Something happens when we break away from the shackles of our daily grind to explore the world. It’s something bigger than the people we meet or the places we see. It happens quietly while we sleep in strange places, get soaked by rain, warmed by sunshine and wonder at the experiences we have. Travel allows us to meet ourselves in a new way. There’s no daily routine or familiar surrounds to numb ourselves to who we are. Rather, the traveler is challenged everday to respond to changing stimuli and to deal with periods of isolation from those who know us best. And this brings us greater self-awareness.
The past few days have seen a collision of my past and present. A friendship I have outgrown ended quite suddenly and explosively. And a friend from my past made contact to wish me safe travels. Both friendships were formed at a time when I was a messed up, depressed and anxious lad in my twenties. The friendship that ended did so because I now know that I create my own happiness and opportunity; there is no system or world trying to push me down. The friend who wished me well was to me as Socrates was to Dan in The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. When she contacted me I felt as though the student was finally equal to the teacher and I felt a sense of pride at how far I’ve come as we communicated on equal footing. It was as though two old friends met in the street and said hello before returning to their lives again with the knowledge that they can say hello if their paths cross again without obligation or discomfort.
The collision of past and present through two people from the same period of my life has highlighted the peace in which I now live. And today I woke feeling just a little bit lighter and happier. I know I am on the right track. My life today is exactly where it needs to be. Yes, I will face hardships and stresses in future: periods of unhappiness are as inevitable as death and taxes. But I have evolved from that troubled young man I was a decade ago. And of that achievement I am incredibly proud.