The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time

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I always marveled at the way time sped up and slowed down while we were traveling.  A few days could easily feel like a century and a few weeks in a new country could in retrospect seem like only a couple days.  It seems that the mystery of time has caught up with me again as I realize we have been back “home” for six months.  The blog has gone silent and the trip feels like decades ago rather than just half a year.  What have I been doing and why haven’t I written?

The short answer is catching my breath, and pinching myself (did this all really happen?).

The long answer is, processing.  I have been decompressing from the rush of the last three years. During our travels, we packed up our bags and moved every three to four days. So, it has been quite an adjustment to be in one place for the last six months. As we catch up with friends and family it’s hard to explain the lapse of time and all that has happened in our lives and theirs.

Reconnecting with friends and family after so much time away is the best part of being back. Me and my brother as we biked 300 miles across our home state of Minnesota just one week after I returned home.

I often yearn for my traveling life, I miss the extreme freedom, the anonymity and the constantly changing tomorrows with an unknown around every corner. However, operating in my native language, having a comfortable bed to sleep in with a
refrigerator of familiar food in the next room is not a bad trade off. What I miss most from the road is the child like wonder and excitement in achieving even the smallest of goals.

Perhaps never again in life will getting on the right bus or receiving the dish you thought you had ordered be considered a victory. However, when you are navigating in a foreign language and have little to get your bearings these small achievements are the equivalent of winning the lottery. It’s also possible that never again will an 18 hour bus ride be as fascinating and eye-opening as it was when we were on the road. The prospect of a new place when the bus stopped often made the time pass much faster.

Without these experiences on a daily basis I spend much of my time wondering “what’s next”, but also celebrating our journey.  Time is once again playing tricks on me as I try to stay in the present moment, but seem to be caught in processing the past and planning for the future.  A wise friend of mine, whom lived abroad, shared the following with me as I prepared to come home, I couldn’t have possibly known at the time how true her words were:

“The question you will be asking yourself after your return will become “what would my life be like if I hadn’t done what I did?” We can only imagine … I’ve done it dozens of times, but only with true appreciation that I actually did step out of the mold and do something different. Your life will be so rich because of it … and you will enjoy the memories for the rest of your lives.”

I share these same words with you to remind you that no matter how you pass your time, you will always be glad that you lived life on your terms by making conscious decisions and chasing your dreams rather than by looking back and regretting what you did with that time.

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Comments

» Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) :
Jan 31, 2014

Love the sentiment about living life without regrets… unsurprising since it was the whole idea behind our site name! ;) I remember reading the quote by Twain in which he says that 20 years from now, you are more likely to regret the things you didn’t do than the things you did. I have definitely found that to be true and I know you guys have too. You’re transitioning into a new adventure now, but it must be so nice to look back on the past 3 years and know you lived them so boldly!
Read Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)’s awesome post Mini Budget Breakdown: Malaysian Borneo Travel Costs

[Reply]

LOCAVORista Reply:

Steph, thanks for the comment- I’m sure you will have no regrets when you move into your next adventure. Keep enjoying your travels!

[Reply]

» Catherine :
Feb 11, 2014

“When you are navigating in a foreign language and have little to get your bearings these small achievements are the equivalent of winning the lottery.” – Love it! I can’t wait to experience this myself! It’s strange that you’ve come to the end of your travels before I’ve even started mine, I can only imagine how strange it must be for you being back home!
Read Catherine’s awesome post 24 Things I’ve Learnt In 24 Years

[Reply]

» Terry Anderson :
Mar 4, 2014

While the length of the trip may change, those small triumphs are not gone, unless you always travel the easiest path, which I highly doubt will be the case! And timing is everything – where to go, when and for how long. I am certainly glad I have already been to Russia! I am glad you are back from North Korea! You will always have that timing in the back of your head for the rest of your life, weighing opportunities without even knowing it and finding them with the same unerring muse you have already trusted so well! Let daily life in between travels be adventures of a different kind, but adventures none the less!

[Reply]

» Sona :
Mar 26, 2014

Thank you for this inspiring post! Indeed, we must act now and start living our dreams, because someday we may regret for the things we didn’t even try when we had the chance.
Read Sona’s awesome post Traditional Tour

[Reply]

» Anna :
Mar 28, 2014

Really, every day is a new chance to live our dreams. I would love to start right now. Love to see the wonders of the beautiful world and do not regret one day for not doing it. Thank you for this inspiring post.
Read Anna’s awesome post Traditional Tour

[Reply]

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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