Wasting Time Well

20 04 2010

I don’t think my cousin understands the word idle, but she does understand the word ‘pace’. She’s travelling the world, vastly different things, seeing totally diverse worlds and meeting an amazing array of people.

When I think of a traveler, I think of someone who has suspended life and it’s administrative requirements and hassles for a break. But those who live travelling live with that same administrative baggage the rest of us have – only nicely tucked up in their backpacks.

For my cousin, that means that she’s had to learn to get done what is essential and relax with what isn’t possible. To enjoy a day that brings a morning of waiting, and to pass a day wondering and soaking up a city. It means learning to live in the moment and not deal with the things that might come, or those that will until they arrive.  Her reflections are thought provoking, entertaining and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful: http://lightandwander.wordpress.com/

I heard lots growing up about the wastefulness and selfishness of travel and the pilgrim vagabond in my heart rebelled. What is essentially wrong with travel?

I understand we live in an age of incredible spending on fun, enjoyment and experiences. I realize how uncritical we can be of the way we use money. And to be honest, most of my travelling was done in that Spirit…

But there is a way of travelling that is different. Yes – it is enriching, self-enriching, and unflinchingly so.  But does that make it a bad thing? My cousin works – not for wages, but in a way that really contributes, seeking the bettering of herself and others.  She knows stuff, and not in a way that gathers information like stamps, facts to file away – but in a way that changes the way she lives – affected by people, and with an integrity to her thought. Because she travels only with herself and a few belongings, he can’t build her identity from what she has, or what she does – it has to come from the integrity of how she lives out what she is.

That’s the kind of travelling I want to do – whether it be living in the one place or circumventing the globe.

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