Pick Your Direction

photo courtesy of Phill Davy under a Creative Commons license.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – The Dalai Lama

Did the Dalai Lama really say this?  Who cares.  Wise words, no matter who said them.

I love to travel. At the same time I put down deep, deep roots everywhere I live.  Every so often I’ve also got to GO, GET OUT, EXPLORE. GO SOMEPLACE NEW.  It’s an odd tension–stay and go–and I like to think it balances me out.

Travel is marvelous. It opens the mind and blows away the cobwebs. It helps you to see the familiar–including yourself–in an all new light.

Here’s the thing. I find that you don’t have to go far to travel. As much as I love to wander, my life hasn’t always been set up in such a way that just running off to Australia is a workable option.  But there’s lots of things you can do right at home.  Maybe it’s discovering new route home. You could visit your local soup kitchen to share a cup of coffee with a stranger. Or go to an event that takes you outside your usual social circle. I once went to an outdoor adventure film festival; here I had I thought I was the outdooring type but I discovered an entire auditorium of people in our small town all interested in the same thing, not a single one of whom I had ever met! I was astounded and it taught me an important lesson about taking your surroundings for granted.

Maybe the travel is to a different place in your mind. Maybe you make the decision for one day–just one day–assume that the reason that everyone is cranky is because they ran out of coffee that morning or because their shoes are too tight, not because of anything you did. Or that for one day–just one day–you withhold all judgment whatsoever. Let whatever Greater That Be figure it all out later.

Once a year, go someplace new. Let it stretch your mind. I like this resolution; since reading this I’m working on my list of a physical and mental place to try.  So where will you go?

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