Recently I started reading the blog of author, Jeff Goins, which is full of really insightful posts and great writing. I also signed up for his mailing list to receive little tidbits of weekly thoughts and inspiration. The email that came through last week was titled “10 Reasons to Enjoy the Journey” and coincidentally was exactly what I’d been thinking about that week.
On my Japan post where i talked about how one trip to Japan had sparked a whole chain of new opportunities and experiences, my friend commented how different my life would have been if I was still in the uk. It’s true, things would be totally different – i wouldn’t have met my husband, i wouldn’t be living in Bali, i wouldn’t have had children, or at least not these particular children. Or maybe the universe would have conspired to have the same ending with a different journey, who knows?
Each choice we make affects our lives and for all i know there are trillions of alternate universes out there where other versions of me are carrying out completely different lives.
For example, when I first set out to travel, New Zealand was my end destination. I’d researched a lot of places and decided that nz was where i wanted to be for a year or so at least – the plan was to scratch my travel itch by backpacking through Asia for several months and then travel through nz and try to find some kind of work. I’d already lined up a work visa and spent weeks researching job opportunities, looking for travel insurance nz and asking questions in working holiday forums.
Well as you know i never got to New Zealand, but that’s not really the point. Maybe another version of me is living in an alternate nz, maybe another one worked there for 6 months and went back to the uk. The fact that I never got there at all doesn’t matter because life is all about the journey.
The experiences i had when i was travelling shaped me as a person and changed my attitude and my outlook on life. Maybe i could have flown straight to Bali and arrived on the same date but i very much doubt that my life would have turned out the same.
i decided a long time ago to try really hard never to regret anything. Even when we make mistakes, they affect our lives in ways we don’t know. Maybe if we hadn’t made that mistake, our lives would be very different and not necessarily for the better.
To give you an example, on the day I met Made he was supposed to be in Singapore. His boss had bought him a ticket and he was all ready to fly out but when he got to the airport he realised his passport was expired and he wasn’t able to travel. Balinese wages are low so the opportunity of having an overseas trip is a pretty huge thing. Imagine how you’d feel if you missed out on that? So cursing himself for being so stupid, he returned to Ubud and met me. Ha! Maybe he would have preferred the trip to Singapore :p
Our whole lives are just millions of coincidences and choices all strung together. In life we shouldn’t be hurtling forward to the destination. what is the ultimate destination? Death? It’s not about where we’re going as we don’t even know for sure. Rather it’s about what we’re doing in the here and now.
I’ve not read it yet (it’s on my list for next month) but Jeff Goins latest book is all about this. I’m intrigued to see what else he has to say. What do you think?