When there is a fork in the road take it. Just do something for crying out loud. Don’t just stand there scratching your head wondering which is the “best” road. For some it will be the road less traveled, unpaved, muddy, with huge pot holes or ruts. For others it will be immaculately paved, well trodden, a road others have obviously taken, cookbook, zero or little uncertainty. And then there are those “middle of the road” folks, who like paved roads but are willing to deal with a little gravel now and again. But as we all know there are no road maps for life on this lovely planet Earth, don’t let Rand McNally fool you into thinking there is. So my advice to you is to have fun, be adventurous and face your fears. If you don’t like the road you chose, then tomorrow choose a different one.
Secretly, I have been searching for that well paved road all my life. You know the one with all those well lit signs, telling me where to go and when to turn left or right, to get to my destination. Every turn I’ve made in my life has left me on a road I didn’t know existed the day before. The road to my marriage, the road to my divorce, the road to my academic degrees or my career. I had no guides, written or otherwise, yet I never made a wrong turn. Because regardless of what people may say, we choose our journey, we choose our lessons and we choose to learn from them or not.
Traveling is a great way to determine what type of person you are. Are you an adventurous muddy road sort of person? Or do you like to do the tourist thing and have someone else guide your vacation? Me, I’m that person who reads guidebooks before a trip and then tosses them aside when I arrive to my destination. Or at least I strive to be that fearless soul. Rather I am in the middle somewhere, sometimes safe, and sometimes daring. It just depends where I go and with whom I am with. Oh yeah, when you travel, just remember who you have chosen to travel with. That person may or may not walk along the same road as you. Remember, traveling is a microcosm of life, your experiences will be colored by whom you are with and who you choose to hang around. I once heard the great travel writer, Paul Theroux speak in Washington D.C., and he shared that early in his career he traveled with his wife, but he quickly realized that his experiences were being influenced by his concern about her welfare and he felt he wasn’t having authentic travel experiences. “Brilliant!” I thought.
With all of this wisdom you would think I would make all of the right decisions on how to travel and with whom to travel with. Wrong! There is this thing called guilt that has forced me, gun to my back, to take a couple of trips with my mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, but she and I travel on very different roads. Knowledge of this was thrown to the wind when she asked me to go to Cuba with her. That trip had adventures that should be in a book and if the planets align, perhaps it will be.
Lesson: Even though you may consciously choose a road that will be bumpy and uncomfortable, you may learn things about yourself that are worthy for a book.
May the fork be with you!