Time Traveling

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.

Any fool can do it, there ain’t nothing to it.

Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill.But since we’re on our way down,

we might as well enjoy the ride.” ~James Taylor

We meant to post much sooner…but…

We planned a short stop “off the road” to take care of some unfinished business for a few days…it took longer!

We had planned to visit friends and family but forgot to consider that when you have more free time…it doesn’t always coincide with those who have less…it got complicated!

We  thought we avoided the heat and humidity of the southeast…when we returned it was hot as hell!

We headed toward the east coast of North Carolina…a hurricane came!

We were going to the mountains…we ended up in Florida!…there are no mountains in Florida!

We planned to head northeast…we ended up going south!

We planned to camp and hike in the Pisgah National forest…the hurricane…again (closed campgrounds and hiking trails)!

And finally as we headed in the “right direction” toward  the “right place” driving along pleased with how we had out smarted another storm, we discovered that the storm had already passed!..Somehow in our enlightened road wisdom we apparently had no idea what freaking day it was!!!

One of the things you can always predict in traveling is that the unpredictable will most certainly always have a role to play. 

And so when the phrase “It is what it is” seems at times like nothing more than a dismissive expression too often used to avoid or ignore and too closely related to apathy or simple laziness…we have come to recognize that in travel- it can be a well deserved description and even a “starting point” as to how to begin to deal with an unexpected situation.  It can be a sort of acceptance. Rather than being overwhelmed by frustration or drowning in disappointment, we can perhaps push ourselves to pursue a new course.  Wasting time obsessing over how our time traveling has been unexpectedly altered and our path unpredictably changed is some times a bigger waste of time than the detours, obstacles, impediments, interruptions, and setbacks.

Unpredictability has been that aspect of travel reminding us that travel is not about timetables, schedules, reservations, or itineraries, BUT more about how travel and traveling is a great teacher of how to live in the moment.

For every unexpected turn in the road we have encountered that could be seen as a setback, there have been opportunities created as well.  An unexpected stop introduces us to someone who recommends a memorable place that we otherwise would not have known about. Delays have given us the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends or introduce us to new friends. A flat tire or mechanical issue reminds us of the kindness of strangers. Detours make us slow down, observe more, and take a path less traveled.  And lest we forget…this entire journey of ours grew out of an unexpected change in plans!  We originally planned to attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail this year, but after a formidable back-country hike in Colorado last year that shall I say, kicked our butt! …we decided a year on the road traveling and hiking might help us prepare more for that adventure further down the road. Perhaps, most importantly, these situations remind us to be patient, and encourage us to intentionally alter our path from time to time to experience something new. 

So in many respects, travel is as much about time as it is about place.  It is after all about how one spends their time.  If the expression “the journey is the destination” is to have any genuine meaning then it seems only prudent to understand it’s connection to time. We are learning in our travel that it has much less to do with how time passes and more to do with how we pass through time. This is how our travel turns us into time travelers!

“To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jim & Anne