Learning to Detach


One of the many pleasures of travel is that it takes us out of the daily grind, removes us from the office and whisks us away to a new and exciting place.  The joy that comes to us even before we leave is largely centered on that very idea.  And as our travel date approaches we often find ourselves lost in our thoughts of what this change from the norm will provide for us.

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It is a naturally occurring phenomenon that we as a species need bouts of change in our routine.  For some, this change needs to be constant and continuous.  For others, a random smattering of island hopping over the course of a decade will do.  But for most of us, breaking up the routine is something best timed on a yearly basis.

This begs the question; how do we know what kind of change and in what quantity is good for us?  And as I have traveled I’ve found out that many of the times when I felt that change was needed, I resisted and stayed the course.  I started to feel unsettled, but when I voiced this concern people only told me that I needed to settle further – that all I needed was the safety and security of a good job, insurance and a nice credit score.

And who was I to question all these people who seemed to sing in unison the praise of a steady lifestyle?  But ultimately, this was not my path.  And once I left I found a kinship with the road that I had always known was there.  Because of that, I feel the most settled on the move.

I have always regretted not taking the initiative earlier in my life when I felt that draw to the nomadic lifestyle.  How many years of my life were wasted working in this job or that job only to see nothing more of my efforts than my closest neighbor? what could I have done if I’d taken the opportunity to go abroad?  How might my level of experience and personal wisdom have been influenced?

We can generally count on our friends and loved ones to have our best interests at heart.  And certainly it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that we reciprocate that notion.  But just because we receive advice from others it doesn’t mean that that’s what’s best for us — just like our well-meaning advice might not be the best for them.

Learning to quiet ourselves enough to receive the message that lies within is something that is just as important as assessing the guidance we receive from others.  And so it’s vital that we also separate ourselves from this inner information as well — giving ourselves the best chance at seeing this message clearly and applying it to our lives.

Looking at all the information that we have available to us from the perspective of objectivity will aid in coming to the right decision at the right time.  And in doing this, we also take the reins on our own path – another keepsake of the process of responsible detachment.

Join the discussion: When did you start traveling?  If you’ve never traveled, what do you think about focusing on your travel plans?  How will you be affected by your decision to listen to that inner travel lust?

Follow me on twitter: @cyleodonnell

Like the image from this journal?  Click HERE to visit the Naksan Temple photo album that I took in 2011.

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