We’re in a funny time of limbo. The travel plans are coming together and while we have a ton to do with our new businesses, I’m having a hard time staying in the moment. Knowing we’re in for such a potentially life changing experience has completely consumed our everyday lives. I can’t help but mentally play out future scenarios and wonder what our daily lives will look like.
The aspect of the trip we are most excited about is not actually the travelling. What we most look forward to is living a simpler life and spending more time together, not having to worry about work, school, houses, cars and the endless cycle of consumerism. I can’t wait to focus on our family and see what our priorities truly are once we don’t have the distractions of suburban life. We want international distractions! Just kidding, but seriously, being out of our element will be freeing and a little bit scary.
Most people, probably us included, don’t know what to do with free time. We spend so much of our lives on the work and chores we have to get done that once we have free time, we spend it relaxing or looking for another distraction. We’d rather the TV or internet take our time and tell us what to buy and think than have to spend time alone and face our true selves. A lot of people dream about striking it rich and retiring to a tropical island where they can lay on the beach sipping pina coladas. If you’ve ever spent any time doing this, you know it gets boring pretty fast. And Craig and I are not the lounging types. If you give Craig a week off work, he starts a new business, writes a book, plants a garden and signs up for a triathlon. It will be really interesting to see how this changes when we don’t feel like we need to cram in everything we’ve ever wanted to do into one week. Will we turn into loungers? Probably not, but in all likelihood we won’t be the same people next year. And that’s a good thing, right? If you’re not changing, you’re not growing.
I think slow travel will be good for us in this respect. Instead of “doing” Europe, we will be experiencing Europe. Instead of travelling like we have a checklist that needs to be crossed off, we will have the luxury of flexibility and spontaneity. We might find ourselves in a beautiful culturally rich city full of one of a kind attractions. But if the sun is shining, you will likely find us hanging out at the local park. Not sophisticated, but it’s where we are in this season of our lives and it’s one of the best reasons for slow travel. We can wait for a rainy day to visit museums.
I guess learning to be present is a lifelong struggle. It’s in our nature to constantly either reflect on the past or anticipate the future. I don’t want to wait for our trip to implement this habit. Right now we have so many blessings we need to treasure and excessive planning for the future is a distraction from the good surrounding me today. I read a great quote today. “Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.” So true, right? It’s something we all know, but tend to forget on a daily basis. So I will continue to remind myself! Today is a gift, enjoy it!