the jetlag but I’m hoping that will be fine by tomorrow.  I lost my phone charger somewhere in NJ.  I was distracted.

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I Chose to Swim in November

Yesterday I woke up with the crazy idea that I could choose my life.  It was 6:30 in the morning, and I had 30 minutes of snooze time before I had to wake up for work, but I felt restless.  I just didn’t want to drive through traffic only to sit at a desk and try to avoid eye contact with my everydaymorehateful CEO.  I didn’t want to have to put on a cold face and a serious voice to hide what my boss calls “caring too much.”  I didn’t want to go, but that wasn’t why I felt restless at 6:30 am on a Wednesday.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that, despite how powerless I felt in choosing my life, I was in full control.  I couldn’t block the knowledge that each day I shape my day around a job and life I find meaningless, the more meaningless my job and life becomes.  I couldn’t ignore my responsibility in the whole thing.  I didn’t want to.  What’s worse after all?  Feeling like you can’t control your life, or feeling that you can, BUT?
So I didn’t go.  I woke up, got dressed like a normally would, got in my car, and went to get the mirror on my car fixed.  It had been bothering me a while, and I got sick of ignoring it.  I went to a yoga class, bought some delicious juice, and headed straight to the beach with a book.  I jumped in the November ocean and loved the rush of cold on my skin.  As I dove under a wave I thought, yes, I can choose my life, and I chose to swim in November.  In the solitude of a Wednesday in November, I felt more in touch with people than I had in a while.  After all, we live in our choices, and our soul is in our decisions, and I chose to dive into icy water and allow the oceanic lull to calm the adrenaline and I chose to be alive as me instead of survive as everyone else and I wanted to breathe in the water and live like a dolphin and exhale freedom and I wanted to swim away into the unknown and never come back…and walking back to my lonely towel I knew the truth – that this is why we move, this is why we progress, this is why we’ve explored new lands and discovered wonders and seek understanding – that we are powerful, and responsibility is personal, and eternity is a reply to the choices we make in the present.
I smoked and walked out onto the jetty.  The rocks were slippery.  That’s always my excuse not to walk out too far.  But there was a pod of dolphins were playing in the shallows.  The bigger ones were swimming around the surfers and the sun was setting.  A baby dolphin was swimming around the bigger ones until one of them ducked under the water and flipped the baby into the air.  The water was seafoam and orange.  The waves were white and silver.  The rocks were slippery, but those little decisions on where to place your foot next allowed me to experience instinct.  If I hesitated, I would second guess myself or take too long moving my feet and get off balance.  If I just walked, a rock was was always there.
I also had a bougie lunch at a nice restaurant with red wine with a drug dealer and his friends.  I meditated with a hippie and ate a pistachio macaroon.  I did a headstand because I felt like it would be fun to go upside down.  But most of all, it was November and I jumped in the ocean.  But most of all, I made a choice to be free of all the bullshit for a moment.  But most of all, if freedom is a choice, we are always free, and that’s what made the ocean in November feel so good.