Three times in my life, I’ve gone on a walkabout. These were long-term traveling adventures — through South America twice, and Europe once. Each of them has changed my life, and although I am a highly productive American writer/entrepreneur lady who loves her to-do lists, I cannot recommend highly enough uprooting yourself and traveling without a plan.
Traveling walkabout-style has introduced me to parts of myself that I had never known.
Traveling is not the same as taking a vacation. Traveling is an open keyhole to the future. When I travel, the courage is in the not knowing where the intuition will lead. I go on intuition, a faint desire in myself that I am trying to unearth to make more potent. I don’t even really know why I am going when I go. I figure it out later.
I tell myself I am seeking peace, insight, a new hobby, or hoping to fall in love. But in some sense those are all lies.
Travel is a future that cannot yet be known.
The answer will be clear later. That’s what makes traveling creative. I get to create a future with all these added inputs that I can’t control. The people and places that I can’t imagine before I meet them.
Travel is first and foremost raw, random experience. I put myself at the effect of the world. The world tosses me around, abuses, delights, surprises me. I amass power, courage, and wisdom by being tossed around by the unplanned, uncontrollable, unknown forces of the world. Through travel I gain wisdom and strength.
Demands cannot be placed on travel; travel has to be just what it is. Often I start out in a trip worried that it won’t be what I want it to be, that I will be disappointed. But travel is a way to know life more intimately and in more detail. We take away the automatic parts of living: a fixed address, kitchen to cook in, friends whom we speak with every week.
When everything is stripped away from our patterns of everyday life, we find a blank canvas.
What will we choose to do? In essence, what will we choose to create? This is what makes traveling without a plan so exquisitely creative. Your life truly becomes art.
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P.S. I am at work on a memoir about how I discovered my power through my sensuality in travels in South America and back in San Francisco. I also teach GetQuirky, a course that sets you about traveling in your everyday life taking photos, writing, and doing other creative challenges to celebrate the quirky in you and others. Please check it out!