Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
As one year ends and a new one begins, I find myself reflecting on my habits and reevaluating how I spend my time. The religious and cultural symbols of the new year, the changing seasons, and all the time spent indoors lately have prompted me to mull over all the possibilities for the coming year. For many, this is a time to distill lessons from the previous twelve months, to devote oneself to new disciplines, and to set new goals. I find myself doing the same.
As I take stock of the past year, I find so many moments committed indelibly to my memory, places and people that have impacted who I am, and my intention is to find even more in 2011. Having just finished touring the East Coast for the first time, I have a special perspective through which I am processing all this. When traveling, I feel a sense of urgency; I do not want to miss an opportunity to experience something, because I may not have the opportunity again. This makes me think of a class I took on improvisation. The rule in improv comedy is, “Say YES”. No matter where the storyline is going, whether you like it or not, you must always say, “YES, and…”. If you are flexible and agreeable, the skit will likely play out to everyone’s satisfaction. As I see it, the role of the traveler is to embrace the opportunity, and find a way to fold themselves into the experience. The value of adventure is drawn from a willingness to explore, to be uncomfortable, and to accept the possibility of positive and negative outcomes.
My last few weeks have included some spontaneous travel, friends, family, laughter, dancing, art, good conversation, good food, good drink, and moments, good and bad, that I will always remember.
I propose that my experience is not unique. I think there is a shared experience in travel which we can all relate to. When we are predisposed to saying “Yes” to opportunity, we nurture rich experiences. They may be rich in negativity and thoroughly miserable, but even the bad experiences can offer a new perspective. I do not claim this is easy, and I have been afraid to say “Yes” to some significant opportunities, but in the spirit of the New Year, I offer my resolution to say “Yes”.
Here’s to adventure. Cheers!