I finished reading Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck a couple weeks ago, and there are a couple key passages from it still bouncing around within me. Although this little excerpt – we don’t take a trip; a trip takes us – was at the very start of the book (page 4, to be exact), it reappeared throughout the novel.
I set out to read this particular book because I miss two things:
- REAL writing
- REAL travel
“REAL” being totally subjective, of course. The book was a pretty light read, but it seemed of material because, well, it’s Steinbeck for one, and two it’s got substance and depth without being overly self-analyzing or falsely humble.
I’m sure it’s also stuck with me because as the New Year turns over, I’m planning the months ahead. They include travel, both international and domestic.
And a big one on the radar for me is India.
As much as I’ve traveled (I have been to over 40 countries now! Yeepers!), there aren’t many places or many trips that intimidate me like this one I’ve been pondering to India in March. (More on that later, maybe).
The last time a trip called to me like this while also intimidating me in a similar way was when I went to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 2009. (Feature photo is from the Girne Harbor, in the city of Kyrenia). Turns out, as challenging as parts of it were, it was a transformative trip, and definitely one that took me. One that was worth doing. One that added so much to my life.
I’ve been getting glimpses of clarity through the clouds lately about whether or not to do this trip to India in March, but today, it was clear clear. Y’know? Like feel it in your bones, your spirit, I gotta do this, why second guess it, come what may, I’m hungry for it, kind of feel it.
And so the rest of the passage is one I’m re-reading as I set the intention to embark on the journey in a couple of months. Maybe it’s one that will help you, too, to have a sense of adventure or peace about whatever journeys you may take in the coming year.
“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. “
Wishing you the very best in love, adventure, growth, and health in 2017!