You see that crazy little trail we traced all around the map above? That’s EVERYWHERE we’ve been over the past 9 months since embarking on this vanlife adventure exactly 283 days ago starting from the Southernmost Point of the US all the way down in Florida. Over 21,000 miles later and it still feels like we have hardly made a dent in exploring this remarkable planet we all call home.
For some, travel is intimidating and stressful, for others it’s exciting and vital, for us travel is a way of life that keeps us hungry and satisfied all at the same time. So what is it that inspired us to write about this topic? Some of you may or may not have heard about the crazy meteor/UFO/missile that flew over Los Angeles this past weekend. Well, we happened to be camping in the middle of the desert, with no service and no clue as to what it was, but luckily, we had front row seats and Drew somehow managed to capture it all on camera. Ladies and gents, prepare to drop your jaws:
- Travel reminds us of how small we really are.
It doesn’t necessarily require a missile or UFO siting to remind us of this, but it sure does help! Experiences like this remind us of how huge our universe is and how little we know about it. From the huge sky that hangs above us, to the huge rocks, formed by sand and time, that hangout on the same ground we walk upon, we are but a tiny blink in our big world, given a short time to discover how and where on the map we are needed to make a positive difference.
Sure we’ve been traveling across the country for nearly a year and (sadly) have seen more than many will see in their lifetime, but the more places we go, the more we learn and the more we realize we have SO MUCH left to explore. Our world is made up of 7.3 BILLION people (it was 6 billion when we were kids) and 6,000,000,000,000,000 square feet of land… WOAH. Each of us may be just one of those BILLIONS of people standing on one square foot of all that mighty land, but there is no limit to how far one determined soul can reach… imagine the difference we could make if we all believed that.
2. Travel gifts us with the chance to meet some of the most amazingly awesome/creative/talented/FUN people we would have otherwise never had the chance to meet.
Some people make travel all about WHERE they are, and if they stick to their agenda and stay inside their “box” it is, but the secret is where you are is only half the magic. Being open to letting other people into your life, allowing them to change your plans, accepting kind gestures, inviting them to be a part of your world, that’s where the real magic happens.
You don’t always have to travel far to practice this one and sometimes the people you need to let into your life have been there all along. Make room for them, share time with them and always, all-ways be grateful for them. Remeber, “Happiness is only real when shared.”
3. Traveling helps us to not only expect the unexpected, but to EMBRACE it.
From unidentified creatures on bikes, to bunny-hungry sharks and talking showers in the middle of the desert… ok so maybe normal, everyday life isn’t quite like Burning Man, but maybe we can approach the unexpectedness that is bound to occur with that same wonder and acceptance. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the world’s way of directing our paths in exactly the right direction.
So the next time you get that flat tire, your plane is delayed or you can’t find your (insert notorious item here), instead of getting frustrated/upset/anxious, practice embracing your present moment, accepting your lack of understanding and BELIEVE in the idea that the world knows what it’s doing and everything will be OK.
At a young age we are taught to go to school, get a job, make money, buy things, have a family, buy more things, hopefully make enough money to retire, FINALLY travel, THE END. Does that sound like the answer to happiness to you? Maybe it does, but for us The American Dream is not about having responsibilities and accumulating stuff. For us the true dream is about embracing your God-given freedom to pursue YOUR HAPPINESS. The freedom to do what makes your soul grow to a point that you can’t help but spill that light all over everyone around you.
Remembering to INVITE FUN to be a normal part of your EVERYDAY life might just be exactly what you’re missing.
5. Travel opens us up to our own needs and desires.
When you travel you cherish your time, you want to make happy memories, you want to eat good food, drink delicious drinks, laugh as much as you can, see amazing things and love all that comes your way. THIS is something that should and CAN BE a wonderfully normal way to live your life! Did I just blow your mind? GOOD. Because life is too short, we are all too special and this world is far too good to miss out for even one more day.
With never more than 24 hours in a day, the only thing that is certain is that one day our time will end; I mean this is a good way. We have 24 hours each and everyday to take care of ourselves well, to love the ones we’re with as much as we can and to spread optimism, gratitude, acceptance, fun and TRUE joy wherever we may be. “Life is a journey and the path is unknown,” travel through life as though YOU BELIEVE your story was meant to be a great one, because it is.