It’s a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
When do you realise that it’s time not to keep your feet? When is it time to let go and just let the road take you where it will and you be the willing passenger?
I’m travelling again. This time it’s the beautiful archipelago of New Zealand. Truly it is a picturesque country. Rolling hills, green, livestock and blue sky (when it isn’t raining). Stunning. I’m really blessed to be able to see this while I’m young. To experience it, the culture, the entirety. Along the way I’m learning more about myself. Some things I really don’t want to know. Yet, it’s a part of maturing. I’m understanding my own nature better and learning to love the skin I’m in.
Travel is teaching me so much, and especially solitary travel. There are many lessons to be learned, and for someone like me who loves to be in control of her surroundings and day to day activities, solitary travel has taught me to be flexible and accommodating. It has taught me patience and perseverance. Contentment with my own company even in a crowd and the ability to source peace amidst absolute chaos.
If I was to travel with someone, and there are times I wish I was with someone to share a moment or a sight, I think some of these lessons would still be outstanding. I needed to learn them and fast. I love company, but had never learned to appreciate my own company or that of silence. Now I love both, appreciate both and whenever possible take time out for both. Travel has assisted in that.
Travel has shown me that I do not need to stay in contact with someone 24/7 to know if they are okay. Life happens. My need for constant contact has diminished as I have gained confidence in traversing the globe (and just my country) on my own. If I can be comfortable in who I am, then I can have confidence that those in my life want me for me, as I am, with no adjustments.
Which leads me to the biggest lesson of this trip. Words are destructive. The words that have that layer of false sincerity – “to be honest”, “not to be offensive”, “not to be rude”, “in my opinion”, etc. etc. etc. – we have all used them at one point or another and then followed it with a really derogatory remark and belittled someone. We are masking our true feelings and hoping the person won’t retaliate. 99% of the time they won’t. They can’t.
I can’t go back and change all the times my words hurt. I can’t change yesterday, I can only change today. Today I can speak positive words only over people and into their lives. The packaging does not make the person, the cover does not make the book. I wonder why we judge so easily? Me included. I can only work on myself to ensure that my words today make a positive impact so that tomorrow is better and so on.
Travel, and me not keeping my feet is making my life better. It is making my world better. I aim to not keep my feet, to explore this world and in the process explore myself. This world doesn’t have to be the globe (although that would be lovely!) but it can be my country or my city. There are lessons to be learned if we are willing just to go out and let the world teach us.
So let us not keep our feet.