“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders; let me walk upon the waters, wherever you might call me.” This simple prayer had led to one of the greatest adventures of my life: the act of letting go.
I have traveled much in my 21 years, gallivanting off on family vacations, cross-country spring-break road-trips, and long awaited pilgrimages to major centers of arts and culture. I went to seek beauty, and I found the essence of it in all of my travels. Through carefully structured days and nights, I crossed things off the to-do list, ticked pictures off on a chart of postcard worthy vistas and views. This sense of completion was rewarding, from a control point of view: plan! Execute! Achieve! Mission accomplished. But in my heart, I felt there was something inherently missing in this divide and conquer world I’d been living in.
So, on this great European odyssey, attempted alone, knowing no one, I decided to adopt a new philosophy: trust. I believe we travel to expand our hearts and minds, to expose ourselves to beauty on a whole new level. That’s impossible to do when you’re spending your life clutching desperately to a well-thought-out game plan. Immersion comes from allowing an open heart and trusting that everything will occur as it is meant to. Missed my train to Viterbo? It’s a good chance to explore Rome. Don’t know how to speak to the shop keeper? I make do with hand gestures and basic Italian, and end up meeting her family and knowing all about her products. By simply making myself vulnerable to new experiences and losing the shield of control, I have opened so many doors that would have been previously unknown to my searching hands, doors that appear in no guidebook or tour schedule. After years of pushing myself so hard to be right, isn’t it nice to sit back, stay open, and let the world flow in to me, instead of at me?
Travel is a world of no wrong answers: a world without borders.