I’m reading a great book about a lady’s travels throughout the world, and each page takes me to another outdoor café or museum or cathedral. I have walked alongside this lady as she tries new foods, buys tiles and trinkets and smells the scent of the city where she and her husband are exploring.
I can get lost in a book pretty easily, and I have found that I tend to like books that have an element of education for me and not just a sappy story.
I admit I spend a lot of time reading, and it’s a habit I wasn’t always good at, but over time I’ve done a deep dive, and now I make a great effort to read one book a week. A few years ago I dusted off my library card and started to go to the library for my books instead of buying every one that I thought I’d like to read. What is so amazing about my reading list is that I have learned about people and places and things I never knew about. I feel complete when I learn about the world around me, whether it is a book on travel or maps or historical artifacts that come to life when the midnight light is left on until the early hours of the morning.
When I wrote a weekly newsletter at the bottom of the page (under my photo) is my word or phrase from the show and the latest book that I’ve read. Sometimes I think I need to add a disclaimer–I read this book, but don’t bother, it’s awful, or I read this book and couldn’t put it down, so I can encourage you to turn off the T.V. and feed your mind on the wonders of the written word.
I read a lot of history, and in the pages that capture me, there is usually someone who has traveled to find a particular object like my latest read, “The Lost Gospel,” the finding of the codex, the book of Judas, that was recovered in Egypt and how it went around the world, finally finding its way to Switzerland to be decoded and given to the world for their consideration.
What I realized is that the one thing most of my books have in common is that someone is traveling somewhere to do something great. I have a good understanding of travel. As a speaker and speech coach I work for the U.S. government and travel around the world training leaders for political life or media events. In my travels I have been to places that, looking back, I might should have stayed home instead of going… but the draw of an unknown land and new people and places and food usually tug at my mind enough for me to pull out my passport, sit in airports and get on a plane to arrive in a far away land to begin my journey.
I am fully aware that not everyone can leave their life and get on a plane and see the world, but you can explore your world right where you are if you’ll just take the time to do something different this week.
When I am here (and I do love being home), I find myself pulled to auctions or freshly dug fields with my metal detector looking for treasure or finding a new restaurant and expanding my palate. No, I don’t always have to go to the airport to have a grand adventure, but I make time to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. Why? Because I fundamentally believe that life is for living and not sitting at home wasting away.
I have always believed that God made too big of a world for me to stay in one place.
Anthony Bourdain, who hosts a popular T.V. travel show, has said, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts. It even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your misery, on your consciousness, on your heart, on your body. You take something with you… Hopefully you leave something good behind.”
Friend, is your life a grand adventure?
How can I encourage you to go and do something, or even eat something different this week just to expand your mind and life a little bit?
My guest for today’s show was Alex Dodd, a young man who decided to create a radio show calling the plays of his high school football team because he wanted to do something different. His current world may not be travel, but he has, by his desire to create a grand adventure, created a journey that will take him far in life…even while sitting behind a microphone.
When I was thinking about my show for this week, I didn’t have a great quote that I wanted to share but what really was impressed upon me was that, as I watch the news, our world is slowly closing due to strife, war, floods and famine. So if I can’t go in person, I can let my mind’s eye take me there in the pages of a book, or my palate can take me there from the choices on a menu of a particular country where I’ve not had the pleasure of eating yet. Or I can get in my car and find an open field (with permission), walk in the steps of those who settled this land and made it their own, many times leaving a bit of history behind for my metal detector to find and be brought to life again from its grave in the dirt of my fair state.
Ah, friend, is your current life a grand adventure or a daily grind of sameness?
It doesn’t have to cost much money to do things in your area that will take you out of your comfort zone. And many psychologists say that distracting your mind from your current situation will allow for new ideas to come and bloom, and in some cases, might even allow for a new direction to be seen if you’ll just put on your walking shoes and get going.
I’m reminded of the Helen Keller quote that “…life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
What is your daring adventure? Please don’t tell me that you cannot do something. If you can’t travel the world, you can, at the very least, read a book about the place you’d like to go, or eat at the restaurant of a country you’d like to visit.
I admit that I am a bit envious of those who take a year off from their job and just travel. Seems to be an easier option for men than it is for women (due to the safety aspect), but if I can’t go, I can still dream along with the best of them when it comes to setting out a plan, choosing a destination and finding just the right book to take me on that journey.
I only question your sitting at home week after week and month after month to ask you to consider getting out of your rut and at least peek over the fence to see what is happening in the world around you.
I know that for many just a new location will help you see things in a different perspective. One of the articles I read on “Travel Café” mentioned that, “People tend to imagine that their personal problems are the worst in the world. That is, until they see firsthand, the sufferings of others. When people view others in similar or worse situations they tend to realize that their problems are no longer as daunting as they may have earlier believed. This greatly helps in reducing any stress or depression that may be lingering in the body.”
I can second that thought. Just seeing how others live in certain countries many times makes you want to come home and kiss the ground and give a prayer of gratitude that you can drink the water and have no worries that a camel slept in your bed, or leeches were in your shower or be offered to eat a local delicacy…like the webbing of duck’s feet!
From my years of traveling the world, I have so many stories that I keep in my heart as a reminder of how blessed I am. And, by the way, I (for one) am a big believer that if you can send your kid on a mission trip (even here in parts of America), it will be life changing for the better; save your money and let them go.
I could go on and on about the joy and pains of travel, but I will leave you with this thought…I want good things for you.
I want your life to be big and full of joy, and I know that if you’ll do your part by reading a book, finding a new restaurant (and by the way the wait staff will be happy to help you when you tell them you’re new to Vietnamese or Indian or Middle Eastern food) or simply doing something good that you’ve not done before, you’ll build a memory for a lifetime and may even find a new path to travel for your life. Or, maybe you’ll have great stories to tell your friends and family, and, most importantly, your mind will begin to see things in a different way. It’s amazing how your attitude will follow, and you’ll be a different person, one that I believe will be better.
Ah, friend, let’s go and make your life a grand adventure!