The Journey is the Destination

The Journey is the Destination

I’m guilty. I’ve been so enraptured by moving to Cleveland that I actually wished we were moving sooner. But that would mean aborting memories of unborn adventures. It would mean giving up our Jersey Shore life when there are weeks left to be enjoyed. It would mean short-changing time with local friends – drinking umbrella drinks while we wiggle our toes in the sand. I’m guilty of almost forgetting…

The journey is the destination.

So I’m taking a breath and reminding myself to first enjoy every un-planned summer moment. Like watching three girlfriends laughing at a late night poker table. Like seeing the smile on our roommate’s face when she comes home with a new bruise from her surfboard. Like watering the fire-pit turned herb-garden and always having fresh basil to put in my water glass. I am reminding myself of something I thought I already knew…

The journey is the destination.

Booking Malta was first published on thisarcticlife.com in the spring of 2010 and is placed here to serve as a reminder of this life lesson.

Booking Malta

We all know the saying, Carpe Diem or Seize the Day… but do you seize the day? Do you treat the journey as the destination? Or do you focus only on the future, marching your way through the daily grind because its what’s expected?

The journey is the destination.

I am (fortunately) reminded of this daily. Not only is it the closing lyric in a song called “Email” by one of my favorite artists (Melissa Ferrick), played entirely too loud in my car as I drive to work, but it appears unexpectedly on the email signature line from a new friend. (Thus confirming the adventurous spirit I sensed when we met.) And it is the slogan on the T-shirt I wear as I board a plane to Malta the last day of 2009.

It is how I try to live my life, every day.

The journey is the destination.

I’ve always hated the question; where do you see yourself in five years? Why is it that most people want to know where I’ll be one day? What’s wrong with where I am now, enjoying each moment for what life has to offer, while trusting the next step in my journey will be there when I’m ready to take it? Like agreeing to go on an international trip without knowing where I’ll be on any given day.

The journey is the destination.

Traveling Light

I booked a round trip flight for Rome, and from Rome, a one-way flight to Malta. “But how will you get from Malta back to Rome?” my friends inquire. I don’t know when I leave on my journey. I don’t even know on what day the return will be made. Perhaps I will fly. Perhaps I will take a ferry. Perhaps I will meet a new friend with a sailboat.

The journey is the destination.

Mind you, it’s not always easy to live life in the moment. We are bombarded with cues to focus on the destination, especially when traveling. Agents want our itinerary so they can book our reservations. Restaurants record exactly how many are arriving in your party and at exactly what time on what assigned day. But how do I know if I want Italian on day three of my trip, or sushi? And how will I ever find the secret slice of heaven only the locals frequent if I book reservations from 7,000 miles away? How, in fact, do I even know what time I’ll be hungry? And, how many moments am I willing to spend researching and planning and preparing, when I could be using those moments to seize this day?

The journey is the destination.

Malta is an island off the southern tip of Italy, and yet a country unto itself. I actually had to hunt it out after friends asked me to join them there. I couldn’t find it at first. I had never heard of it so I didn’t even know where to begin my search. As it turns out, it is a tiny speck just south of Italy’s big toe, smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. And once I saw it sitting there, a lonely ink dot surrounded by vast amounts of blue, I knew I had to go. When else would this opportunity present itself? When else would I have this moment to seize? So when I found an affordable flight to Rome, the nearest international airport, I booked it. In fact, I booked it so fast I forgot to list my name exactly as it appeared on my passport.

The journey is the destination – and what a journey it was!

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