Ken and I are on a road trip. New vistas, exciting places, the open road!
We drove through the Mojave, into Arizona and are now in New Mexico. He’s here to hang out with his peeps from the world of applied Anthropology/Sociology. I came along to cheer for him, see this state for the first time, and enjoy the luxury of staying in a very nice hotel. After the scholarly papers & meet-and-greets, we drive south to visit my sister. I am having a lovely time.
But last week, before we left home, times were not so lovely. Resistance welled up in me as our departure date neared. I like our bed. Nothing beats cooking in my own kitchen. Living out of a suitcase — blah! Will child protective services hunt us down for leaving favorite son home alone? Never mind that he’s almost 21. He might need us!
The resistance wasn’t logical. I like travel. I enjoy road-trips. I love spending time with Ken. I realized that my last out-of-towner was about six months ago to see my dad for the last time. Maybe some of that sorrow colored this trip. Hm. Perhaps. The night before we pulled away from home my resistance began losing ground.
My desire for adventure trumped my love of comfort and the familiar.
That was it. Once I made a choice, let myself really entertain the discovery and surprise a road trip makes possible, I melted. I decided to hazard the consequence of the unfamiliar, possibly uncomfortable, maybe even dangerous, and entered into the experience wholeheartedly. Instead of dread or second-guessing, I packed my suitcase and made sure I included several fresh changes of curiosity and fun. This really helped our first night out when Ken and I explored “primitive roads” searching for Prescott National Forest and a place to camp. Carrying my own fun also made it comical when we cooked our first camp meal and not a single fork or spoon could be found because the camping guru forgot to pack any. See how I solved that problem.
Ken and I have traveled together for many years. Things have not always gone according to plan, but we have learned a lot and collected some amazing adventures. Did I tell you about our honeymoon trip? We took an overnight not-for-tourists bus ride across the Sinai. Amenities included open windows, crying infants, smoking men, a tragically sick child, and a comfort stop serving warm Pepsi.
Something I learned: travel misadventures we survive make fabulous storytelling material.
And the good news is we do survive. Not only do we survive the messy transitions of leaving home, losing our way, living out of suitcases, forgotten spoons, and reeking night busses, we can choose to move through our need for comfort and the familiar and toward the mixed bag that is adventure we find only on the open road.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller
I’m writing a short book about the practices that make for positive transitions. Along with moving through resistance, what would you include? Please share your wisdom, a favorite quote, or point me to a book or blog you’ve found helpful. Many thanks!