Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

—John Muir, 18th Century Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher

Wendy, Ella, Barry, and Weston

For most of my life, my family has spent at least one week in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It’s a place I experienced as an infant and camper — each summer until I was eleven — when the camp was purchased by a development company.

This year our daughter Rachel and her two children — Weston and Ella — came along.

Our week included plenty of swimming, walks, playground adventures and even a snake and animal farm.

Sharing the star-filled skies, hearing crickets chirping, and the sounds and smells of fresh air after a rainstorm are some of my happiest moments.

EXERCISE:

Where and when have you traveled dirt paths in your life?

Where and how can you bring even more of the natural world into your life?

The universe is infinite in all directions

The universe is infinite in all directions. Taking this cosmic approach with lightness and humor makes the trip far more wonderful.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jose Filipe

More and more people are flying these days to visit family, meet with customers, and finally to engage in adventures and travels that needed to be rescheduled on numerous occasions.

How many flights do you take in a typical year? How many frequent flier miles have you logged in your lifetime? What status level have your reached with your favorite airline?

Let’s compare this number to the distance to our moon, the nearest planet, the locations of Voyager 1 and 2, or even our nearest star.

When we make comparisons to these objects and the infinite nature of our universe with billions of galaxies, we have far to go. Luckily our minds have the ability to travel the 93 billion light years to span our known universe in the blink of an eye.

EXERCISE:

How and where would taking a more cosmic approach to your life bring you more peace and joy?

How can you travel with more lightness and humor in the days ahead to make your trip more wonderful?

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Deanna Ritchie

Did you know that this holiday season, about 45% of Americans—114 million people—plan to travel to a vacation site or to visit friends and family?

Each, statistically, is expected to shell out an average of $1,393 on flights and/or hotels.

Clearly, this level of investment is placing considerable value on either escaping their current life, or perhaps making sure life does not escape them.

EXERCISE:

Who are the special people you will travel with or visit this year?

What unique and extraordinary experiences are you planning?

Consider discussing these questions and others with those close to you, to make these traveling moments and their memories even more wonderful.

The Wonders We See Around Us

“We carry within us the wonders we see around us.”

—Sir Thomas Browne, 17th Century English Polymath

What does it mean to you to live an extraordinary life? Where do travel and adventure fit into your plans?

Years ago, I picked up a copy of 1000 Places to See Before you Die, and realized I was woefully behind making even a modest dent in the list.

Today’s quote points to the wonderland that is always available to each of us without ever getting into a car, train, boat, or plane.

EXERCISE:

Consider exploring your own inner wonders of creativity, love, spirit, faith, wisdom, kindness, and inner peace.
What other areas could you explore as you view other wonders in the world around you?

Reading gives us some place to go

“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

—Mason Cooley, Late American Aphorist

Image of a man reading at a bus stop

Photo by Laëtitia Buscaylet on Unsplash

My mother, Rose, was the most avid reader I’ve ever known. As a boy, I would frequently go with her to the library where, every three weeks, she would pick a new batch of 12 books. She devoured them every evening after dinner.

I recall her frustration on one occasion, in that she could not find, in our small local library, enough books of interest that she had not already read.

Although she was never a world traveler or college graduate, she took countless trips with her vivid imagination – wherever her written portals to adventure would take her.

EXERCISE:

Consider visiting your local library or bookstore to pick up a book that will take you on a great adventure, from the comfort of your favorite chair.