The Road Trip of the Mind

On my way home from Missoula, Montana, just prior to returning to Canada across the border, I made this brief entry into my journal:

Having logged almost 2000k  on my car and some amazing memories in the bank of my mind over the last five days, I made a rest stop and got to thinking about way stops and ‘weigh’ stops and from there about losing weight, which I almost always do when I am traveling. I pondered about what matters and what doesn’t and how a journey can often clear the way, open new vistas and put the past into a different perspective.  Last night I decided to read over an entry in my journal. One made two years ago when I, my husband and sons took a journey to Europe and Croatia, and how, at that time, my journal enabled me to ‘snark’ about what seemed just then a journey more of endurance than joy. I began to laugh from the gut at an event that at the time was certainly not funny. Now, I see the joy behind the snark.

How was it I couldn’t see it then? Now, after taking this journey, I can look at the quirks of that time and see how constructive that earlier trip was. I see how it forged the more decisive me of today. On that two-month journey, I lost nearly twenty pounds in weight, due to constant travel, lack of worry about what I was eating (Italian food, need I say more) and the intense bursts of exercise–running with luggage, walking through ancient places. Not all this weight loss was physical, though. Nor was it due only to eating right and walking lots. I believe the weight loss was also do to the property of the way. Not the ‘weigh’.

The travel itself had an effect on my being lighter.  I have also lost some weight on this trip. My body feels lighter and my spirit does too. Travel and spirit. They connect.  Even if during those travels one feels busted down, harassed and frustrated, it’s a different kind of process working through it than being at home.  Not that one can’t approach frustration from a distance. It’s just I usually don’t. In my home state I have the tendency to become overshadowed by frustration and I seem to lose sight of the way. And the way stops where I can look again, think again and take a new step forward.

Therefore, as I begin this last lap of my journey home and cross that border into Canada,  I resolve to think differently about the road trip of my mind. Even the everyday one. Is it possible to make each day in the same manner as I did when I was traveling? I don’t know, but I aim to find out.

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