Last year, Mr. HalfFull and I embarked on our 30/40 World Tour: Quest for Passion. But it all came to an end 10 weeks later, and we returned to the real world of jobs and schedules.
A few months ago, I read Dove, the true story of a 16-year-old boy who sailed around the world. My trip was nothing like the solitude he experienced on his sailboat, but the wanderlust and thrill of adventure on land are similar. During his journey, he met his wife, Patti. This passage about her really struck me; it reminded me of my writing here and thoughts as my journey was coming to an end:
There are gaps in Patti’s diary, which was written to remind her of days that meant much to her. She knew as I knew that we had got too close to heaven too early, that our time in the islands must come to an end; that we would soon have to return to the real world again.
One day I noticed that she had stopped typing. She had put the typewriter back in the locker where she had found it. I asked her why, and she smiled and said, “I don’t want to write the last chapter.”
Well this is the last chapter and it’s been written, like it or not. As they say, all good things must come to an end. But the memories will last a lifetime. Perhaps those memories will continue to inspire me, and help me on future quests.
Recently, I was telling a friend about my Quest for Passion. He stared at me incredulously and asked why I had to travel to find my passion. I explained that travel wasn’t required, but it’s a good way to get out of normal routines and change thought patterns. If you are in the same place, with the same schedule, interacting with the same people, you are less open to new possibilities. But when you throw yourself into new environments, you are forced to make it work and challenge yourself in different ways.
This is part of the reason why vacations are so important. They help to free your mind from chores at home, and give you the opportunity for mental relaxation and flexibility. Stay-cations can be useful to accomplish projects at home, but they don’t have the same freeing power as getting away and changing your environment.
We are generally creatures of habit. Many of us say we like change, but change can be hard. Perhaps we like the idea of change, but the work to get there isn’t always enjoyable.
I think the Quest for Passion is lifelong for many of us who are not innately drawn to something. My trip is over, but I think my quest will continue. Patience is not one of my virtues, so I need to learn to appreciate the journey and live my way into my answers.
…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…
I hope you stick around to find out what life is like after the 30/40 World Tour. Or perhaps you have found my passion, the key to the locked room, or can translate the very foreign language for me. If so, let me know in the comments. Living my way into the answer seems like it could be very frustrating!
- When your trip nears the end, do you worry about writing the last chapter?
- Has travel helped you think in different ways?
- Are you a creature of habit or spontaneity?
- Have you found your passion? Was it a struggle or did it come naturally?
- Are you patient?