Thursday, 10 October 2013

oh the places you'll go

- I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list - Susan Sontag
Edinburgh sunset out my window

I’ve been wondering if I will ever reach the end of my list* of places I want to go.

Somehow I think that is pretty much an impossibility, since I constantly discover new places, and remember old ones that I had forgotten about. Today I stumbled across someone’s blog about Cuba, and this reminded me that I have “always wanted to go there”, a familiar phrase! My next thought was “hmm, when would that happen?”.

I confess to being a bit of a planner. This doesn’t mean that my plans always turn out or that I even try to follow them. But I have a vague idea in my head of how things might go for the next couple of years or so. I even confess that there is sort of a plan A and plan B. These plans mostly involve Europe, Asia and Australia. I have distant future plans that at some point I will attempt South America and Africa, and potentially Canada again. Cuba did not feature at all. Now I find myself staring at a map thinking “maybe when I go to South America?”.

The possibility that I might never be able to fit in everything I want to do, and that some corners of the world will remain a mystery to me does not sit well. However, I am well aware that we are all on limited time. One of my favourite movies is The Crow, and a quote by Brandon Lee has always rung true to me, although it scares me as well!

- Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cant even conceive your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many times will you watch the full moon rise? And yet it all seems limitless. -

For those of you who don’t know, Brandon Lee sadly proved his own point when he died during the filming of The Crow and they released the movie posthumously, with a darker tone than originally intended.

This is all turning rather morbid, but the point I am trying to make is that while I may never make it everywhere, I can try. And I can be flexible with this knowing that things change. It is nice to dream, and it is nice to have dreams with deadlines, but it is not essential all the time.

My point is also that you should do as much as you can with what you have, because this isn't limitless. Take all opportunities. I think the most important thing is to never stop trying to explore your surroundings and do something new. Whether that is going to far away places, or walking down a different street in the morning.

My goals and dreams all involve travelling right now, and I don’t think I will ever lose that completely. So while I can I am going to keep planning on seeing everything that’s on my list, and even if I never get to the end of it, at least I tried! It is also part of it I think, this feeling of competing against time. It makes me strive to fit in as much as I can, and not to be complacent. 

*Said list does not actually exist. Or it really would be ridiculous.

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