I guess when I think Travel Blog, I think wild adventures, vast explorations, paramount discoveries. But sometimes, it just means working up the strength to get out of bed in the morning.
See, travel is about personal growth, not growing the number of stamps in a passport. It’s about the time you spend wandering the dreamscape of your own mind, much more than it is about wandering the world.
I climbed a glacier in Alaska, but that was nowhere near as strenuous as parts of this past year.
I slept under the stars in the desert, but that was nowhere near as comforting as the warmth of my bed after a particularly bad day.
I hiked through the Sequoias, and pulling ticks from the fur lining of my dogs was nothing compared to the frustration I felt upon many late and sleepless nights. I sweated out every ounce of water from my body in Death Valley, and let me tell you, the sweet taste of water was nothing compared to the comfort of the glass of wine that glued my shattered pieces together.
I breathed in deeply the putrid scent of the Salton Sea, and meditated with the Joshua trees. All of this exploration to discover the hidden corners of this world but I merely discovered things about myself.
This last year has been the most difficult year I’ve come to pass. You may say that we say such about every year; but this one is different. People are all up in arms over the general angst towards this past year and I say let them be. Let them have their anger. Their frustrations. Their moment of mourning. Because this year was hard. The negative forces of this world came out to play with a fury I have not yet seen in my short time on this earth.
In this year I have hated myself with a ferocity I didn’t know that I possessed. And, in this year, I also found forgiveness. This year, I learned things about myself. I broke commitments I promised I would never break. I discovered hidden secrets of my subconscious; the source of my afflictions.
This year I felt shame; the bitter taste of the unforgivable burning in the back of my throat. I felt a heartache so vast that even the expanse of heavens looked on in envy at its greatness.
And so, to those who said 2016 was simply the worst, you’re in good company here. This is a year for grieving. And yet it is also one for celebration—a celebration of success, of making it through. We are on the cusp of a new era, each of us can feel this in our bones. So, as you travel, as you explore and as you greet the unfamiliar faces that line the world do not forget your compassion. In a year devoid of such, we are called to make the next one that much better.
2017, we’re all ready for you. I’m ready to explore you and to discover the road less travelled you have in store for me. I only ask that you are gentle; that you are kind. That you remind us of the goodness in our natures, of the fierce power of the love residing in our hearts.
In 2016 the world forgot our vast capacities for compassion. Let 2017 be the year of remembrance.