At the moment I am on an enforced travel ban (a combination of the fact that I am 3 and a half months pregnant and way too much travel last year). It is such a challenge because I am addicted to going to visit new lands, new people and new experiences.
I have spent the day with my favourite people, but in the back of my mind, all day there has been a distant dreaming of far away places.
Two different groups of friends are away overseas at the moment on missions orientated trips. One group in India and the other in Cambodia. As I see their posts on social media, my heart leaps for the experiences that they are encountering and the life tilting changes that will have happened when they land back on Australian soil.
My husband struggles to understand my wanderlust, but every time I put myself in a situation where I am not the captain of my own ship, every time I sit in a gutter with someone who has nothing and I mean nothing, I am reminded and reorientated to why I am here on earth.
I always feel startled.
It doesn’t matter how many times I travel, my heart and my life is expanded and deepened, my grace is increased and my pride is decreased.
I gain great appreciation for my little house by the sea and more grateful for the things that begin to annoy me when my heart is not shocked into submission.
Most people who read this blog will do so on a mobile phone, tablet or computer, and therefore will be in the top percentage of the richest people on the planet. I would like to say though most of us would attest to being dissatisfied with our lives. Dreaming of new houses, new cars more and more and more.
When I hear friends complain about the size of their beautiful homes or boast of their latest top quality purchase, I remind myself that we are blessed.
We have everything we could ever need.
If we have food in our fridges we are blessed.
In fact if we have a fridge and electricity, we are blessed.
I sat with a mum in a village north west of thailand who told me the recent story that traffickers had come to town and offered to give her a fridge if she would let them take her daughter away with them to work in Bangkok. Promising money, stability and a new life. The child ended up sold into prostitution and was never seen again by this mum. All for the price of a fridge.
Another mum I sat in a slum in Bangkok told me how she had been offered 3,000 dollars the week before to sell her beautiful three year old daughter into prostitution. She was considering the offer.
It’s real life for most.
I love this quote from the writer of the screen play ‘The curious case of benjamin button’.
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” Eric Roth
My challenge to myself and others is live a startled life. Don’t fall into the trap that having a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in the suburbs is the goal and the status of a successful life. Allow perspective to rise. Feel things you have never felt before. Meet people with a different point of view. Live a life you are proud of. If not, have the courage to start again tomorrow and make choices to live a startled, curious, outward focussed life.
Now, where can I go next year, when my travel ban lifts?