Stories That Are Never Written

This story takes place in Northern Laos. A woman, her mother and sister trek into the mountains on elephant and have a one of a kind experience.

This story is mine, yet I can’t find words to convey the deep experience I had that day.  I can tell you about a stubborn elephant that changed the day’s itinerary. I can tell you about the laughter that sang through the treetops as three woman surrendered to the fact that all circumstances were beyond control. I can tell you that everyone involved, human and animal, emerged from the jungle safe and sound.

Yet, something else happened in that jungle. I remember the joy of surrender. Laughing because the whole situation seemed absurd and fated. It felt like a divinely planned experience to connect three women beyond their roles as mothers and daughters. Yet, I can’t adequately describe for myself exactly what happened or changed for me that day.

This got me to thinking: what about all the stories that are not written because there is no language to describe the experience. What we read about travel and the experiences people have exploring the world are really only the tip of the iceberg. The stories of deep transformation and connection are harder to share. We want to share them but language doesn’t do them justice. As a writer and a traveler I find this frustrating. These experiences are exactly why I share my travels with an audience. I want to inspire people to live fully in this world.

And then it comes to me, that I do share this experience with others. I actually embody the experience. I interact from a new perspective, I offer new wisdom, there is a new lightness and openness to me.  Friends and strangers meet the woman who came out of the jungle.  And that is powerful and inspiring. The story is told through me.

Have you ever experienced something you aren’t able to put into words?

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