Three times in recent months I have had to travel around the US, mostly for professional purposes, but also involving some time for leisure. I have come to know about myself that when a trip is pending, I become anxious and constricted inside. It has something to do with both the prospect of leaving all that is familiar and dependable to me and having to make connections with people and places that are unknown. Once I actually leave my house and start the journey of what will be that trip, things begin to change.
I’ve come to see a difference in the “trip” and the “journey.” The trip is made up of dates, destinations, meetings, events, sights, food, times, weather, clothing and such. The journey is going on simultaneously as the trip, but it is made up of a different quality set of experiences. The two depend on each other, but they are different.
The journey is composed of the experiences I have on the trip. Part of what makes me anxious about leaving home is that I know how most of the spaces and the people of my home life shape me (though, even there, the journey can surprise). Whether we realize it or not, places, people, events, food, weather, and geographical terrain, to name just a few, exert a gentle and sometimes not so gentle influence on who we are. They shape us. They are energies themselves that interact with the energy of who we are. There is an interchange and a change that I experience within. It is often pleasant but it can also be unpleasant. Whatever the interchange of energies on the trip, I am changed by them. That influence of space and people on me allows me to experience myself, know myself, in some new ways.
So, the truth is, I engage a journey every day of my life, whether or not I go on a trip, because I am forever an energy field engaging with other energy fields, given the opportunity to see and understand through those exchanges.
Let us be aware of the journey today: of those spaces and people we engage and how they shape and reshape us, of what they allow us to see and know.