February 23, 2019

The Inward Journey

I didn't think I would be on the road this long, but here I am. After 6 years of travel, both on motorcycles and now a truck and trailer, I am still traveling with my husband Steve.

There have been many hours of reflection as to why I need to keep moving. From time to time I have little glimpses of understanding shine through, like blades of light through trees. The soul searching becomes addictive and my journey inward becomes more exhausting than my journey outward. Yet, I can't let it go. I need to understand myself.

And that's just it. The outward journey is a physical manifestation of the inward journey. I'm definitely looking for something. I find little pieces of the puzzle scattered along the road, in forests, on beaches, in traffic, on the roadside. It's my compulsion to find these pieces of insight, in hopes that one day I'll assemble something that explains me to myself.

I've been searching all of my life. I can't remember a time I wasn't looking for answers. As a child I was trying to understand the world around me. Once I realized my family was different, I sought to learn how to appear normal, working very hard to hide the strangeness of my home life. I learned very young to hide myself and to appear to be part of the crowd, whatever crowd I was in.

It made for a lonely life.

"You don't have one intimate relationship, do you?" the therapist asked. "An intimate relationship is one in which you are completely honest with another person, showing your true self at all times. You don't have to perform or hide. You can be truthful."

On that cold January evening in 2011, as I walked out of her office, I knew she was right. I knew that my 15 year marriage had always been made up of two people pretending to be other than their true selves. I was as much to blame as he was. I had given up on the search for truth long ago and settled into the muck and mire of suburban life and fitting in. That's what adults do, right? Move to the 'burbs, raise kids and fit in.

The painful process of facing my past, being open to change, being open to new experiences, failed relationships, facing challenges and accepting myself began. The hours in my helmet and behind the wheel alone with my thoughts while taking in the beauty of nature became my therapy. Walks in the desert, hikes in the forest, days on a riverbank and miles and miles of heading down the road soothed my anxieties and opened up the locked down fears. Each mile washed away just a little pain, pushed the past further behind, cleared away the negative self-talk and gave me the gift of nature's beauty.

All of the years of trying to buy happiness in tangible things had proven to be a wasteful failure. The big house, all of the decorating, the closet full of clothes, none of it solved my issues. It often covered up the pain, soothed the loss just for awhile, and added more responsibility to my life. What I was seeking couldn't be found on Amazon.

I found the answers have been with me all along. My story is part of the Universe's story. The truth I find in a river rock, or a desert flower or a pine tree answers more questions each day. Each moment I marvel at a sky full of clouds or pause to bask in the songs of the coyotes, I find myself. The singularity of all things seems to be the only thing that makes sense. My connection to all people and things is the tangible truth I have been seeking.

Travel is the only way I've found this. Others find it in a variety of ways, such as religion, community, family or something else. For me, the compulsion to keep learning, growing, finding, seeking, moving and exploring is driving my life and I'm simply along for the ride.

I took all of the photos for this post in Talkeetna and Denali National Park, Alaska in August 2018.

Post a Comment

Whatsapp Button works on Mobile Device only

Start typing and press Enter to search