Go On A Journey!

Everyone should go on a journey; a journey of discovery.

Even if they only do it once.

The journey will be different for everyone. No two journeys will be the same. But what they will have in common is that they will all be journeys where the traveller discovers something about themselves, as well as the environment where they have chosen to journey. The essence of the journey is that it gives the traveller both time and space to think; that on the journey they allow themselves to be open to new sights and thoughts and people.

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For some, it will be a carefully curated tour to a country with a different culture to their own. Perhaps a Westerner travelling to Nepal or Cambodia, or an Indian visiting Spain or Iceland, with a carefully prepared itinerary designed to help them get the most out of their journey.

For some, it could be much the same, but as an independent traveller. They would have the flexibility to either keep to a strict itinerary, or to go off somewhere new as the whim takes them. Because everyone’s sense of adventure is different.

For some, it will be a long, long trek through difficult terrain, pushing themselves physically and mentally every step of the way.

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For some, it might also be a long journey, but under easier conditions, where the aim is more one of contemplation, perhaps a pilgrimage of sorts.

For others, the difficult terrain might be that of their prejudices and fears – the terrain of the mind.

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What starts as a pilgrimage might end up in your discovering that you do not believe in God; well, that is fine. Remember, it is perfectly possible to be a spiritual person without believing in any god.

Although what ‘spiritual’ actually means is not so easy to nail down. I think of it as pertaining to the spirit, rather than to material things. In that sense, I would associate altruism with the spiritual, and greed with the material. A sense of calm and peace with the spiritual, a rowdy hedonism with the material.

For some, the journey might be from their house to a town or village a few miles away, and the journey might take no longer than a day.

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It is essential, though, that the journey is undertaken for the sake of the journey. The destination is, in some ways, unimportant. It is what happens on that journey that matters.

Many, perhaps, will journey without realising that they have done so, or arrive at their destination not realising that is what it is. They might only realise later.

Some will arrive at a totally unexpected destination, and perhaps that is the best destination of all.

Go on, then, off you go!

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17 thoughts on “Go On A Journey!

  1. In 1969, I dropped out of high school – walked down the on ramp to I-35 and stuck my thumb out. I didn’t return for three years. A decade later, I spent the summer walking through Ireland and Spain.

    After my son graduated from college, I told him to take time off before he lost the chance to wander. He later told me it was the best advice I ever gave him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent advice indeed, Greg. Certainly, some of the best experiences I’ve had have been while wandering, although I never managed to spend as long on the road as you did.

      Time and commitments make it much harder now, and next to impossible to do in the same way, but it’s still possible to do it in a smaller way. I don’t intend to stop until it becomes physically impossible!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the way you emphasize that everyone’s journey might be different! What is a huge step into the unknown for some of us is just “same old, same old” for others. But as you say, what is important is that we go on the journey, whatever that is for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for writing this, Mick – it resonates so much with me. Journeys have such mixed feelings for me as I think you know from being on my blogging journey with me for a long time now. You could have almost looked into my mind to speak the words you have. I wish I could say that I’d had more pleasant journeys to far away places than trips into the painful crevices of my mind, but I sadly can’t (not today, anyway).

    As for spirituality, I think, for me, it doesn’t have much to do with being a ‘good church-goer’ (although, I am a bit lacking in that field too, lately). It has more to do with that sense of peace and calm within yourself and your conscience, (I’m a bit lacking there too at the moment). It’s a point I certainly find uncertain and unsettling, perhaps because it’s too near to my truth.

    I think I still have many journeys to take yet and who knows, maybe I’ll finally, one day, arrive at the ‘right’ destination, however long that takes. I hope I manage to reach that place (and goal) before too much longer.

    Thanks again, Mick, for so much food for thought and insight. I apologise if I seem maudlin tonight -it’s been a spiritually challenging sort of day, Ellie :/

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Ellie, and especially, as you so often do, for leaving such a generously deep and thoughtful comment.

      I’ll pick up, if I may, the paragraph about spirituality and being a ‘good church-goer’. Certainly, I don’t believe the two have to be connected, although for some people they will be. Many people say that religion is a deeply personal thing, but I think that spirituality is a far more personal thing than religion is. Spirituality is about what is important to you as a person, in a non material sense.

      I was a ‘good church-goer’ (sometimes!) as a child, but in my teens it fell away completely. But I have always had a deeply spiritual side. What happened was that the religion I had been fed as a child, contradicted what I felt and believed spiritually (without going into details).

      I spent a large number of years as a ‘seeker’, during which time I explored many religions without finding satisfaction in any of them, but that never damaged my spiritual side. All that happened was that my exposure to these different religions helped to modify and strengthen that spiritual side, by taking what I could use from them, and ignoring the rest.

      I read a lot of good and useful books, but one novel that really helped me understand myself was ‘The Razor’s Edge’ by Somerset Maughan (there were many others – much of what Hermann Hesse wrote, for example).

      I have no idea whether any of this might be of any use to you, but you never know.

      And all that, of course, is a real journey!

      Liked by 1 person

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