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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The art of planning and travels

Making plans though, can be tough. I’ve told myself so many times, they shouldn’t be made, I don’t need them, and I can flow with life going from one place to the next, from one experience to the next. To travel so freely… isn’t that what life is all about? Well, I’ve learned that we can go with the flow… to a certain extent. But, no, it’s not only what life is about.

I know of travelers, and am quite close to some, who will always go with the flow. They DO plan, but the plans are always changing. Is this a problem? Not when the traveler doesn’t have to take a lot of practicalities into account – such as work and finances, visiting the family and fulfilling certain ‘duties’ simply for the sake of health and sanity. I’m not a traveler who DOESN’T have to take these things into consideration. Because I DO have to be practical. I DO need to have regular work lined-up… how else can I support myself? And, yes, of course I DO miss my family and I DO need to continuously work on myself, at the same time as giving priority to all these things that are important to me and my life.

I’m continuously reminding myself, as the time to move onwards slowly approaches, that making plans doesn’t have to take away my freedom. But past experiences have proved this to be true; going to China, I planned to stay a year, and was trapped, isolated and miserable (of course I don’t know if that’s because of the contract I had or the actual place and situation). But I’m getting somewhat scared of planning for fear of recreating past experiences. But I have to plan, because I have to move. Also, being practical keeps me in touch with the real world – otherwise I float too much and become disconnected from life. Plans can always change, and that too is fine… I don’t need to feel trapped by making choices and taking action. I don’t need to feel that I’m closing the door to so many other experiences, by giving priority to certain things in life. The things I do and the things that have my priority and therefore are my responsibility, are the things that make me happy… so why would I feel that plans and actions and practicalities will burden me, isolate me and stop me from moving? If anything, they will keep me moving and experiencing. And that’s what I want.

There’s another thing that offers me HUGE relief… the fact that I NO LONGER believe that I must do EVERYTHING NOW… By feeling that everything needs to happen asap, it can be almost impossible to feel a plan or decision is the right one. I’m learning though that this life is a journey that will be ongoing forever… And all the things I love to do in life will always be coming to me, at different times along the way, depending on what I focus on at that particular time. There’s a time and place for everything. And I can’t have and do and be everything all at once. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work!

Looking back on how I’ve been moving, I see that it will continue, if that’s what I want. So the experiences will still be had, they won’t happen all simultaneously… that’s impossible. But by focusing on what I love, they will come to me, eventually. All in due time… I’m only 28… I have all the time IN the world as I keep on moving THROUGH this world. So there’s no rush to do everything and there shouldn’t be any fear that making a decision will be the wrong one. Because, always, things will work out. I’ll always have work, because of being so lucky that I love teaching (even if I’m not properly qualified) and I’ll always have the support of my family, who will never force me to come back – even if they miss me.

You might be catching-on to the fact that, now that I’m at a point where my next 6 weeks are planned and the road after that is open, I’m somewhat afraid of taking the next step wrongly, or of becoming trapped, isolated and miserable. But, like I’ve already stated in this post, nothing will ever be wrong. I can change my plans, if it doesn’t work. Whatever I choose to do or wherever I choose to go, I’ll always have the power to change my circumstances – something I learned in China.

I guess what I’m trying to establish and set straight, once and for all… is that by making plans, I’m not imprisoned. But being a traveler, doesn’t guarantee that every move will be easy or that it will give me a sense of freedom. However the experience itself will always be needed, so as to learn that we CAN be free living, regardless of the country we’re in or the job we’re doing. We’ll also need that experience so we can move on to the next chapter and place – either weeks, months or even years after first arriving in a foreign place.

Man oh man…. All of this rambling, about freedom and travel… I should know by now that I don’t need to be on the move, just to have a free life. But old ways of thinking are hard to fully break away from. And it’s only natural, with the move on the horizon, for the past to be brought to the surface. And that’s fine. I’ll just trust that all is well and I’ll continue trying to put my words into practise as I slowly plan and gradually move onwards.

1 comment:

  1. Reading your blog is always refreshing in so many ways. As a fellow traveller, and always a friend to you, I'm happy to hear about how you're doing, even if it seems plans are in grey for you (as they are for me)-- we both travel around the globe alone, but reading your experiences and your thoughts, I don't feel alone, and I think, given our situations, that's important.

    Love ya, and keep writing. I've started a second blog, that's a bit more narrative than introspective. I'm sorry I haven't been as good about email updates. At the mo, internet's down at home.

    I miss you, and if in six weeks you decide to come to Poland, I wouldn't mind in the slightest. ;)