Traveling Thoughts: When Travel Means Letting Go

There’s something about travel that enables us to remain uprooted, having to constantly pack, literally sorting priorities. Physically, taking along only the necessities, and embracing the possibility that we may never return.

And so, only what we hold now in our hands is really ours.

Leaving behind the excess and saying goodbye to trinkets is giving our souls a way of escape from attachment.

That soul of a traveler longs to fly; to seek new adventures; to soar.

Thus, its spirit cannot be held down.

I used to know a traveler who said, that he never took pictures, because he kept all those memories in his mind. I think it was just really easier for him to not hold on to them, and if needed, to forget.

Having the physical reminder of a time that was, and making a home or comfort zone built up of things and collections and necessities, only eats away more at nature’s need to let go.

Long distance travel is letting go.

It is saying: “I need this no more in my life. I can do without. I can stand alone. I can improvise. I can adapt.”  

Today…I look around this comfort zone I’ve built up in the last year. There are framed pictures hanging on the walls, cupboards, overflowing with clothes I don’t need; shelves with ceramics I hardly use.

In saying goodbye to all these “things”, it is letting go of the need to be dependent on what is crippling me.  I am enabling myself to fly again, to soar, to seek new adventure.

And to find it.

My son is not yet so attached. When I say, “Today we are going away on an airplane,” he doesn’t yet ask me for things he must bring. He doesn’t worry that he will find or not find new happiness in our next destination. Maybe because he is still too young to be so attached, or to know what letting go really means.

But I—I am still learning. How to hold on, and how to let go.

To hold on for precious moments, yes. But then, to give release.

I go to the mall to buy a new piece of luggage, and opt for a smaller rolling suitcase. It will hold less things yes, but I need only essentials.

The others, I may come back to…or, I may not.

Where we are headed, all is new, all must begin again.


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