This is such sound advice. My favorite line? “While walking a mile in another’s shoes is impossible, caressing a stranger’s paperback spine is the closest you will ever get to fully understanding another human.”
Inspiring, chill-inducing, and amazingly written. I love this post.
Since I solemnly declared yesterday, Lena Day, as the result of an overwhelming week, I urged each of you do some something that you love! I found myself in a Starbucks, inspired and whipped out this little ditty. You may have read, “You Should Date An Illiterate Girl” by Charles Warnke or the response “Date A Girl Who Reads” by Rosemarie Urquico, so I thought I’d bring you something same, same but different. Enjoy!
Date A Boy Who Travels
Date a boy who travels. Date a boy who treasures experience over toys, a hand-woven bracelet over a Rolex. Date the boy who scoffs when he hears the words, “vacation”, “all-inclusive” or “resort”. Date a boy who travels because he’s not blinded by a single goal but enlivened by many.
You might find him in an airport or at a book store browsing the travel guides – although he “only…
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“The essence of the writer’s occupation was made clear to me. We write books because our children aren’t interested in us. We address ourselves to an anonymous world because our wives plug their ears when we speak to them. In the era of universal graphomania, the writing of books has an opposite meaning: everyone surrounded by his own words as by a wall of mirrors, which allows no voice to filter through from outside.”
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera (who I am absolutely enthralled with right now)
As a religion minor, I get the great pleasure this semester to learn about Buddhism. I think what may have piqued my interest is the image of the Buddha as a fat, bald, and happily barefooted icon, which is a complete contrast to the bearded, long-haired, thin, sandaled and somber Jesus Christ I grew up with. Of course I hope it’s not as simple as that though.
Either way I’m really getting into the course and in the process of applying some of the teachings to my life. The main ideal the Buddha encouraged humans to strive for was a balanced life. He was a born as prince, given everything he would every need in life and then was exposed to disease, old age, and death. He then left that life to live as an ascetic (wanderer of religious truths) where he starved himself, practiced intense yoga to achieve meditative trance states, and basically was a baller at life. But these two extremes didn’t bring him any pleasure and he came live The Middle Path, in which he balanced the extremity of his two lives.
Then he came to realize the 4 Noble Truths which go as follows: The disease is suffering, the cause of the disease is desire, the cure is nirvana, and the path to nirvana is the 8 Fold Path which includes “right truths” such as morality, livelihood, and meditation to achieve mindful awareness, and compassion.
Still with me? Great.
Well the cause of all suffering is our desire for permanence. Buddha taught that the inevitability of life is death. Attachment to pleasures or pain causes suffering, because we are attempting to cling to the conditional things, like the security of permanence, but that everything is constantly going to change, regardless of our attachment or desire, time continues onward. We will never be constantly in a state of pleasure or pain, every emotion is temporary. True happiness comes from the ability to get beyond temporary happiness to a sense of freedom, tranquility, and internal serenity.
I’ve been meditating on these concepts with the help of incense, this radio station, and the insatiable desire to understand this concept of balance. So I pondered, contemplated, speculated, and mused over these teachings. When I finished I had a sense of clarity, an insight into how this affects my life.
I’m emotional. I feel the extreme joy in life’s moments, but I’m also insanely affected by the perception of others and the stress that creates in my life. I’ve come to accept the temporary nature of a thought – negative or positive – but I want to choose to feel more moderately and balanced with a tendency toward happiness. I want to allow my feelings to move through my in a fluid motion of mild detachment, ultimately knowing they cannot affect who I am.
I was recently put to the test when I was hit hard by a new crush. I was so excited about the potential in this new guy, his intelligence and wit were awe-inspiring and challenged me to think critically during our conversations. Oh and did I mentioned he had the chiseled body of The David? Which is ironic because we talked about Michelangelo’s famed statue.
Ahem, back to my point. I was so incredibly excited at the idea of someone who could actually keep up, if not top me, so I let that excitement get the best of me. Against my better judgement I tipped the scale in the favor of an attachment to the idea of perfection that could possibly come from this individual.
Only to get stood up. Yes. Stood the fuck up for our third date.
As you can imagine, infuriating doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. Outraged, vengeful, and murderous are some of the emotions that coursed through my veins along with disappointment and embarrassment. I had allowed my emotions to overwhelm me in the beginning and in the end they once again bested me.
So this morning I woke up. Did some yoga, drank my coffee, and realized that my life is going on, regardless, because that’s the only way that time moves – forward. This miniscule person has no effect on my personal well-being.
I am the captain of my soul, the sole author of my story, and the only owner of my sense of self.
And for that, I am grateful to that lying bastard. (I’m still working on the compassionate nature the Buddha also encourages. Baby steps.)
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
I’m really fearful of letting go of my aspirations.
I’m scared of the judgement I hear in people’s voices when I tell them I’m going to move home when I graduate. I’m even more scared by their disdained faces when I tell them I’m saving up because I’m going to travel instead of getting a ‘real’ job.But what’s more terrifying is not following my dreams.
Okay, it may be unorthodox to backpack instead of going straight into the employment cycle without any real plan for afterwards, but what dictates employment as the norm? I understand I may be making a mistake by putting my career on hold for two years, but for me it doesn’t feel like a mistake. I have my whole life to work 40+ hours a week at the same desk in the same city doing the same job. I’m scared of monotony. I’m worried I won’t live an unforgettable life.
“The days are long but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
The intoxicating idea of traveling anonymously through Europe. Following my heart instead of my head. Following feelings instead of a calendar. Meeting people instead of answering emails and phones. I’m anxious to explore and grow. I’m daunted by the idea of living an ordinary life instead of literally pushing the boundaries of my experience.
“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” – Jack Johnson
I can’t let this go, no matter how many people advise me against it, no matter how many shitty jobs I’ll do, and no matter how many terrible customers I’ll deal with along the way, it’s going to be worth it to me.
“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the dreams will come to you.” – Randy Pausch
My friends and my parents tell me if there’s one person who they know who could do this – move abroad and get out of America, lead a life they would be jealous of – it’s me. I just need to be strong enough to remind myself to do it in the face of adversity.
I also want to thank all the bloggers who are inspiring me to do this with my life. The writers who are brave enough to venture outside of their comfort zone and explain the terrors and the joys that come along with traveling. The photographers who capture the beauty in the ordinary that you find while you discover a new city. The few who stand up and choose to do something exceptionally inconceivable by so many. You are giving me the courage to live my life remarkably. Thank you.
Fall in love or fall in hate. Get inspired or be depressed. Ace a test of fail a class. Make babies or make art. Speak the truth or lie and cheat. Dance on the table or sit in the corner. Life is divine chaos, embrace it. Forgive yourself. Breathe. Enjoy the ride.
“Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong century. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that “age thirty” should be shed of its goddamn stigma.”
– Nick Miller, Isn’t It Pretty to Think So?
Taken from The Squeaky Robot’s post Exodus
Well I’m back in Texas and I’m already clicking the heels of my Jeffrey Campbells together wishing I could be traveling again. But alas, I open my eyes and I’m still here and I’ll probably be here for the next couple of years. It’s a hard feeling to live with, knowing that I need to spend a good amount of time working and saving money for my next set of adventures, but I’m more focused on it because I know exactly how rewarding the end goal feels.
I started working at my internships this week and it’s been really great to feel like I have a purpose during my day, as well as some structure. But I’ve noticed a major change in my priorities since I’ve been back. As much as advertising is my passion, I don’t care about being the best or working for the best company. I want to work in an environment that makes me happy every day when I come to work. What’s the point in spending your life somewhere you hate doing something that makes you unhappy?
Traveling by myself was EPIC. If I could tell every person in this world to travel by themselves for a week, I would, because it changed my study abroad experience so much. Being a girl traveling on your own is rare and when you encounter people and tell them that (after judging whether they would murder you or not) there is the weird respect that people have for you. I felt so independent and confident because I had to figure things out on my own like planes, trains, directions, hostels, things to see and do. It forced me to be outside of my comfort zone and I was so open-minded about meeting everyone, anywhere, that I met some of the coolest people I would have never talked to otherwise. The camaraderie between travelers and backpackers is like an immediate connection between people that always breaks the ice. Agh. I loved it so much and found so much respect for myself that coming back to the closed off people in bars in America has been an adjustment. But oh well, I’ll keep smiling and talking to strangers regardless because I know that I’ve been able to hang out with Australians, Canadians, and English people in places like Prague, Budapest, and Florence. Ch’yeah take that, frat stars.
Ultimately, my heart is always going to be in Texas. It’s where I was raised, where my family is, and where my best friends live. But my heart is also in Florence and Europe because that’s where I grew up. I realized how to finally see myself clearly, without all the American standardized ideals clouding my judgement. So for now, I’m enjoying my life because for once in my life, I’m not sure where I’m going to end up after graduation. Right now at this moment I think I want to work in DFW for a year after I graduate and save money and then move abroad to somewhere in Europe or Australia… preferably somewhere that speaks English. But who knows.