Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Progress Report

Written by Karen
Heading for open seas with an uncertain horizon
Oh, the twists and turns of life!  When we decided that we were going to take a year – or two – and go travel the world, I started planning. Adam quickly took the approach that we would depart on our travel adventure whenever we were ready to go, and that planning would only serve to frustrate us.  I took the project management approach that we needed deadlines, timelines, markers, and objectives in order to meet our goal.  How else do we plan for an event like this?  How else would we know that we are making progress towards reaching our goal?  

We started this journey with two very different approaches, and today, much to Adam’s relief, we are both on the same page.  We will leave on our travel adventure when we are ready to leave.

A year ago, I purchased two, one-way airline tickets from Seattle to Paris that left yesterday at 4:00 p.m.  I arranged to rent an apartment in Brittany, France for two weeks beginning on Saturday, and another apartment in Budapest, Hungary for three weeks beginning the first of May.  I also arranged to visit friends and relatives throughout Europe, starting in June. Very organized; very proactive; and, as it turns out, more difficult to achieve than we first thought. 
I have spent the past two weeks canceling all of the arrangements and plans that I had made last year.  We’ll be starting from square one once we get closer to our departure date. 

A year ago, this trip seemed very far away – impossibly far away. Yet here we are at this juncture in time; the day we had arbitrarily designated as our departure date, and we are not ready to leave yet. We still have loose ends to tie up.  
I have also realized that our travel adventure doesn’t start when we board a plane to somewhere.  Looking back over the twists and turns of the last year, we’ve changed and grown as we worked towards our dream of traveling around the world.  
Each step that we have taken on this journey to prepare ourselves to take this leap of faith has given us a different perspective; each step has changed our reality; each step became another first step in a possible new direction.  Our travel journey has already started.  We just haven’t left yet! 
‘It doesn’t matter how long it takes to achieve a dream; the time will pass anyway.’  
(Author unknown)
A year ago, we planned to rent out our house while we were away.  We viewed our travel adventure as taking a sabbatical, and once our sabbatical was over, we would simply pick up our lives where we had left off.  
Over the past year, we have changed that perspective.  We are now planning to put our house on the market in the next few weeks.  The changes to our lives, lifestyle, and to our selves have been gradual, but significant.  We aren’t coming back to our current lifestyle, which includes our current home, cars and extra things.  We already have been changed by what we have experienced over the past year, and who knows what additional changes will occur while we are traversing the planet?
Life constantly unfolds and changes direction, and consequently my approach to travel planning has had to change.  I’m still chomping at the bit to start our travel adventure, but now I’m realistic enough to know that timelines won’t make our travel adventure start any sooner.  In fact, establishing arbitrary deadlines and timelines has only served to frustrate us.  
There are so many variables – pieces of the puzzle – that have to fall into place, and many are outside of our realm of control.  So, instead of trying to force a round peg into a square hole anymore, or brooding over the missed deadlines, I can now relax and enjoy the ride.
‘In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go.  The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.  Your car goes where your eyes go.  Simply another way of saying that which you manifest is before you.  I know that’s true. Racing doesn’t lie.’ 
(Garth Stein from “The Art of Racing in the Rain”)
I wonder now where our wanderlust will lead us?  Where do we start our adventure?  Where shall we go?  Since I’ve cancelled all of our plans, we have no plans! We’re both totally focused on the the wide open road ahead of us…

1 comment:

Angela said...

You have absolutely made the right decision!

We left for a year trip, and well now we are closing in on 3 years! I'm so glad I don't have to worry about all our 'stuff' we left behind. Aside from a few pairs of shoes, I haven't missed a thing.

The opportunities that present themselves will surprise you. You won't have to plan ahead.

Good luck, amigos!