There are a million places on this planet that can inspire people to live life to the fullest. Places that help us busy bees throw away our schedules for just a day, a minute, just a second even. Places that make us feel right in the middle of everything without trying to be. There’s Zuma beach, USA, where spending days watching the game between earth and ocean feels magical. The beach at Dingle bay, Ireland, feels like a safe haven when you are all alone save some seagulls and other sea life. Even the hustle and bustle of world cities such as Paris or Los Angeles can make us wonder, wander, and take us out of the daily grind. Yet, the forest just around the corner or the hotel chosen for a relaxing holiday can also help you unwind and provide you with inspiration. When given the chance to choose out of all the places I muster up in my mind, the most unlikely pops up: The road.
The road taken to travel to places on earth that we dreamed about: The road that leads us to the place where we explore and go beyond that feeling of indecision, insecurity, and fear that Elliot displays in his poem. I am talking about being on a train, a plane, a boat, a bus, or even a bike to a specific city or an unknown place.
Of course, you could say, time spent on the road is still living on a schedule. This is a good argument since trying to get from one place to the other means needing a form of transport that usually does not wait for you to be ready. But what I mean with time well spent on the road is the time you spend dreaming, making plans, revisiting plans, reading, chatting about dreams and plans, and making connections while going somewhere. Being ‘stuck’ on an 11 hour flight to Los Angeles might feel like time ticking away from you, but in reality it is time travelling, in both literal and figurative sense. Literally, obviously, because you are bound to pass some time zone while flying there (and may actually gain some time in the process) and figuratively because taking that flight means taking the time you are given to explore a different place with different customs. While on the road, time does not just pass but it ticks towards a goal, a place.
That I choose the road instead of a specific place is somewhat strange, since at least up to the age of 20 I hated travelling. I loved the part where you are safe and sound in your tent or hostel ready to do all the things you planned. I remember being on a bus to Killarney, Ireland, and dreading the whole event. Yet, when I think back on that ‘endless’ trip (I say endless because it was over 36 hours in total) I can only think of how much I saw, talked, and experienced.
My ardent hatred for travelling gradually turned into a love for being on the road, cycling for hours on end to finally arrive at your destination, being on a train that takes you from one country to the next in less than 4 hours, while you spend quality time reading, listening to music, chatting to random people, friends, or family. When travelling with others you have the chance to get to know each other better during the trip, learning things about someone you might have otherwise never known. Somehow, travel time forces you to take it slowly, unless, for instance, you miss your plane, your train is stuck in the middle of nowhere, or you lose your passport. But even those ‘slight’ mishaps can be the start of a realization penned up very wisely by Jason Wade of the band Lifehouse: ‘There’s no deadlines as long as you’re alive’ (Lifehouse- ‘Signs of life’). You can take that ‘lost’ time to do useful things such as talking to people, learning more about yourself, or just looking at the people at an airport and letting your imagination run free. You might get an idea for a book, a painting, or a letter you always wanted to write to someone. Being on the road is a flurry of butterflies in your heart that are looking for new horizons, new sunsets, fresh inspiration, and new experiences.
About the Author: Joyce Vos is an independent writer in the blogging, content writing, and translation field. Creative writing, travelling, and drawing/painting are also things she is passionate about. One of her many dreams is travelling as much as she can.
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