There is a YouTube Channel, “Eva Zu Beck,” and in her video, “Cycling Across a WHOLE COUNTRY Alone, With Paper Maps Only,” she reads a journal entry from her grandfather’s travel journal. “I noticed one thing changing in me. I’ve lost all my rush. Kilometers no longer impress me. Whether there’s 100, 200 or 600 of them, I’m indifferent to that because I must cross that distance anyway. So, I’m not scared of distances anymore. And the same applies to time, whether I’m meant to be on the road three hours or seventeen. What’s the difference, either way, I must reach my destination. I don’t get stressed out by the slow, sometimes, tortoise-like speeds. I simply get into my vehicle, and I ride as far and for as long, in absolute peace, until I reach the destination, I have set for myself. I also don’t let the discomforts bother me, such as a tough seat, the heat, the dust, or the lack of water. All of this in its own way is beautiful and wonderful. Whoever cannot adapt to this kind of life, or in fact, whoever cannot come to love this kind of life, cannot be a true traveler. To be a true traveler requires character.” As I heard this, I was impressed. This is great advice, not just for travelling, but for life itself, especially as we age. Here is how, I believe, it can apply to me.
As I reach my so called, “senior years,” there are destinations (bucket Lists) I am still wanting to go or do. Because I am getting older, I am more aware of time, and value it more greatly. There is a greater sense of urgency to reach these destinations. I am sometimes, too anxious to enjoy the trip. At sixty-one, I would think, I should have a better understanding of slowing down, and the need to be patient. However, being sixty-one, I seem to be more obsessed with time. The idea of wasting time is no longer appealing. Rather than wanting to slow down, I want to speed up. I want to arrive at the destination, but I do not always love the travelling.
As I follow a traveler’s journey, I can apply what the traveler has learned, to my life. While I can value my time and use it more wisely, I do not need to rush. I do not need to fear the distance, or the time it takes to reach my destination. I can learn to accept boredom, and a slower pace. I do not need to obsess about time. I just continue. The struggles and discomforts become part of the journey and help create a beautiful and meaningful life. As I age, I hope to remember this and keep it in the back of my mind.