T is for Travel and This….
“Some journeys in life can only be travelled alone.”
“ Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.”
In September this year I will have been travelling continuously for fours years. And I can honestly say that these have been among the best years of my life. I couldn’t have done it when I was younger because I didn’t know who I was and what sustained me in life. That curious sentence brings me to the “This’ in the above title;
“This, above all to thine own self be true
And as surely as night follows day
Thou cans’t not then
Be false to any man” (or woman!)
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
This quote from Polonius to his son Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet had a powerful impact when I first read it. Here is a father giving advice to a son before he goes out into the world. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” you know, the kind of things parents like to tell their kids when they leave home to travel, start work or studies.
Though I never fully understood it when I was a teenager, nonetheless I was drawn to ponder on those words. “But you can’t tell the real truth to people” I then thought “ You might hurt them”. I had been witness to my mother’s version of “honesty” which frequently meant speaking without considering the sensitivities of others and causing all sorts of upsets. For so many years I lied to myself, suppressed my real feelings, then would explode in hurt that others didn’t understand. But of course how could they if I didn’t speak my truth. Later, after some transformational experiences, I questioned who was the self I was being honest with? You can see that I have explored this quote in some depth because it has become my motto in life, to be true to myself in essence. There are all sorts of challenges in life, travel being one of them, which can become opportunities for aligning with our essence and when that happens you can’t help but be authentic with others