Making every trip a journey of self-discovery

Trip Start May 04, 2010
Trip End May 21, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When does a trip actually begin? At the first spark in my mind when I think about going away, when Harvey & I talk about possibilities, when I'm on the internet researching and triggering my imagination of where I’d like to go, when we decide on a specific destination and choose dates, when we make the reservations, when we pack our luggage, when we board the plane, or when we actually arrive at our destination?  I say it begins at that first spark when the lure of some other place or experience tickles my imagination.  That sets in motion a domino of thoughts and actions that ultimately will take us where we have never been before – no trip is ever the same, even if we are returning to a place we have previously visited. 

This is Harvey’s 60th birthday trip and he has chosen the location.  We have talked about hiking among the redwoods ever since he took a heli-skiing vacation in the Canadian Rockies and I met my college friend Joannie, in San Francisco and drove up the California coast to the redwoods.  That’s about 5 years ago, so you see, sometimes ideas take time to germinate but do come to fruition.   As an extra bonus, Harvey’s oldest friend from about 50 years ago, Stu, is going to join us for part of the trip down the coast of Oregon from Portland.  Last fall, we flew to Portland, Oregon for his 60th birthday celebration and now he’ll join us for Harvey’s.  How good is that?   When Stu & Harvey talk over the phone or get together, no matter how long the time between contact has been, it seems like they pick up right where they left off.  It seems to me that they both become kids again, laughing and joking together.   This trip promises a precious combination of beautiful scenery including ocean, rivers, beaches, forests, experienced with a long-time friend for 4 days followed by more solitary time.  All good. 

I know the trip is imminent when I find myself walking over to my bookshelf and pulling off the shelf Joseph Dispenza’s "The Way of the Traveler".  It’s a ritual for me.  The quote on the back cover revitalizes my mind: “There is only one journey.  Going inside yourself” by Rainer Maria Rilke.  Here’s another quote: “The dream of travel announces that each of us has the power to transform our lives in a fundamental way.  It promises that if we pluck up our courage and agree to undertake the journey, the road upon which we travel will lead to self-discovery.  It is no small promise….  Every time we leave home and go to another place, we open up the possibility of having something wonderful happen to us.  When we move out of the familiar here and now, we set in motion a series of events that, taken together, bring about changes at the very root of our being.” - by Joseph Dispenza.  Just browsing through the pages is thought provoking. 

A little voice inside me is tying together some thoughts that have passed through my mind in the last week or so.  I have been mulling over the question “what would be a perfect day?”  It’s part of my practice of inquiry, of asking myself questions and living into the answers.  A couple of days ago I finally wrote on my 3x5 note card that ideally, each day would have the major part of the day involved in the some aspect of the following:   
 -     Learning something new – maybe that would be a Teaching Company DVD or studying Photoshop or…

      Imagining or creating - related to photography or image-making (maybe multi-media)



      Gardening - got to have time outside with nature, listening to the wind!



With this note card on my desk and on the screen of my mind, I have been observing my days, the choices I make and how I spend my time.  Habits and routines are tough to change.  Distractions are easy to find.    I am hoping that on this trip, by stepping out of my normal environment, I will experiment each day with these activities in some dynamic, free-flowing, and spontaneous way.

Here are some words that capture my hope, my intention (in no particular order):  receptivity, smile & laugh, listen, silence, open heart, vibrancy, sponge, calmness, meditation, smell, soak in beauty, imagination, curiosity, just be, spontaneous.

Now that I have “packed” my spirit, I’m ready to tackle the physical stuff!  I have printed my packing list and I’m now off to get that started!
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