First time Jack and I went on a trip together, we did 6 countries in 6 weeks. We were young and filled with youthful optimism and energy. We can see everything there is to see if only we move faster.
Faster, faster, faster.
If we had been going at the speed of that trip we took years ago we would’ve been in Argentina on our way to Africa right now. Instead, here we are trying to stay warm in chilly northern Ecuador.
If you have been following our trip from beginning you might notice that we move about slower than most others. We don’t stay for months, but we usually stay long enough to notice the 3-4 waves of travelers come and go at any given hostel.
It’s not a conscious decision. It wasn’t like we wrote it in our trip constitution: ‘We’re staying a minimum of 5 days at every single city.’
It just works out that way. (And no, we don’t really have a trip constitution, although it might’ve been a good idea?)
Part of it is because we have the luxury of time. Part of it is because packing and unpacking every day sucks. Part of it is because we’re old and long bus rides tire us.
But a big part of it is because we’ve accepted the fact that given a lifetime (or two or three) we still won’t be able to see everything we want to see in this world.
So why rush?
I remember feeling restless when standing in a barely moving line in Uffizi museum thinking ‘Gosh, at this rate we won’t be able to do the other museums I want to do.’
I remember cursing the fact that Italy has so many churches it’s impossible to see them all (and I wanted to see them all).
I remember that instead of being grateful of where I was, I was wondering what I was missing out on. Almost wishing I could already be on my next destination, ticking that mental checklist just a tad faster.
Whereever we happen to be, another destination seems to be more adventurous, have grander sceneries, have friendlier people, and more amazing.
We won’t be able to see everything we want to see in this world
Not in one lifetime. I’ve given up trying to see everything. Some might see it as a bad thing, but in reality it has lifted a big burden off my chest.
No more checklist and no more flitting about from one country to another as if our convertible-pants are on fire. No more beating myself up for missing a ‘must-see’ things in a country.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get antsy and I still get bored if we stay too long. And I still wonder what else is out there. That’s why we travel of course, because we wonder.
But no longer do I let that curiosity turn into greed.
No longer do I let it distract me from the now and the amazing and the beautiful things that could be right in front of me all along.
If this is the sign of age, so be it.